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Dug by an underground river
The Côte d'Albâtre (Alabaster Coast) comprises the cliffs of Étretat, the most famous in the Seine-Maritime department. The Aval cliff ends with an arch adjoining its Aiguille Creuse (hollow needle). The cliffs of Étretat are 100 million years old and formed as a result of tectonic movements in a shallow sea. Calcareous residues of crustaceans and decapods (Coccolithophores) have accumulated to form these calcareous layers. An underground river, running along the coast, dug arches then ravined by the sea.
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