Difference Between Erosion and Deposition

Nature is full of unexpected twists and intricate processes that are not always easy to comprehend for humans. All of the elements that make up our surroundings, such as the hills, valleys, rivers, and other natural features, are also part of nature. 


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However, not all of these characteristics are there from the start. Some are just the product of nature’s many activities. Erosion and Deposition are two examples of such actions that create significant changes in our environment.

Both activities have a similar beginning, yet they go through different trajectories. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Erosion is breaking down and transporting materials, whereas deposition involves accumulating these materials.
  2. Erosion is caused by water, wind, and ice, while deposition occurs when these agents lose energy and can no longer transport materials.
  3. Erosion leads to the formation of features like canyons and valleys, while deposition results in features such as deltas and dunes.

Erosion vs Deposition 

Erosion is the geological process in which materials called sediments like soil or rocks, are moved by wind or water. Deposition is the geological process in which the sediments are dropped off to a different location by wind, flowing water or ice and added to a landform or landmass.

Erosion vs Deposition

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Erosion is the process in which weakened particles of rock are transported from one place to another by certain natural factors. These factors can be rainfall, flood, heavy winds, etc.

Such particles are displaced from their original location, and they get deposited at a new place, usually at a low altitude. This process generates new rocks, hills, and rivers and balances nature ultimately. 

While on the other side, Deposition is nothing but the final outcome of the process of erosion. After being moved to a new site, the particles establish a grasp on the new spot.

They adjust to their new surroundings by settling in. This final step is known as Deposition. Without Deposition, Erosion cannot be said to be completed.  

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Erosion Deposition 
Definition  A process in which natural factors cause the transport of rock particles from one place to other.  A process in which the transported particles settle in the new location.  
Nature  This is the first step of the whole process of rock particles being transported. This is the last step of the process. 
Types  It has four main types- Abrasion Hydraulic Action Solution Attrition It has three main types- Continental Marine  Transitional  
Caused due to Water, wind, people, etc. Reduced speed of water, wind, or glaciers. 
Impact  Deforestation or soil degradation Transport of harmful chemicals from one place to another 
Happens   When the soil loses its shield and becomes vulnerable towards the water, wind, etc.  When the carrier carrying the particles loses its speed. 

What is Erosion? 

Erosion is nothing but a natural process of transferring rock and soil fragments from one place to another. This process is carried out by certain agents of mother nature.

These can be Volcanos, Glaciers, Air and Water, etc. These agents put force upon certain rocks or soil layers, causing them to shred into multiple tiny particles. 

This process usually moves the subject from a higher altitude to a lower altitude. However, there is no limit to the distance, and this movement can take place for up to a thousand kilometers too.  

Erosion can of the following types- 

  • Abrasion¬†
  • Hydraulic Action¬†
  • Solution¬†
  • Attrition¬†

It generally occurs when the plantation loses its disguise and gets exposed to the open wind and water flow. The absence of plant cover makes it easy for the natural forces to shred these structures and transport them to a new place.  

In most cases, it does not impact nature badly but sometimes can cause phenomena like deforestation or deep cuts in valleys.  


What is Deposition? 

In the process of Erosion, the particles which are transported eventually get settled somewhere when the natural forces lose their control. These discarded particles reassemble and deposit in a new structure.

The deposition is how we refer to this process. As a result, Deposition is the final puzzle piece, and Erosion is useless without it.

The sediments that are moved from one location to another might have any shape. They usually appear as microscopic particles or fragments, but they can also dissolve in water or be vaporized. 

All of these forms eventually make touch with a landmass and form an entirely different structure than the one they used to be a part of. 

The location and timing of deposition are determined by the natural forces that carry them. As the carrier’s speed decreases, hefty fragments begin to fall into place, and so on. 


Main Differences Between Erosion and Deposition 

  1. While Erosion is the process of rock particles getting shifted from one place to another due to natural forces, Deposition is the process of those particles settling down at a particular place. 
  2. There are mainly four types of Erosion, while there are three types of Deposition. 
  3. Erosion happens to be the first and foremost step in the process due to which new land structures are created, while Deposition is the last step of this particular process.  
  4. Erosion takes place when natural forces such as wind and water loosen the particles of soil or rocks, and Deposition happens when these particles are dropped off somewhere by these natural forces. 
  5. Erosion takes place when certain natural forces interfere with the already existing rocks and elements. While Deposition occurs when these natural forces lose their action and drop off the particles carried by them.  
Difference Between Erosion and Deposition


  1. https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/gsabulletin/article-abstract/62/1/1/4382/THREE-CRITICAL-ENVIRONMENTS-OF-DEPOSITION-AND
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