Along a coastline there are features created by erosion. These include cliffs, wave-cut platforms and wave-cut notches. There are also headlands and bays, caves, arches, stacks and stumps.
Cliffs, wave-cut platforms and notches
One of the most common features of a coastline is a cliff. Cliffs are shaped through a combination of erosion and weathering – the breakdown of rocks caused by weather conditions.
Soft rock, eg sand and clay, erodes easily to create gently sloping cliffs. Hard rock, eg chalk, is more resistant and erodes slowly to create steep cliffs.
The process of cliff erosion
1.Weather weakens the top of the cliff.
2.The sea attacks the base of the cliff forming a wave-cut notch.
3.The notch increases in size causing the cliff to collapse.
4.The backwash carries the rubble towards the sea forming a wave-cut platform.
5.The process repeats and the cliff continues to retreat.