How and why does a cove form?

A cove is a coastal feature formed in places with a concordant rock arrangement. This means bands of different rock types sit parallel to the coast. Rock types have different properties such as hardness, structure and chemical composition. This means some are more likely to erode than others. Coves form when a band of hard rock, that does not weather or erode easily, is closest to the coast and soft rock sits behind. Weathering processes in the water such as hydraulic action will work to wear away some of the hard rock. Over time this could create cracks and faults in the rock which will expand enough to expose the soft rock behind. As the soft rock is more easily eroded, this will erode at a faster rate than the hard rock in front. As water continues to enter from the inlet in the hard rock, waves are refracted and spread to create the circular shape of the cove.