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Video:What Is an Erosional Landform?

with John Swanson

Erosional landforms are formed from a long and slow process that involves the natural breakdown of rocks. Learn more about erosional landforms with this educational geology video.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is an Erosional Landform?

Hi I’m Geologist John Swanson and today I’m going to talk about erosional landforms. I’ll be using some information form About.com’s Geology guide site. Landforms are formed in many ways. One of the numerous ways land is formed is by what is called erosion.

Erosion is the Process of Breaking Down

Before we understand erosional landforms, we must understand first erosion. Erosion is the general name for the processes that break down rocks and the processes that carry away the breakdown products.

The physical processes of erosion are called corrosion or mechanical erosion; the chemical processes are called corrosion or chemical erosion. But most examples of erosion include some of both corrosion and corrosion.

Agents of Erosion

The agents of erosion are gravity, ice, water, and wind. Erosion is sometimes restricted to transportation, excluding weathering.So as rock is eroded away by one force or another, the landscape changes. If enough sediment is eroded away in one place, it can begin to form erosional landforms.

A bay at place where a river meets the sea is an excellent example of an erosional landform. The size, shape, and scope of a bay can vary drastically by the composition of the rocks and soil surrounding it. The waters can more easily erode softer, more porous rocks, thereby changing the landform more significantly.

Examples of Erosional Landforms

Florida is a state mostly composed of limestone and is quite susceptible to erosion by the high water table. This is why if you look at a satellite picture of Florida, it very much looks like a state of lakes or Swiss cheese. The land of Florida is effectively dissolving and eroding away.

Even places like the famous Haystack Rock off the Oregon coast is an example of an erosional landform. At one time, this magnificent piece of rock was once a part of a cliff-like shoreline. Over time, the force of the ocean eroded it away. But since this portion of the rock is harder than that of the land surrounding it, it survived.

As the rest of the land receded due to erosion, the Haystack rock was left standing alone. These formations are known, not surprisingly, as stacks.Hopefully you now have a better understanding of erosional landforms.

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