In areas of more resistant cliff material erosion is greatest when waves break at the foot of a cliff. This causes erosion at the base of the cliff. This creates a wave-cut notch in the base of the cliff. As the notch increases in size, the weight of the cliffs above become too much to support which leads to a landslide. This material will provide temporary protection for the cliff behind. However, once it has been removed by the sea this process will occur again. Where cliffs are made of more resistant material, wave-cut platforms will be created.
An annotated diagram showing the main features of a landslide.
The image below shows a landslide at West Bay, Dorset.
Landslide at West Bay on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.
The video below shows evidence of a landslide at Port Mulgrave, Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast.
A rockfall involves fragments of rock breaking away from the cliff face, often due to freeze-thaw weathering.
An annotated diagram showing the main features of a rock fall.
Mudslides occur when saturated soil and weak rock flows down a slope. These typically occur where cliffs are made up of boulder clay.
An annotated diagram showing the main features of a mudslide.
The image below shows a mudslide at Mappleton, Holderness Coast.
A mudslide at Mappleton
The video below shows evidence of a mudslide at Mappleton.
The video below shows evidence of a small mudflow at Hornsea, Holderness Coast.
You can view more videos on the mass movement video page.