Hard Engineering Techniques

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  • Hard Engineering
    • Groynes
      • These are in place to prevent longshore drift. Bigger beaches are therefore built up, and the friction minimises erosion.
    • Sea Wall
      • Sea walls reflect wave energy back out to sea, to therefore prevent the erosion of cliff faces.
        • They are effective in fulfilling their purpose, and tend to be of relatively good longevity; though they do eventually begin to erode away, and so require maintenance. They are highly expensive, and do not appear natural; though may allow for the establishment of a promenade, which thus encourages tourism.
    • Rock Armour
      • The rocks, which surround the cliff face, absorb wave energy; therefore reducing erosion.
        • They are cheaper than sea walls, and appear more so natural. On the other hand, they can reduce access to the beach, and become the habitat of wild rats.
    • Tetrapods
      • These are most commonly used in Japan, but also within the USA, India and Romania. They consist of concrete tetrahedral shapes - which interlock to create a coastal armour; absorbing wave energy, therefore minimising coastal emotion.
        • They can be assembled on site, which minimises transport costs. Though, they are not entirely effective, as they do not absorb all wave energy - thus allowing for the erosion of the cliff face.
    • Cliff Drainage
      • Pipes are added to cliffs to remove the water which would otherwise cause slumping.
        • They are suitable for use in all soft rock; though the loss of water may weaken the cliff, through cracks, and hinder biodiversity by harming local ecosystems.
    • Gabions
  • They are effective in fulfilling their purpose, though could be seen as not being particularly aesthetically pleasing.
    • These are in place to prevent longshore drift. Bigger beaches are therefore built up, and the friction minimises erosion.
  • Wire cubes are filled with rocks and pebbles, before being stacked around the cliff face. They absorb wave energy, to minimise the erosion of the cliff.
    • They are cheaper than sea walls and easier to establish, which is an obvious benefit. However, they provide an ideal home for wild rats; as well as being notably difficult to overcome by tourists. They are arguably the most unprepossessing hard engineering measure.
    • Gabions

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