Waves, generated by storms, wind, or fast moving motor craft, cause coastal erosion, which may take the form of long-term losses of sediment and rocks, or merely the temporary redistribution of coastal sediments; erosion in one location may result in accretion nearby. This occurs when waves striking the cliff face compresses air in cracks on the cliff face, when the sea grinds rocks together, causing them to become smoother and reduced in size, or when the waves break on the cliff face pounding the cliff face and slowly eroding it. On rocky coasts, coastal erosion results in dramatic rock formations in areas where the coastline contains rock layers or fracture zones with different resistances to erosion. Softer areas become eroded much faster than harder ones, which typically result in landforms such as tunnels, bridges, columns, and pillars.
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