Erosion is the process in which the surface of the Earth is being worn away.

Forms of Erosion[edit | edit source]

There are many different ways in which erosion can occur.

Erosion by Waves[edit | edit source]

Corrasion or abrasion - this is the process in which waves pick up small material such as pebbles and sand, and throw them against the rock face. This often causes pieces of rock to break off and cause undercutting. During large storms, larger waves can fling much bigger rocks such as boulders to cause greater damage.

Attrition - This is when particles that are carried in the waves, and then get broken into smaller pieces as they collide with the rock face and each other. This means that boulders or pebbles broken off will eventually break down small enough to be carried away by the waves.

Solution of corrosion - This happens when rocks that get hit by waves are affected by the sea water chemically, and are brought away as part of a solution. This process is most effective with limestone rocks.

Hydraulic power - this process erodes due to the sheer weight and power of the water as it hits the rock face. The power is greater during storms. This process can also erode the coastline when it suddenly compresses air trapped inside cracks or caves to increase the pressure on the rock.

Erosion by Glaciers[edit | edit source]

Abrasion - this is when rocks carried by the glacier get rubbed against the sides of the floor of the valley.

Plucking - this is when the glacial ice freezes onto rocks, then pulls them off as the glacier moves.

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