Coastal management

Rock groyne at Mappleton. Longshore drift from left to right has built up the beach.

Coastal management

Groyne Groynes are barriers or walls perpendicular to the coastline, often made of greenharts, concrete, rock or wood. Material builds up on the downdrift side, where littoral drift is predominantly in one direction, creating a wider and a more plentiful beach, thereby protecting the coast because the sand material filters and absorbs wave energy.

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However, there is a corresponding loss of beach material on the updrift side, requiring another groyne there. Groynes do not protect the beach against storm-driven waves and if placed too close together create currents that carry material offshore.

Groynes are cost-effective, require little maintenance and are one of the most common defences. However, groynes are increasingly viewed as detrimental to the aesthetics of the coastline and face opposition in many coastal communities.

Groyne construction creates a problem known as terminal groyne syndrome. The terminal groyne prevents longshore drift from bringing material to other nearby places. This is a problem along the Hampshire and Sussex coastline in the UK; e. Seawall Walls of concrete or rock, are used to protect a settlement against erosion or flooding.

Older-style vertical seawalls reflected all the energy of the waves back out to sea, and for this purpose were often given recurved crest walls which increased local turbulence, and thus increased entrainment of sand and sediment.

During storms, sea walls help longshore drift.

Coastal management

Modern seawalls aim to re-direct most of the incident energy in the form of sloping revetments, resulting in low reflected waves and much reduced turbulence. The location of a seawall, must consider the swept prism of the beach profile, the consequences of long-term beach recession and amenity crest level, including cost implications.

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Sea walls can cause beaches to dissipate. Their presence also alters the landscape that they are trying to protect. Modern examples can be found at Cronulla NSW,[10] Blackpool —[11] Lincolnshire — [12] and Wallasey — Revetments Revetments are slanted or upright blockades, built parallel to the coast, usually towards the back of the beach to protect the area beyond.

The most basic revetments consist of timber slants with a possible rock infill. Waves break against the revetments, which dissipate and absorb the energy.

Office of Coastal Management

The shoreline is protected by the beach material held behind the barriers, as the revetments trap some of the material. They may be watertight, covering the slope completely, or porous, to allow water to filter through after the wave energy has been dissipated.

Most revetments do not significantly interfere with transport of longshore drift. Since the wall absorbs energy instead of reflecting, the surf progressively erodes and destroys the revetment; therefore, maintenance is ongoing, as determined by the structural material and product quality.

Riprap Rock armour is large rocks placed at the sea edge using local material. This is generally used to absorb wave energy and hold beach material.

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Although effective, this solution is unpopular for aesthetic reasons. Longshore drift is not hindered.

Coastal management

Rock armour has a limited lifespan, is not effective in storm conditions and reduces recreational values. Gabion Boulders and rocks are wired into mesh cages and placed in front of areas vulnerable to erosion:Directory of Management Data Series by coastal fisheries scientists.

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Coastal management framework | NSW Environment & Heritage

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