Destructive forces are the forces that tend to break down the features of the Earth’s surface. The destructive forces are responsible to cause damage to the earth’s structure. They serve to cause wear and tear problems to the earth’s composition. They demolish the mountains, move the land, cause erosion, dislocate rocks, etc. Destructive forces are the forces of nature over which humans have little or no control.
Types of Destructive Forces
Weathering is the breaking down of rocks into multiple smaller pieces. These smaller fine pieces of rocks are known as sediment. Sediments also include dirt, clay, pebbles, etc. For example, weathering might cause a part of a rock to get worn out, leaving behind a partial structure of the rock.
2. Sediment Erosion
Erosion is the process by virtue of which sediment gets moved away from one place to the other. Weathering and erosion work together to cause damage to the earth’s surface. The process of weathering gives rise to the formation of sediments, while erosion displaces the sediment particles from one place to another. Sediment erosion can be caused due to the gravitational pull of the earth, running water, wind, etc.
3. Water Erosion
This type of destructive force refers to surface runoff from the naturally existing water bodies. The intensity with which the water gets eroded is directly proportional to the gradient of the stream. This means that the higher be the gradient or the slope of the stream, the greater will be the rate of erosion. Also, the river with more water will cause more erosion. Hence, water erosion is proportional to the discharge.
4. Glacier Erosion
Glaciers are formed as a result of the deposition of a thick layer of ice and snow over the surface of the earth. Glacier erosion occurs when a glacier gets melted down. This liquefying of the glacier fills the nearby area with water. A number of lakes and valleys get formed due to the movement of glaciers. During the ice age, the earth consisted of a large percentage of area that was completely covered with glaciers. However, the destructive forces led to the wear and tear of glaciers.
Examples of Destructive Forces
The movement of sediments down the slope under the influence of gravity leads to a landslide. The process of weathering causes the large mountains and rocks to wear and tear. Due to this, sediment formation takes place. The gravitational force of the earth tends to pull the rocks and sediments towards the earth’s core. This causes them to leave their original position and slip to the downward side.
When a huge amount of water flows onto a steep slope, it tends to drive away a part of the mud, soil, and other sediments that come into its pathway. This causes the mixing of water and soil particles to form mud. The mud is slippery in nature and causes the destruction of the surface. One of the prime reasons that causes a mudslide is a heavy rainfall.
3. Barrier Islands
In seas, the waves of ocean current drive away a part of the soil, sand, or sediment present on the shore. This flattens the river bed or the ocean shore. The dislocation of sand and other particles from the coast washes away the minerals and the solid ground layer. Hence, due to the destructive forces of nature, a new marshy layer gets deposited on the shores of the oceans.
4. Bending of River
Water flowing into the rivers and their tributaries take the sediment particles away with the flow. Usually, rivers are observed to have a comparatively steeper cliff on the outer side than the inner side. This is because more water impacts the sides of the river causing the soil to get eroded while driving the sediments present on the inner side with the flow.
The dislocation of the earth’s tectonic plates due to the energy stored by the earth’s crust creates seismic waves. These seismic waves when released shake the earth’s surface violently. This process is known as an earthquake. The intensity of an earthquake is measured with the help of a seismometer that produces a seismograph. An earthquake is one of the chief examples of destructive forces of nature.
6. Valley Formation
Glacier erosion often leads to the formation of valleys. Due to erosion, the glacier gets melted. The liquified form of glacier gets deposited into the lake, leaving behind an empty space. This empty area is usually ‘V’ or ‘U’ shaped and is regarded as a valley. This change or transformation of the natural structure present on the earth’s surface is a prominent example of destructive force.