Formation of landforms

  • Created by: Pilot94
  • Created on: 01-05-23 14:26



Cliffs are shaped through erosion and weathering. Soft rock erodes quickly and forms gentle sloping cliffs whereas hard rock is more resistant and forms steep cliffs. A wave cut platform is a wide gently sloping surface found at the foot of a cliff.

A wave cut platform is formed when:

1. The sea attacks the base of the cliff between the high and low water mark

2. A wave cut notch is formed by erosional processes such as abrasion and hydraulic action - this is a dent in the cliff usually at the level of high tide

3. as the notch increases in size, the cliff becomes unstable and collapses, leading to the retreat of the cliff face. 

4. the backwash carries away eroded material leaving a wave cut platform

5. the process repeats, the cliff continues to retreat


Cliffs along the coastline do not erode at the same pace as there are different types of rock along the coastline. 

Bands of soft rock such as clay and sand are weaker therefore they can be eroded quickly. This process forms bays. A bay is an inlet of the sea where the land curves inwards usually with a beach. Hard rocks such as chalk is more resistant to the process of erosion. When the soft rock is eroded the hard rock sticks out of the coastline forming a headland.

Erosinal features such as wave cut platforms and cliffs can be found on headlands since they are more open to waves. Bays are more sheltered with constructive waves which deposit sediment at the beach.


Caves, arches, stacks and stumps are erosional features that are commonly found in headlands

1. cracks are widened in…


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