top of page


Here we look at the different features of coastal erosion. These being those that form together on headlands, for example, caves, arches, stacks and stumps. We also look at the formation of bays and how they relate to headlands. We look at the processes involved in coastal erosion and then have diagrams which help explain the formation of the features involved. 
Geography topics for you to learn and enjoy
Geography topics for you to learn and enjoy

Headlands and bays

coastal erosion diagram for kids | coasts diagram | coastal geography

Formation of headlands and bays

  • Waves attack a discordant coastline*.

  • The soft rock is eroded more quickly than the hard rock.

  • The eroded material piles up in the bay  forming a beach. 

  • The headlands remain protruding out further than the bay.


*Discordant coastline - A discordant coastline occurs where bands of different rock type run perpendicular to thecoast. The differing resistance to erosion leads to the formation of headlands and bays.

pictures for use when learning about Geography

Caves, arches, stacks and stumps

coastal processes | coastal geography

What coastal processes shape the coasts?

Hydraulic action –
Corrosion –
Attrition – 

Abrasion - 
the weight of a wave crashing on a cliff face, pushing the air in cracks and caves, under pressure, to force open the crack/cave
chemicals in the sea water dissolve the rocks
small rocks are smashed against each other making smaller rocks.
little rocks getting picked up by the waves and being smashed on to the cliffs
Tides –
Waves –
Sea level change –
Currents –
Longshore drift – 
the rising and falling of the sea caused twice a day by the moon’s gravity
long bodies of water, created by the wind, crashing on the shore
higher sea levels lead to greater erosion shaping the coasts.
water moving in a certain direction, like wind in the air, currents in the sea carries sand down the beach

Are these coastal features formed by erosion? or deposition?

Here is a list of features that can be found at coasts.
Group them into two groups:
1  Formed by erosion
2  Formed by deposition.
headland peninsula
salt marsh
bottom of page