Rocky Coastlines and Erosional Landforms

Compiled by Mark Francek (more info) at Carleton College (more info) (SERC) and Central Michigan University (more info)

Find animations illustrating how the erosional landforms like cliffs, arches, and stacks form.

The complete set of Visualization Collections is available.

Coastal Straightening, McGraw Hill (more info) A relatively simple Flash animation contrasting sediment transport during winter and summer. The summer is characterized by lower energy, longer wavelengths, and sediment accumulating on the beach face. In contrast, the storms of winter create higher energy waves, shorter wavelengths, and sediment deposited as bars offshore. Access the animation by clicking on the "Seasonal Cycle of a Beach" link.

Arch Formation, Exploring Earth (more info) This Flash animation was designed to report on how aeolian processes create a terrestrial arch. Given some similarities in wind and water erosion; however, the animation is useful for showing how a sea arch can form. The effect of jointing upon the erosion process is emphasized. The animation can be paused and rewound to emphasize important points.