Sheetwash or ‘sheet erosion’ refers to the removal of a thin layer of surface soil by run-off. The problem is often imperceptible until there has been severe soil loss. It is most acute in areas that are bare due to over-grazing, on fallow soils or on soils that have been repeatedly cultivated. Sheetwash removes valuable soil and it becomes a source of turbidity and particulate nutrients in some rivers and coastal waterways.

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