Information on coastal erosion and coastal defences for GCSE Geography.

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Coastal erosion
Name of Advantages Disadvantages Type of
defence engineering
Rip Rap Cheap (depending on rock Makes beach inaccessible Hard
type) Unattractive
Long lasting (depending on
rock type)
Recurved Makes residents feel safe Expensive £10000 per meter Hard
sea wall Lasts for a long time Unattractive ­ May put tourists
Reflects and absorbs wave off
Groynes Cheap to repair Difficult to walk along the Hard
Fairly inexpensive £5000 beach
each Unattractive
Prevents LSD
Keeps beach in place
Gabions Cheap and easy to repair Unattractive Hard
Needs constant repairs due to
wires breaking
Makes beach inaccessible
unless steps are made from
Beach Looks natural Regular disruption for Soft
replenishm Provides beach for tourists homeowners near beach due to
ent Cheap trucks
Not as effective or as visible as
other types of defence
May affect plant or wildlife
Cliff Makes people feel safe Some homes may get
regarding Cheap demolished
Very natural
May be covered in
ecomatting to aid growth of
vegetation (sometimes called
Managed Natural and cheap Upsetting for landowners who
retreat Creates habitat for birds and lose their land
Walton on the Naze case study
Causes of erosion
Weak cliffs. Red crag lying on top of London clay
North easterly winds ­ Wide fetch of 800kms

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Dredging at Felixstowe ­ 250,000 cubic meters removed each
Global warming ­ Rising sea levels
Rotational slumping of the cliffs
Narrow beach caused by longshore drift which removes the
Cliff erosion between 1 and 2 meters per year
In 50 years the Naze will be completely eroded away
Housing area and recreational area will be lost
Titchmarsh arena will be threatened if land is lost
Hard engineering:
+ Provide windbreak for tourists
Need regular maintenance (and difficult…read more

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Against engineering
Hotel manager at Frinton ­ eroding cliffs provide sand which makes
the beach look good
Bird watchers ­ Birds nest in the cliffs.…read more


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