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The coast is the area where land meets the sea, and the shore is the area between the lowest spring tide and the highest point reached by splashing waves. The accumulation of sand or shingle along the shore is called a beach. A headland is a point of land that extends into the sea, and a cape is a larger promontory.

A bay is the indentation of a coastline, especially between two headlands; a cove is a small bay with a narrow inlet; and a gulf is a large bay. The strength of the waves that hit the shore, the gradient of the land margin, the composition and hardness of the coastal rock, the inclination of the off-shore slope, and changes in the level of the land caused by local uplift or submergence all have an impact on coastlines.

Waves typically move toward the shore at a speed of six to eight meters per minute. These waves are referred to as constructive waves because they tend to move things up the beach and have little effect on erosion. As the swash moves beach material seaward, storm waves, also known as destructive waves, arrive on shore in rapid succession.

The beach’s sand and shingle are ground together and abraded as a result of their influence. When high tide comes, the force of a storm wave hitting the cliff’s foot causes air in cracks and crevices to be compressed and then rapidly expand when pressure is released. Simultaneously, sand and stones have an erosive impact as they are tossed against the stones. Because of this, the cliff is often submerged, and normal weathering processes like frost’s action follow, causing more damage. At the base of the cliff, a wave-cut platform gradually forms, protecting the structure from further wave erosion.