A wave- platform, or shore platform is the narrow flat area often found at the base of a sea cliff or along the shoreline of a lake, bay, or sea, that was created by the action of waves. Wave-cut platforms are often most obvious at low tide when they become visible as huge areas of flat rock. Sometimes the landward side of the platform is covered by sand, forming the beach, and then the platform can only be identified at low tides or when storms move the sand.

Definition: An indentation cut into a sea cliff at water level by wave.

Definition: gently sloping surface which is produced by wave erosion and which extends into the sea for a considerable distance from the base of the wave-cut cliff. Also known as cut platform; erosion platform; strand flat; wave-cut plain; wave-cut terrace; wave platform.

This is how they are formed:
The erosion of cliffs
The erosion of cliffs

The erosion of cliffs

  1. Weather weakens the top of the cliff.
  2. The sea attacks the base of the cliff forming a wave-cut notch.
  3. The notch increases in size causing the cliff to collapse.
  4. The backwash carries the rubble towards the sea forming a wave-cut platform.
  5. The process repeats and the cliff continues to retreat.
Wave-cut notches and platforms form after destructive waves hit against the cliff face, causing undercutting between the high and low water marks, mainly as a result of corrasion and hydraulic power, creating a wave-cut notch. This notch then enlarges into a cave. The waves undermine this portion until the roof of the cave cannot hold due to the pressure and freeze-thaw weathering acting on it, and collapses, resulting in the cliff retreating landward. The base of the cave forms the wave-cut platform as attrition causes the collapsed material to be broken down into smaller pieces, while some cliff material may be washed into the sea. This may be deposited at the end of the platform, forming an off-shore terrace.

A wave cut platform in Southern Wales

Here is a slideshow which demonstrates the formation of wave-cut notches and platforms. Enjoy!


Here is another link which demonstrates their formation. Enjoy again!