Very useful BBC videos:
Formation of landforms -
Wave-cut platforms and headlands/bays -
Weathering and erosion -
An exmaple of stump formation -
An exmaple of stump formation -
More landforms -
Cliff slumping -

Headlands and bays

Cliffs rarely erode at an even pace. Sections of cliff that are particularly resitant to erosion stick out to form headlands. Weaker sections of coastline that are more easily eroded form bays.

  • Form where there are alternating outcrops of resistant outcrops of resistant (harder) and less resistant (softer). ·
  • Destructive waves erode the soft rock move quickly to form bays·
  • The harder rock is more resistant and are left protruding into the sea·
  • The headlands protect the adjacent (next by) bays from destructive waves
    As the headlands protect the bays sand is deposited to form a beach. At the headlands there often wave-cut platforms and notches.

    Cliff and wave-cut platforms

  • Wave erosion is greatest when large waves break against the foot of the cliff ·
  • The waves undercut the foot of the cliff to form a wave-cut notch ·
  • Over time the notch enlarges the until the cliff above it is unsupported and collapses ·
  • The gentle sloping expanse of rock marking the foot of the retreating cliff is called a wave-cut platform ·
  • Wave-cut platforms are exposed at low tide but hidden at high tide

Caves, arches and stacks


When drawing a diagram label:
  • What and where the different processes of erosion are occurring ·
  • Where wave-cut notches may be formed ·
  • Check you have the correct sequence·
  • Explain what hydraulic power, corrosion and abrasion