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Land Pollution


Introduction, Lithosphere, Land Uses, Causes of Land Degradation.

Important Questions
What are causes of land Degradation? Narrate Common Pollutants responsible for causing land pollution Describe uses and overuses of land. What is land degradation and what are the causes of land degradation? Describe uses and Overuses of land What are causes effects of land pollution ? What are the major sources of land pollution? How does land pollution affect soil productivity ? Define land pollution and explain the causes of land pollution.

Earth and Its Structure

A large mass detached from sun, when a powerful object collide with sun. This large mass is the earth. The earth is of size 12757 km in diameter. The earth is divided into 3 main layers 1) Core- Innermost 2) Mantle 3) Crust

Crust: The outermost layer of the earth is the crust which comprises of varying rocks, the thickness of crust varies from 64 to 96 km about 70 % of the crust is immersed in oceans. Mantle: The next layer is the mantle which forms the most of the earths mass. It is about 2880 km thick. The most of the internal heat of the earth is located in this region. Core: The inner most part of the lithosphere is the core, this layer surrounds the centre of the earth its thickness is about 3500 km. This is hottest, heaviest and densest layer of the earth.

Crust comprises of minerals like Silica, aluminium, magnesium Mantle comprises of minerals like chromium, silicon, magnesium, nickle, iron. Core: Comprises of iron, and nickle and other components like, sulphur, silica, and cobalt.

The topmost part of the earth surface (crust)which covers most of the land containing hills, grasslands, deserts is called lithosphere. After the formation of earth, the rocks were formed very first by cooling of the earth mass and successively the soil was formed due to degradation and fragmentation of the rock due to physical, chemical and weathering effects. The lithosphere includes all the metals, minerals, inorganic and organic matter present in the soil. The minerals are essential for the growth of vegetation and ultimately to the entire living organisms as they are the basic elements in food cycle.

Land Uses
Most human or natural activities need space for their location and development, which is provided by land. The various purpose for which land can be used, include agriculture, human dwelling, industrial purpose, waste disposal, forests, etc. The land use pattern of India is as Under Agricultural Land:- 43.6 % Permanent Pastures and meadows:- 4.6 % Cultural wastelands:- 12.2 % Forests:- 10.7 % Barren and unculturableland:- 8.4 % Urban Land:- 5.3 % No information available:- 5.2 %

Land Uses

Soil Profile

Soil and its Components

Sources of Land Pollution

The sources of land pollution can be categorized as under: Agriculture Quarrying and mining Sewage sludge Dredged spoils Household-domestic solid waste Demolitions and constructions Industrial activities.

Sources Of Land Pollution

Agricultural Waste

Quarrying and Mining Waste

Sewage Sludge

Dredge Spoils

Solid Wastes

Demolition Wastes

Industrial Waste

Causes of Land Degradation

Land Degradation is the temporary or permanent lowering of the productive capacity of the land. Soil erosion:- Soil erosion means wearing away of soil. It refers to loss of the superficial layer of the soil by the action of wind, water or human activities. The top layer of the soil is very fertile. Therefore, its removal degrades the quality of land making it less productive. Soil erosion is caused due to heavy rainfall, lack of vegetation cover, and soil mismanagement like, uncontrolled grazing by cattle, faulty method of surface drainage, removal of forest cover.

Salination:- Salination refers to increase in the concentration of soluble salts in the soil poor irrigation practices, flood water results in accumulation of dissolved salts on the soil surface. In dry areas water evaporate quickly leaving behind a white crust of salts in soil on the surface. The higher concentration of salts severely affects the water absorption process of the plants, resulting into poor production.

Water Logging:- Water- logging may be due to surface flooding or due to high water table. Excessive irrigation practices may cause water logging due to rise in water table of the area. The productivity of water logged soil is severely affected due to lesser availability of plants. Shifting Cultivation:- Among many tribal communities a very peculiar practice of cutting down a selected portion of the forest and burning. Crops were cultivated for a few years till the fertility of soil is reduced. When the fields become sterile the were abandoned and a fresh patch of forest were burnt and fresh fields were formed for crop cultivation.

Urbanization:- Man is to blamed for most of the land degradation. Productive areas is fast reducing because of developmental activities such as human settlement, industries, roads , railways, airports etc. Dumping:- Dumping of solid wastes is one of the most important factors which are responsible for the land pollution. In developing countries like India, the garbage and refuse products are simply dumped leading to land pollution.

Health Consequences of Land Pollution

Land Pollution affects humans and wild life in number of ways such as, It can cause Respiratory problems Lead to birth defects Cause skin problems Causes cancers The toxic substances causing soil/ land pollution can get into human body directly by Skin contacts Toxic Substances Being washed into water sources like rivers, reservoirs, Pollutes under ground water courses Consumption of vegetables and fruits grown on polluted soils Inhalation of Polluted dust or particles.

Effects of Land Pollution


Many of the widely used pesticides on agricultural lands are potentially carcinogenic. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified 15 such chemicals from the 27 most commonly used.
Neurological Problems

The health effects of soil pollution, of course, vary with the contaminant. Some toxins, such as lead, are both naturally occurring and come from manmade sources. According to the EPA, children are most vulnerable to the health effects of lead in the soil. Their developing neurological systems put them at risk for serious health issues, causing possible brain and nervous system damage.

Effects of Land Pollution

Tissue Damage and Irritation Mercury levels in the soil can increase through deposition from precipitation. Mercury can cause irritation of your internal and external tissues, such as your skin and the lining of your gastrointestinal tract. The severity depends upon the toxin and length of exposure. Reduction of Soil Health Soil pollution also degrades soil health, impacting both the environment as well as people in the long term. The same chemicals that can harm people may also affect plants and micro-organisms. Acid rain, for example, can create toxic conditions by mobilizing what might otherwise be harmless chemicals in the soil. These toxins in turn can slow plant growth as well as impact the soil bacteria and other organisms necessary for plant growth.

How to Reduce Land Pollution

Following steps can be taken to stop or reduce or avoid land pollution Adoption of organic farming instead of using synthetic chemicals Adoption of recycle and reuse of a waste materials Proper disposal of industrial wastes into secured landfill sites Educating people not to litter Proper collection, transportation and disposal of municipal wastes.

Reduce Land Pollution


Proper Disposal


Make a visit to a sanitary landfill site located in your vicinity and write a report on its operation and working.

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