Introduction to Erosion
This unit contains resources about the three agents of erosion (water, wind and ice), deposition of sediment and the land forms that are formed. In addition, coastal erosion is also introduced. More detailed information about streams and rivers is available in the Streams unit.

Workshop Presentations

PowerPoint Click to download the MS Powerpoint file (20.2 Mbytes).

PDF. Click to view or download the presentation in PDF (2.9 Mbytes).

HTML. Click to view the presentation in html..

Online lecture Click here to view a streaming lecture. COMING SOON

Classroom Activities


Online Video and Media Resources

Coming Soon

Useful Websites

Glossary of Glacier Terminology This USGS website is a picture glossary about glaciers and the landforms that result from them.


NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas

Grade 2
ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems. Wind and water can change the shape of the land. (2-ESS2-1)

ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes. Water is found in the ocean, rivers, lakes, and ponds. Water exists as solid ice and in liquid form. (2-ESS2-3)

Grade 4
ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems. Rainfall helps to shape the land and affects the types of living things found in a region. Water, ice, wind, living organisms, and gravity break rocks, soils, and sediments into smaller particles and move them around. (4-ESS2-1)

ESS2.E: Biogeology. Living things affect the physical characteristics of their regions. (4-ESS2-1)

Grade 5
ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems. Earth's major systems are the geosphere (solid and molten rock, soil, and sediments), the hydrosphere (water and ice), the atmosphere (air), and the biosphere (living things, including humans). These systems interact in multiple ways to affect Earth's surface materials and processes. The ocean supports a variety of ecosystems and organisms, shapes landforms, and influences climate. Winds and clouds in the atmosphere interact with the landforms to determine patterns of weather. (5-ESS2-1)

ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes. Nearly all of Earth's available water is in the ocean. Most fresh water is in glaciers or underground; only a tiny fraction is in streams, lakes, wetlands, and the atmosphere. (5-ESS2-2)

Middle School
ESS2.A: Earth's Materials and Systems. All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among the planetÕs systems. This energy is derived from the sun and Earth's hot interior. The energy that flows and matter that cycles produce chemical and physical changes in Earth's materials and living organisms. (MS-ESS2-1)

ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes. Water's movements - both on the land and underground - cause weathering and erosion, which change the land's surface features and create underground formations. (MS-ESS2-2)

High School
ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems. The geological record shows that changes to global and regional climate can be caused by interactions among changes in the sun's energy output or Earth's orbit, tectonic events, ocean circulation, volcanic activity, glaciers, vegetation, and human activities. These changes can occur on a variety of time scales from sudden (e.g., volcanic ash clouds) to intermediate (ice ages) to very long-term tectonic cycles. (HS-ESS2-4)

ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes. The abundance of liquid water on Earth's surface and its unique combination of physical and chemical properties are central to the planetÕs dynamics. These properties include water's exceptional capacity to absorb, store, and release large amounts of energy, transmit sunlight, expand upon freezing, dissolve and transport materials, and lower the viscosities and melting points of rocks. (HS-ESS2-5)

Common Scientific Misconceptions

The atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere do not cause changes in one another; these systems operate independently on Earth.

All bed rock is solid, non porous material.

Hazards are random in both time and place.

Human activities cannot affect geological processes like river floods and mass wasting.

Glaciers are only moving ice masses (with little to no concept of sediment transport).

Glacial ice moves backwards during glacial 'retreats.'

Glacial ice is stationary during times when front is neither advancing or retreating.

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