One of the topics looked at in GCSE Geography is the features that are found on a coastline. This quiz focusses in particular on those features which are caused by coastal erosion.
Over time the sea can wash away an entire coastline, forcing back human uses of that land (such as settlements or farms) and letting the sea encroach ever further inland. But it is this process which has caused so many of the features we recognise as being a part of our coastline to come about. From cliffs to headlands, caves, arches and stacks, rocky beaches and even bays that shelter ships - these are all erosional landforms.
If you are revising for your GCSE Geography exam, it is important that you know about these features as they can often crop up. It’s important to understand, not only the definitions of the process and the landforms, but also the mechanisms that caused them to form and that drive the process.
Climate change is increasing the rate of erosion on many coastlines. Rising sea levels and, more importantly, the increased frequency of high energy storm events are increasing the amount of coastal erosion. This leaves coastal communities at an even greater risk of losing the land their homes and businesses are built on.
A key thing to think about is that coastal erosion is driven for the most part by destructive waves that remove material and transport it away from that location, in the same way that rivers transport material. A destructive wave has a stronger backwash than swash. The underlying geology determines how fast the coast can be eroded and what features are left behind as it is gradually removed. Coastal erosion is often managed, but it is usually a case of moving the problem rather than truly preventing the issue of land loss.