Assess the role of erosional processes in the development of one or more coastal landforms

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  • Assess the role of erosional processes in the development of one or more coastal landforms
    • Friog cliff-mostly made of greywake which is hard and has quartzite veins running through.
      • There are different types of coastal erosions that are taking place here which are having an effect on the cliff.
        • The erosion is mostly abrasion where rocks are thrown at the cliff by the strong waves and scrape against each other and the base of the cliff in the process. This causes friction.
          • As the rock is very hard at Friog cliff, abrasion is the one process which has most effect as processes like attrition have little effect.
          • Abrasion leads to cracks in the cliff which is called a joint. A lot of energy is used up for abrasion so it only rarely happens where there is a strong storm at the highest spring tides. This is worse at Friog cliff because of the type of shingle that there is.
            • Stumps and stacks that are left over from the cliff reduce the amount of erosion that happens because they block the wave energy and the cliffs are less exposed to the strong waves.
              • Some can be just 2 metres high and the reason why they haven't all eroded is because the rock is stronger so it is less likely to erode. More erosion occurs near the bottom of the stump/stack and it is quite smooth because more stones are thrown lower down. A stump will occur when a stack falls over.
    • Coastal erosion, weathering and mass movement leads to the shaping of the cliff so features like the wave cut notch will happen. Weather weakens the top of the cliff and a combination of abrasion and wave pounding(the sea attacks the bottom of the cliff) creating a wave cut notch.
      • When this process carries on and the waves keep attacking the bottom, the notch will increase causing the cliff to collapse.
        • The backwash will then cary the shingle and cliff towards the sea creating a wave cut platform. This is where the base of the cliff used to be, it is smooth due to the stones rolling across it. If you felt where the wave cut notch was it would be soft and smooth, this is called the 'sand papering effect' where only small amounts of the cliff are taken off each time.
    • Weathering processes such as freeze thaw, This is when the water from the rain will get trapped in a crack or joint in the rock and when the air temperature drops below freezing(which is very rare) the water will freeze, putting pressure on the rock. The ice will melt when the temperature rises. If the processs keeps on happening, eventually it will hatter the rock into different fragments.
    • Hydraulic action results in cave collapse because when the air gets trapped in the joints and is then compressed, weakening the cliff and causing erosion.
    • Vegetation on the side of the cliffs can help to protect it from erosion but they can also encourage it to happen. At Friog cliff, biological weathering means that the roots of the plants get into the cracks of the cliff  that have already been made due to other erosional processes and start breaking parts of the cliff into pieces.

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