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Difference Between Erosion and Corrosion for JEE Main 2024

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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An Overview of Erosion and Corrosion

Erosion and corrosion are different mechanisms applicable to different materials, and both lead to different outcomes. The one thing which is common is that both are disadvantageous for humans as well as the environment. Erosion is a mechanism involved in change in the environment and nature, whereas corrosion affects only the metal of a material. Erosion is the sloughing of an outer surface layer of oil and moving from one place to another by the means of wind, water, gravity, etc. Corrosion is a chemical mechanism where oxidation of the metal or any material takes place, leading to the deterioration of the material.

The rust formed on iron and the tarnishing of silver observed is due to corrosion. Corrosion is a chemical process where an undesirable appearance is formed due to the interaction of metals with the outer environment. Whereas erosion is a geological process where the outer layer of the earth erodes away. Erosion could happen due to wind, water, glacial etc. In erosion, moulding and wearing of large landforms occur, including weathering of rocks. Though both words seem to have different meanings, they are equally damaging to the object they are affecting.

What is Erosion?

Erosion is a type of geological process in which the materials present in earth like soil are washed out and moved away by natural forces like water, wind etc.

Causes of Erosion

There are many natural agents which can cause erosion. This includes water, air, ice, and gravity. Water is the main cause of soil erosion. Whenever heavy rain occurs, the oil gets loosened and starts flowing with water. The same is true for ice, when the ice on the ground melts, it leads to the flowing of the topmost layer. Wind can cause erosion by displacing the outer layer of soil, especially during a hurricane. At a slope, gravity can erode the outer layer during rain when rainwater, mud, and pebbles flow downward due to gravity.

Erosion Medical Term

Erosion in the medical field is referred to as any injury which means a breakdown of the outer layer of skin. In this, a part of the epidermis is sloughed off. This could be due to infection due to bacteria or fungus.

What is Corrosion?

Corrosion is usually a result of chemical reactions on the surface of a material. Corrosion is also referred to as rust. In erosion, the eroded part is taken away by the wind or water. However, in corrosion, the outer layer is converted into another compound, giving the outer layer a different colour. Corrosion leads to the deterioration of materials.

Causes of Corrosion

The most effective way to prevent the loss of any material by corrosion is to understand the cause and source of corrosion. There are many types of corrosion based on the cause of corrosion. Corrosion is the oxidation of a metal or material by oxygen when it comes in contact with moisture, air, acid rain, etc. Some chemicals, as well as biological substances, can also cause corrosion. Extreme humidity can also cause corrosion. Electronic equipment can be vulnerable to corrosion due to exposure to various corrosive gases such as chlorine, hydrogen oxides, sulphur oxidase, etc. Even in dry places, metals are prone to corrode due to moisture droplets in the air which can condense and degrade the material.

Difference between Erosions and Corrosion

The difference between erosion and corrosion is listed below.



Erosion is a geological process.

Corrosion is a chemical process.

Erosion is caused by water, wind, and gravity.

Corrosion is caused by chemical agents such as oxygen, sulphates, etc.

It affects the land on earth.

It affects the surface of materials such as metals.

It can be prevented by planting trees or terracing.

It can be prevented by applying a protective layer on materials.

Movement, weathering, and dissolution are a few mechanisms involved in erosion.

Different forms of corrosion include Pitting, galvanic, crevice, intergranular, and selective leaching.

Key Features

  • Both erosion and corrosion are different phenomena and both affect different objects in the environment.

  • Erosion affects natural objects and can lead to the loss of fertile land. However, corrosion affects the material and is responsible for its deterioration of the material.

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FAQs on Difference Between Erosion and Corrosion for JEE Main 2024

1. What is the difference between corrosion and abrasion?

In corrosion, the whole material or metal is affected, whereas in abrasion, only a part of the material is eroded. Both can be reduced by coating the surface of a material or metal with a resistant material.

2. Is corrosion the same as rust?

Rust is a type of corrosion. Rusting is the corrosion of iron by oxidation by means of chemical or environmental agents. Whereas corrosion is a phenomenon that applies to any material, rusting is restricted to iron only.

3. What is the difference between erosion and weathering?

In weathering, rock is changed or broken but stays where it is. And when these rock pieces are moved by natural forces, it is known as erosion. Erosion applies to all materials such as the moving of rocks, pebbles, sand, or soil and weathering is only referred to rocks.