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Coastal Processes
How Waves Erode the Coastline

Abrasion/ Corrasion Bits of rock and sediment transported by the
waves smash and grind against rocks and
cliffs, breaking bits off and smoothing

Hydraulic Action Cliffs and rocks contain many lines of
weakness in the form of joints and cracks.
A parcel…

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Subaeriel Weathering

Subaeriel weathering describes coastal processes that are not linked to the action of
the sea.

All slopes are subject to constant change. Some movements are slow whereas others are

For these mass movements to occur, the underlying rocks must be weakened by the
processes of subaeriel weathering.…

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Chemical Weathering
Chemical weathering involves decomposition resulting from chemical change. Typically,
rock-forming minerals break down releasing elements to produce new minerals
that are more stable in the new conditions at the earth's surface.

Some are soluble whereas others form clays which are weaker minerals than the ones they


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Mass Movements
Weathered rocks exposed in coastal zones are susceptible to mass movements.

Soil Creep The slowest form of mass movement.
Propagated by three main mechanisms.
Raindrop impact in intense storms may cause a splash of soil particles.
Those particles that fall on the downslope side fall further, resulting in…

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Biological Weathering
Biological weathering refers to weathering resulting from organic agents. These may be tree
roots growing into and physically widening joints, or animals burrowing.


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