Barton on Sea (often hyphenated as Barton-on-Sea) is a coastal village situated in Hampshire, England. As a settlement, Barton has a history dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, although the modern village was largely built in the 20th century. It is effectively a suburb of New Milton. Barton is notable for the many fossils to be found in the Barton geological beds in the cliffs, as well as for the significant sea defences built to defend the cliffs against coastal erosion.
In geography and geology, a cliff is a significant vertical, or near vertical, rock exposure. Cliffs are formed as erosion landforms due to the processes of erosion and weathering that produce them. Cliffs are common on coasts, in mountainous areas, escarpments and along rivers. Cliffs are usually formed by rock that is resistant to erosion and weathering. Sedimentary rocks most likely to form cliffs include sandstone, limestone, chalk, and dolomite. Igneous rocks such as granite and basalt also often form cliffs.
Most cliffs have some form of scree slope at their base. In arid areas or under high cliffs, these are generally exposed jumbles of fallen rock. In areas of higher moisture, a soil slope may obscure the talus. Many cliffs also feature tributary waterfalls or rock shelters. Sometimes a cliff peters out at the end of a ridge, with tea tables or other types of rock columns remaining. Coastal erosion may lead to the formation of sea cliffs along a receding coastline.