What Coastal Erosional Landforms are formed by Waves

What Coastal Erosional Landforms are formed by Waves

Posted by Manisha on May 21, 2020

Green bowl beach of Bali, Indonesia, the mesmerizing place I ever visited. In the lap of nature, a very few people went there, not much popular, but I was lucky enough my cab driver, drove me there along with my husband and got this beautiful surprise.
We both jumped into the waves of the ocean to enjoy the beach bath and waves game, suddenly we realized that something is hitting our feet.

Oh! Yes is it small and big size shells, coral, pebbles, rock pieces brought by waves to the seashore. Then we came to know why this place is quiet, no people around.
Waves of ocean and sea continuously hit the coastal line along with the great pressure of water waves, corals, shells, rock pieces, and more erosional instruments, leads to carve the nearby region with it and form various Coastal Erosional Landforms. Also named as Marine or hydraulic landforms.   

Coastal Erosional Landforms

The landforms which are formed by the sea and ocean waves' continuous erosional work process with the adjacent coastal boundary region is known as coastal erosional landforms. Here I will discuss all the seven erosional landforms one after another. 

Sea Cliff

It is almost vertical ‘I’ shaped mass of rock or rock exposure. It is formed due to the continuous hitting on sea and ocean waves on rocks of side by coastal region.

Kalaupapa cliff is the highest one in the world with a height of  1010 meters, situated in the Pacific ocean, Hawaii island.
White cliffs of Dover, Troll wall of Europe are some other examples.


It is a narrow piece of land that sticks out into the sea or ocean. It is flanked by water on three sides. Also known as Cape and Peninsula.
For example, Cape-Vert Senegal, Cabo-de-Rama Goa, India, Cape of Good Hope of South Africa, Indira point of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India.


  • It is a bend or curved shaped landform. It is flanked by land on three sides and directly connected to the large main body of water.
  • It is formed by the erosional process of weak rocks such as clay, sand, silt, and leaving bends of stronger rocks like limestone, granite, and chalk.
  • Big and large bay is usually known as other names like Gulf, sea, sound, or bight.

For example, the Bay of Bengal in India is the largest one, Hudson Bay in North East Canada.

Sea caves

It is formed due to the action of sea or ocean waves on to the cliff. It is also known as the Littoral cave.
For example, Fingal’s cave of Europe, Matainaka cave of New Zealand.


It is a vertical column landform with a steep slope in seas or oceans nears near the coast. It is also formed by the erosion of the cliff.
For example, Old Man of Hoy - Scotland, Po pin Chau of Hong Kong.

Sea Arches

It is an arc-shaped opening in between the sea cliff. It looks like a bridge on ocean or sea. That’s why also called Natural Bridge.
Example, Aloba arch in Chad, Goedehoop natural rock bridge in South Africa, Natural arch Tirumala in India.


The meaning of stumps is, the remaining part after the main part has been removed.
Stumps are the result of erosional work performed on the stack.
Formed due to erosion of stack heads and headlands due to marine or hydraulic processes. Also formed due to the collapse of the sea or ocean arch.

For example, the Twelve Apostles stake in Victoria, Australia.

These were the 7 coastal erosional landforms.
Next time when you are on the beach or got a chance to tour around the coastal region don’t forget to recognize these landforms and enjoy the first-hand experience of it. 

And if you are already living there (coastal region) then share your precious perception about these landforms.
Write to me which erosional coastal landform you liked the most and why?