Terracing is the ancient and time proven practice of breaking steep continuous slopes into a series of flat steps to reduce the velocity of stormwater runoff and associated soil erosion. With berms on the downslope end, terracing can also be used to create shallow ponding areas that further reduce the volume of stormwater runoff, irrigate landscaping and help keep soil and nutrients/fertilizer in place. Of course terracing does not have to be on as grand a scale as that depicted on the mountains in the images above. Terracing can readily be implemented in the urban and residential landscape as the samples below depict.
How To Article
Below is a link to an interesting article about building a terrace or two:
Of course you can do a web search on "Terracing" for a wealth of other resources.