Klif - how is it made? What are the types of cliffs?

A cliff is a steep, sometimes vertical wall of a lake, sea or ocean shore. It is created when the shore is washed away by hitting water waves. Where is the largest cliff on Earth? Can we find cliff coasts in Poland? What kinds of cliffs do we know?

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1. How is a cliff made?

The cliff is formed by the destruction of a high bank by undulations and continuous displacement of loose rock material (abrasion process). The waves continually cut the shore, which causes the formation of depressions in it, known as an edge bevel or abrasive niche.

As the niche deepens, the higher and higher parts of the shore break off and steep cliffs are formed. At the base of the cliff a surface, slightly inclined towards the water reservoir, develops, which we call the abrasive platform.

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2. Types of cliffs

Taking into account the topicality of the abrasion process, we can distinguish:

  • live, active, active cliffs - located in the zone of the impact of waves and destroyed by them; form an almost vertical, sharp edge with a distinct abrasive niche at the base; along with the deepening of the niche, the edge breaks off and retracts;
  • dead cliffs - in contrast to the active cliffs, they are located outside the wave impact zone, so they are no longer subject to the abrasion process; usually it is covered with a thick layer of slope deposits;
  • rejuvenated cliffs - dead ones, which are again cut by waves as a result of a lowering of the coast, rising water levels or extremely strong storms.

Due to the arrangement of rock layers, we can distinguish:

  • sliding cliffs - formed in the layers inclined towards the water reservoir; it is modeled not only by the abrasion process, but also by the sliding and sliding of the rock material;
  • structural cliffs - they are formed in layers sloping towards the land.

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3. Where in the world can you find cliffs?

Cliff coasts are found, among others, in the USA, Great Britain, South Africa, Ireland, and also in Poland - in Jastrzębia Góra, Orłowo and Międzyzdroje.

The largest cliff in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records, is located in Hawaii, on the northern coast of the island of Moloka "i, near Umilehi Point, and its height is 1010 m above sea level. Interestingly, on the same island there is also the fourth highest waterfall in the world (Oloʻupena - 900 m above sea level).

The most beautiful cliffs in Europe include:

  • Etretat, France;
  • Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
  • Cinque Terre, Italy;
  • The White Cliffs of Dover, England;
  • Dingli Cliffs, Malta;
  • Latrabjarg, Iceland;
  • Møns Klint, Denmark;
  • Preikestolen, Norway;
  • Cabo Girao, Madeira;
  • Cape St. Vincent, Portugal.
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