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I wanted to create a landscape in which a coastline is lined with a cliff in the following arrangement (the image below is a transversal cross section):

enter image description here

I also wanted this arrangement to be achieved through divergent plate tectonic. Two landmasses would have separated million of years ago, forming a rift. What you see in the image would be one of the halves of the rift.

Another trouble is that I don't want the other landmass to be very near. I want a sizable ocean to be between them. But I don't know if, for that to happen, enough time would have ellapsed for the ocean erosion to destroy the cliffs.

To clarify, this is an earth-like planet. What you are seeing is the coastline of a relatively big continent (more or less the size of Africa). The coastline can be of any size necessary to allow for this arrangement to happen without ceasing to be a coastline.

Could I plausibly achieve through divergent plate tectonics or would I have to find an alternative explanation?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm sometimes wondering if all this scientifically explained methods is required. I'm curious to know the answer to your question, but many books don't explain in detail such items. In "A song of ice and fire" of G. Martin it is accepted that the seasons can last for years. Although now an important plot point in the books, most of the stories don't dwell on it and seems generally accepted. Your coast might be good for your setting, but having it scientifically correct might not be relevant to your story? $\endgroup$ – Trioxidane Dec 12 '20 at 11:54
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    $\begingroup$ I think you are right. I tend to overthink things. But I am really excited to draw my fantasy map and wanted to be thorough. But yeah... if I find it impossible to reasonably satisfy all reality checks I will have to fall back on that. Thank you for reminding me of that $\endgroup$ – Pedro Gabriel Dec 12 '20 at 11:58
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    $\begingroup$ don't get me wrong as my comment might have seemed negative. I do love some scientific accuracy in the stories. That you read something and (later) knowing it is actually possible can help me appreciate something even more. Yet it can also be in the way of creativity and expression. So do keep asking the questions, but don't let it get in the way of the story you want to tell. $\endgroup$ – Trioxidane Dec 12 '20 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ How is this different from the entire Red Sea coast of the Arabian peninsula? Complete with coastal plain and steep escarpment, and produced by a tectonic rift. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Dec 12 '20 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ Honest question: Is the coast of the Red Sea bordered by vertical cliffs like the ones in the image? $\endgroup$ – Pedro Gabriel Dec 12 '20 at 14:18
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I give you the Bunda Cliffs, along the shore of the Great Australian Bight. The Bunda Cliffs form the longest single stretch of cliffs along the Bight, but the whole coast of Australia along the Bight is basically like this.

enter image description here

Formed when Australia and Antarctica went their separate ways 56 million years ago. It's the longest stretch of coastline that consists basically of all cliffs on the planet.

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