Cliff – A steep, high rock face formed by weathering and erosion along the coastline
Famous cliffs include the White Cliffs of Dover.
Weathering weakens the top of the cliff.
Erosion weakens the base of the cliff.
The base of the cliff is eroded by hydraulic action and abrasion. Points of weakness such as faults and joints are attacked most. This forms a "wave-cut notch".
Longshore drift and backwash carry the material from the base of the cliff forming a wave-cut platform.
The weight of the unsupported cliff eventually causes it to collapse.
As the cliff is eroded backwards, it leaves behind a wave-cut platform.
This platform is rarely eroded, as the wave's energy is concentrated on eroding the area between the high and low water mark, and not the rock underneath it.