Coastal Defences

Information on the different types of Sea Defences and and factors concerning successful coast management

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  • Created by: Angharad
  • Created on: 19-11-11 14:56
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Sea Defences:
Sea walls: sea walls are curved to break the energy of the
wave and send it back down the beach instead of damaging
and eroding the coastline. Sea
walls last long (20-30 years) but
are very expensive at up to £2000 -
£5000. Sea walls can protect
houses, people and land however
the cost of maintenance is high
meaning they aren't very
Breakwater: A breakwater is
used to protect a harbour in
most circumstances as it forms a
barrier to break the waves and
stop their energy , they may also
be used along stretches of coast.
Groynes slow down longshore
drift and stop the zig-zag pattern
taking place. Groynes are
typically made of either stone of
wood and run at a 90 degree angle to the beach. Groynes
create a natural
beach that has been
built up However
many groynes trap
lots of sand in one
area and none in
the either, leaving
areas without
groynes prone to

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Groynes are also costly and
hard to maintain.
Revetment: this breaks up waves but will let water and
material pass too, it is cheaper than other coastal
management resources at £1200 per metre
Riprap, Boulders or Rock armour: Large rocks, materials
forming a miny cliff stop waves
from destructing the coast and
also are a form of revetment. Rip
Rap may be used on breakwaters
or Groynes. Although it's
expensive to transport these
boulders.…read more

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Beaches also have no unattractive features like
concrete sea walls or groynes therefore attracting tourists.
Beaches will always get eroded by longshore drift though
meaning maintance to refil the beach will be needed. I think
the most unsustainable option is sea walls as they need
constant maintance, look unattractive and ruin the tourist
Successful coast management:
Many different factors and groups of people need to be
considered when thinking of coastal management whether
using hard or soft engineering.…read more

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Tourist Boards will lose interest and tourists as they
won't be able to walk on the beach with groynes there
and sea walls.
Envoirmentalists will be worried how sustainable all this
management is and how it is ruining the habitat.
All these things need to be considered along with sustainability and
whether there is a real danger of flooding, sea levels rising, erosion,
fast cliff retreat and threats to coastal settlements.…read more


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