Formation of wave-cut platforms: Waves cause most erosion at the foot of a cliff. This forms a wave-cut notch, which is enlarged as erosion continues. As the notch grows the rock above it becomes unstable and eventually collapses. The collapsed material is washed away and a new wave-cut notch begins to form. Repeated collapsing causes the cliff to retreat. A wave-cut platform is left behind as the cliff retreats.

Affecting the rate of cliff retreat: Geology = soft/loose rock is eroded much faster than hard rock. Vegetation = cliffs covered in veg are more stable and therefore are eroded more slowly.

MASS MOVEMENT - the shifting of rocks and loose material down a slope due to the force of gravity.

Types of mass movement: slide, slump, rockfall.

Formation of a cave: Waves crashing into a headland enlarge cracks by erosive processes. Repeated erosion and enlargement of the cracks cause a cave to form.

Formation of a cove: Where there is a band of hard rock along a coast with a band of softer rock behind it, and there is a weakness in the band of hard rock which is then eroded to form a narrow gap. Behind the narrow gap the softer rock will be eroded much more to form a cove.

1 of 2


LSD: Waves follow the direction of the prevailing wind, which means they usually hit the coast at an oblique angle. The swash carries material up the beach in the same direction as the waves. THe backwash then carries the material down the beach at right angles, back towards the sea. Over time material zig zags across the beach.

Affecting the amount of material deposited on the beach: the amount of erosion elsewhere, amount of transportation.

Spit formation: Longshore drift transports sand and shingle past a sharp bend in the coastline and deposits it in the sea.

Soft engineering: Schemes set up using knowledge of the sea and its processes to reduce the effects of flooding and erosion. 

Hard engineering: man-made structures built to control the flow of the sea and reduce flooding and erosion.

2 of 2


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all Coastal zones resources »