Science Experiment – Erosion
Watch how eroding forces transform a landscape
About this experiment
Forces of nature like wind, rain, and ice can all cause soil erosion. In this experiment, you’ll see how these natural patterns weather your soil landscape in different ways.
- 3 plastic containers (about the size of a shoe box is best)
- Soil (enough to fill your containers)
- A straw
- A few ice cubes
- Spray bottle of water
- Optional: small stones, grass shoots or small plants
- In each container, pour soil up against one side, creating a sloped pile.
- In the first container, simulate water erosion by spraying water over the soil.
What happens to the water? What happens to the soil?
- In the next container, simulate wind erosion by blowing air through the straw onto the top of the hill.
How does the soil move, and how much of it moves? Do you think you would have had the same results on soil on flat ground, or on soil surrounded by trees?
- In the last container, simulate glacial erosion by placing a few ice cubes in the top of the hill, then pushing them down the hill.
How is the landscape affected this time?
- Overall, examine which type of erosion had the greatest effect on the original structure of the soil. You could repeat the steps of this experiment, adding other materials to your “environments” like small plants or stones.
How might the erosion differ in a more complex landscape?
Do you want to keep learning? Find more experiments here!