A few different geological processes cause landforms to develop. From tectonic shifts, to stunning rock formations These processes have shaped some impressive natural features liek sand dunes, waterfalls, large bodies of water and U-shaped valleys that populate the surface of the Earth. One of the main processes by which this occurs is erosion. Erosion occurs some element of the ecosystem gradually removes sediment from one are anbd deposits it at another. This gradual weathering can create steep slopes, gorges and even some of the most famous National Parks like the Grand Canyon or Zion in Utah. Erosion also creates depositional landforms at the points where all of the material that was taken is finally settled, however this all depends on the rate of erosion itself.

River Erosion -- The Grand Canyon

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At over 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and one mile deep, the Grand Canyon has a reputation as one of the most famous landforms in America. The natural processes which played a part in forming it include the erosive action of the groundwater and soft rock and soil debris flow carried by the Colorado River. These forms of river erosion are some of the best examples of this basic Earth Science concept. They helped to both deepen and widen the steep sides of the canyon over the course of millions of years, and continue to do so today through its gradual wearing and abrasion of the resistant rock walls.

Coastal Erosion

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Sea stacks are large rock columns left standing isolated when the erosive effects of wind and wave actions cause the collapse of a section of cliff. One of the largest examples of this in the world is "The Old Man of Hoy." Located just off the west coast of the Orkney Islands in Scotland, this wave-cut platform formation stands at almost 450 feet high. Another prominent example of coastal erosion is Bogenfels Arch, a natural sea-arch formed by the action of waves. Located in Namibia, it stands at a height of around 17 feet above the sea level.

Wind Erosion

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Wind loaded with sand in desert areas has an eroding effect on softer rocks over time. A famous example of this is "The Wave" in the Navajo sandstone rocks of the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. This landscape has effectively been sand-blasted into shape by the strong winds in the area, which pick up sand from the surrounding desert. One of the troughs that has formed resembles a breaking wave, which gave the feature its name.

Glacier Erosion

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As glaciers move forward, they have an eroding effect on the surface rock and soil materials both below and around them. The force of this movement creates a variety of landforms, which come into view when the glacier retreats. The Matterhorn in Switzerland is an example of this, as its famous shape was carved by the eroding force of glaciers. Other examples of glacial erosion landforms include the fjords of Norway.