Erosional Processes


Hydraulic Action

As waves break, they force air into small cracks in the cliff face.

The force of the water compresses the air. The sheer force of the water can also dislodge any loose material.

When the wave retreats, and the force is removed, the air expands explosively outwards, and rushes out of the crack.

The 'explosion' can widen and extend the crack, further weakening the surrounding rock.

Also, as it rushes out, it can also break off small pieces of rock from within the crack, further increasing the size of the hole.

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Abrasion is when loose pieces of material are thrown forwards by the strength of a wave, onto a cliff face.

These pieces grind away at the cliff face, every time a wave reaches it.

It is often known as the sandpaper effect, as the result of the grating away is often a smooth cliff face.

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Attrition is when rocks in the water crash into one another.

the sheer force of the water, which brings the stones together, causes whole chunks of the rock to dislodge.

Gradually, the process of attrition produces round, smooth pebbles.

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 CO2 in the atmosphere is absorbed into the sea.

 This makes the sea slightly acidic.

 Certain types of rock react with the acidic water.

 The reaction weakens and destroys the cliff of certain rock types.

 It causes the decomposition of the rock, due to chemical changes due to a reaction with the acidic water.

 Chalk and Limestone are particularly susceptible.

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