Erosion

Much of the sediment deposited along a coast is the result of erosion of a surrounding cliff, or bluff. Sea cliffs retreat landward because of the constant undercutting of slopes by waves. If the slope/cliff being undercut is made of unconsolidated sediment it will erode at a much faster rate then a cliff made of bedrock.

A natural arch is formed when a sea stack is eroded through by waves.

Sea caves are made when certain rock beds are more susceptible to erosion than the surrounding rock beds because of different areas of weakness. These areas are eroded at a faster pace creating a hole or crevasse that, through time, by means of wave action and erosion, becomes a cave.

A stack is formed when a headland is eroded away by wave and wind action.

A stump is a shortened sea stack that has been eroded away or fallen because of instability.

Wave-cut notches are caused by the undercutting of overhanging slopes which leads to increased stress on cliff material and a greater probability that the slope material will fall. The fallen debris accumulates at the bottom of the cliff and is eventually removed by waves.

A wave-cut platform forms after erosion and retreat of a sea cliff has been occurring for a long time. Gently sloping wave-cut platforms develop early on in the first stages of cliff retreat. Later the length of the platform decreases because the waves lose their energy as they break further off shore.

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