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Detachment of soil particles by raindrop impact and their removal downslope by water flowing overland as a sheet instead of in definite channels or rills. A more or less uniform layer of fine particles is removed from the entire surface of an area, sometimes resulting in an extensive loss of rich topsoil. Sheet erosion commonly occurs on recently plowed fields or on other sites having poorly consolidated soil material with scant vegetative cover.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on sheet erosion, visit Britannica.com.
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