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Erosion and sediment control issues in the Auckland region or what’s wrong with a bit of dirty water?
Essential and fundamental theories of erosion and sedimentation processes 3
Environmental effects of erosion and sedimentation 5
Commentary on popular and media attention on erosion and sedimentation issues in Auckland region 8
Management of erosion and sediment control issues in Auckland region 10
Summary of key points 13
Conclusion and recommendations 14
When thinking about water pollution, normally most of the people picture toxic substances that burn the streams and kill all aquatic flora and fauna. However, the eroded soil and silt can harm aquatic ecological functions and also have further economic, social, and cultural adverse effects on the environment. It might come as a shock to think that something as natural as soil can potentially have a power and contribute in polluting of the Auckland region environment.
As Auckland region is experiencing the development growth, vegetation is being cleared and and tonnes of bare soil exposed during the housing constructions, subdivisions and other developments. Without proper erosion and sediment controls during land disturbing activities in place this can lead to the massive discharges of sediment materials into the waterways.
This review aims to provide an overview of basic erosion and sedimentation processes the environmental effects associated with sediment discharges. Then, the current erosion and sediment control management system will be discussed in relation to the land use activities in the Auckland Region. Author’s recommendations will be provided at the end of this review.
Essential and fundamental theories of erosion and sedimentation processes
Erosion is a natural process that occurs when the action of the physical, chemical or biological processes cause the land surface to wear away resulting in detachment and transport of soil particles (Leersnyder at al., 2016). The deposition of this eroded soil particles and materials is called sedimentation (Leersnyder at al., 2016).
As mentioned above the process of erosion and sedimentation is absolutely natural, however accelerated erosion caused by human activities is usually much more rapid than natural erosion and produces a lot of sediment (Leersnyder at al., 2016). The Alexandra Basin of Auckland region was researched to determine the average yield of sediment produced during the urbanisation of the basin in 1994. It was found that the sediment yields from the areas of the basin undergoing constructions were estimated to be over a hundred times larger than the yields from undisturbed or stable areas of the basin (Hicks, 1994).
There are several factors that influence soil erosion. However, we have influence over only some of them. The main factors are climate conditions, soil characteristics, slope and topography, area of soil disturbance and duration...