Geography GCSE AQA Beach management strategies

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What are hard and soft management techniques?

A hard management technique is one that interfers with a coastal process suchas longshoredrift such as groynes

a soft managament technique is one that works with nature such as managed retreat or beach norishment 

these are ways that we can help to stop our coast being damaged too greatly by the power of the sea

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Hard techniques- sea walls

A sea wall is simply a wall at the back of a beach that can sometimes be curved at the top in order to reflect the powerful waves back to the sea 


  • effective
  • can be used as a walk way too - the top of it so it has a double use 


  • high cost 
  • people may not think that it is nice looking 
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Groynes -hard engineering

these are rocks or wooden structure that are bulit at a 90 degree angle to the beach and they aim to get sediment to build up on one side of the beach by preventing long shore drift taking the sediment away 


  • if they are rock they can look quite natural
  • bigger beaches attract tourists 
  • fishers can fish off them
  • fairly cheap


  • starves other beaches down the coast 
  • could be seen as un attracttive and are likely to have to be replaced as they will be damaged and eroded
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Rock armour - Hard engineering

large blouders at the foot of a cliff which absorb wave energy you may also get rocks in cages ( didn't know that they were violent or needed an ASBO!) that are placed in the same place and do the same thing


  • look quite nautral - but may not fit in with local geology so it might not always work out so well
  • fairly cheap -£1000-4000 a sea wall is £6,000
  • used to fish off


  • obtrusive 
  • rocks taken away from other coastlines 
  • high transport costs and emissions from transporting them sometimees from abroad
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soft management- beach nourishment

adding sand to a beach to make it bigger in size


  • cheap 
  • easy to do 
  • increases tourism and attracts tourists


  • not that effective has to be redone lots of time as the sediment is taken away by long shore drift
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