For instance, a young school aged boy did an experiment in his own backyard, right in the middle of the garden. He packed a mound of dirt, and his plan was to measure the affects of erosion over a twelve week period, caused by elements of the weather-the wind and the rain. When his experiment began, the mound of dirt was 42 inches wide and 19 and inches tall. The second week, the dirt mound had spread more than 2 inches outward and dropped approximately 3 inches. Each week, measurements were taken and the data was charted. Unfortunately, the experiment was never finished because it was wrecked (Riordin). Nevertheless, it showed how the elements of the weather can have a great affect on bare soiled mounds, such as the one that was constructed in the Riordin's garden.
On a larger and more professional scale than that of a school boy, scientific researchers across the United States experimented with erosion. Their reason for doing so is because they wanted to understand how erosion affected different types of soil in an effort to improve agriculture. In this instance, they wanted to figure out how to best deal with the effects of erosion, while conserving water and soil at the same time. From this in depth experimentation, The Universal Soil Loss Equation was developed, which is considered by those in the field of agriculture to be one of the greatest developments in history, as it concerns the conservation of soil and water (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2009).
Research began in central Utah in the year 1912 on land that was overgrazed and no longer fit for use at the time. A.W. Sampson and Associates were the ones who conducted experiments during this time and at this location. In 1917, field erosion plot research was conducted in Missouri by M. F. Miller and his other colleagues. In 1929, congress provided $160,000 of funding to erosion research, as a result of the severe drought that was faced, as well as the Dust Bowl storms that took place. As resource continued, the equation was perfected, and so were water and soil conservation methods. Today, software has been designed from this exact equation that is in use by the Department of Agriculture, as well as commercial farmers (U.S. department of Agriculture, 2009)
Because we are working with stiff time constraints, we will not be able to conduct such long and drawn out experiments. We must experiment with erosion on a smaller time scale, and the experiment must take place in an environment that we can easily control. The experiment that is being conducted in this case will consist of three dirt mounds, ten inches high, that are built upon a tray lined with paper, all of them constructed differently. One dirt mound will consist of dirt that is packed together to form a sort-of mountain. The sides will be steep, and the top will be flat. The second mound will be constructed exactly the same; however, there will be a flat layer of pottery clay on top of the flat part of the mound. The third mound will be constructed in the same fashion as the other two, but this one will have grass seed planted on it. The seed will be planted on top, as well as on all sides. The dirt is to be a bit wet, but not too wet, so as to be able to properly form the mounds. All three of the mounds will be kept near a sunny window to simulate the environment of nature outdoors, as this type of environment is realistic, as it will enable the grass to grow and the artificial rain to dry up.
Once all mounds are formed and the experiment