"Though good examples of plunging cliffs surviving as such are now rare, this form of shoreline was probably commoner in the initial stages of the current (postglacial) cycle of marine erosion. . . . As plunging cliffs may, because of reflection of waves from them, enjoy some immunity from direct frontal attack, the headlands which they truncate may be more vulnerable to marine erosion on the flanks, where the slopes partially submerged by shift of ocean level are less steep. Flank attack may lead to resection of the headland in such a way that eventually it will again end distally in a straight line of cliff; but at an intermediate stage of this resection cycle the terminations of headlands are characteristically scalloped, while at a penultimate stage of resection the salient of submaturity may be reduced to a row of stacks, the 'needles' stage."

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