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The impact of structure and lithology on coastal landforms

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Luke Tyler The impact of structure and lithology on coastal landforms "Use examples to explain how the combined impacts of structure and lithology affect coastal landforms" With a combination of both structure and lithology, the coastal landforms are easily affected. Both structure and lithology affect: - The coastline in plan - The coastline in profile and - The distribution of micro features The coastline in plan The coastline in plan is mainly determined by structure. It determines the coastal pattern of headlands, bays, islands and inlets found along the coast. These are formed by differential erosion which means the sea waves erode softer rock quicker than the harder and in time the softer rock is worn away forming gaps in the coastline as we understand and call coves or bays (Lulworth cove). ...read more.


The main cause of differentiations of cliff profiles are mainly down to the fact that certain cliffs erode slower due to the rock types they consist of. The rock types can affect the rate in which the cliff erodes and so can many other factors including: - Salt weathering - Mechanical wave erosion aided by abrasion (pebbles) - Bio erosion by boring organisms - Chemical weathering - The type of wave reaching the shore Hard rocks such as granite will erode at a slower rate than soft rocks and the result of this erosion is that it produces high steep cliffs whereas softer rocks such as boulder clay will erode quickly due to weathering etc and will cause cliff to collapse causing gentle or less steep cliff faces. ...read more.


Blowholes and vertical shafts can develop and the pressure inside these cause a high pressure which result in tiny cracks forming which can be exploited by the sea and air and eventually contribute to erosion. Analysis Although we spend millions of pounds in the UK developing and constructing sea defence schemes, many are unsuccessful. Coastal erosion is happening all the time around the world and by constructing defence schemes are not always the ideal solution. Although it may protect one area, it will only cause further problems along the coast. If we leave the sea to do what nature does, then it will deposit the rocks and sand etc at another location through longshore drift and although one area loses land, another gains. ...read more.

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