Evolution of Cliffs

  • Eric BirdEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Earth Sciences book series (BRIEFSEARTH)


Cliffs are related to geological structure and rock types, and have evolved in response to tectonic movements of the land and changes in sea level. Their profiles are influenced by rock resistance, hinterland topography, exposure to wave action and the effects of coastal processes. Steep vegetated coastal slopes, termed bluffs, are generally former cliffs degraded by weathering; most are stable, but some are subject to occasional landslides. Slope-over-wall coasts occur where a weak formation (such as clay) rests upon more resistant rock, or where a coastal slope has been undercut by marine erosion; in high latitudes the slope may be inherited from prior weathering during periods of cold climate.


Fault Plane Resistant Rock Coastal Slope Land Uplift Marine Erosion 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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