Test your knowledge of weathering and erosion of cliffs for A level with this 14-question quiz.

 If you haven't already done it, work through the coasts weathering and erosion web enquiry on the PowerPoint. Or do it again to help fill in any gaps in what you know!

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Rank Name Score
1st DAF 27
2nd PJA 27
3rd DAF 19
4th mm. 19
5th MGC 19
6th LGW 18
7th LGW 13
8th SGH 12
9th FIN 12
10th jcb 7

QUIZZES // Coasts: weathering and erosion of cliffs

Q1. What percentage of the world’s coastline do you think is made up of cliffs?





Q2. The coastal system operates to achieve a balance or equilibrium with the fluctuating forces operating within it. Which one of these types of equilibrium describes the state of a coastal system where change is minimal from year to year?

Steady state equilibrium

Meta-stable equilibrium

Dynamic equilibrium

Closed system

Q3. Coastal systems and coastal morphology take time to respond to changing conditions. Which one of these terms is used to describe the period required for the adjustment to occur?

Positive feedback

Sediment pathway


Relaxation time

Q4. Which one of the following is the best description of physical weathering?

The decomposition of rock

The disintegration of rock

The destabilisation of rock

The downwearing of rock

Q5. ‘Weathering is the loosening and breaking down of rock in situ.’ Which one of the following best explains what in situ means?

For the time being

In the original position

From the start / from the beginning

From the depths / from the deepest part

Q6. Which one of the following is a chemical weathering process, rather than a mechanical (or physical) one?


Wetting and drying


Crystal growth

Q7. Which one of the following is an important factor influencing mass movement on coastal cliffs?

Water content of the slope

Wave height

Sources of sediment


Q8. Which one of the following is a type of marine erosion?


Sediment cell

Hydraulic action

Longshore drift

Q9. Which one of these types of marine erosion is when sediment particles collide with each other in the waves and are broken into smaller pieces, and also rounded over time?





Q10. Which one of these would be most likely to develop with a rise in sea level?

Wider beaches in front of cliffs

Decreased erosion

Slower cliff retreat

Increased erosion at the cliff foot

Q11. Coasts are often a dynamic environment, especially when they are a high energy environment. Which one of the following terms is used to describe coastal environments where processes are producing landform changes?





Q12. In terms of cliff sway, in what direction have cliffs been recorded moving as waves add load onto the cliff foreshore?

Downward and seaward

Upward and landward

Downward and landward

Upward and seaward

Q13. The cliff sway theory suggests that a new form of weathering may be taking place as a result of cliff movement and vibration due to wave motion. Which one of these would this be?

Increased hydraulic action from higher wave energies

Higher sea level due to cliff dip

Damage to rock inside the cliff

Increased abrasion due to increased rock falls

Q14. What is left after cliff erosion is often a horizontal or gently-sloping rocky surface. Why is it more accurate to refer to this surface as a shore platform rather than to a wave-cut platform?

Because these rocky surfaces are always found at the shore.

Because they are not only formed by wave erosion, but by weathering and also by bio-erosion.

Because wave erosion actually has nothing to do with their formation: they are the result of rock strata orientation.

Because sea level change is likely to increase their gradient.


You scored this time. The more correct answers you give, and the fewer incorrect answers you guess, the better your score.

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