Headlands form along coastlines in which bands of soft and hard rock outcrop at right angles to the coastline (see image below). Due to the different nature of the rock erosion occurs at different rates. Less resistant rock (e.g. boulder clay) erodes more rapidly than less resistant rock (e.g. chalk).
The image below shows the landforms that result from the different rates of erosion.
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Erosion of a headland A headland is an area of hard rock which sticks out into the sea. Headlands form in areas of alternating hard and soft rock. Where the soft rock erodes bays are formed either side of the headland. As the headland becomes more exposed to the wind and waves the rate of its erosion increases. When headlands erode they create distinct features such as caves, arches, stacks and stumps.
The diagram below shows the sequence in the erosion of a headland.
Waves attack a weakness in the headland.
A cave is formed.
Eventually the cave erodes through the headland to form an arch.
The roof of the arch collapses leaving a column of rock called a stack.