Geography Coastal Change and Conflict 4

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Soft engineering

An example of soft engineering is beach nourishment/replenshiment

The sand on the beach builds up and this is a natural way to absorb wave energy.


  • Natural solution
  • Aesthetically pleasing


  • Expensive to keep replenishing frequently
  • sediment is moved by longshore drift
  • Most effectively used with other defences e.g a groyne
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Hard engineering

Examples of hard engineering are Gabions and groynes

Gabions- Cages of boulders, built into cliff faces. The rocks absorb the energy of the waves


  • Cheaper than sea walls, effective where there are high erosion rates


  • Ugly, found in large numbers

Groynes- Wooden structure that traps sediment moving via LSD, beach builds up>less erosion


  • Stops LSD, beach builds up and there is less erosion


  • Can increase sand starvation in other areas of the coast, leading to more erosion there
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