Beaches - the natural way to coastal defence

Brampton, A. (1992) Beaches - the natural way to coastal defence. Coastal zone planning and management, ICE. pp. 221-229. ISSN 0-7277-1904-1

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Development of the coastal strip for industry, housing, and leisure has led to the construction of a wide variety of solid structures such as promenades, reclamation walls, and road/railway embankments. Many of these structures now also serve as defences against erosion or flooding. In most cases, a beach forms a vital part of the defences, but often by default rather than by specific design. By continually adjusting its shape, a beach absorbs much of the incident wave energy, hence reducing the forces on the structures behind. Long term erosion will reduce the capacity of a beach to perform this function, and also allow the undermining of the defences themselves. The amenity value of the coastline is also reduced. Recognising the key role of beaches in protecting the coast, and acknowledging the recreational opportunities and the need for environmental conservation, engineers are increasingly turning to 'soft' defence options. Active beach management techniques such as periodic nourishment, bypassing and re-cycling are now commonplace alternatives to strengthening or rebuilding seawalls. There are now a sufficient number of such schemes operating in the UK to demonstrate that they can be safe and economically worthwhile. However, designing a beach to provide a specified level of protection over a required lifespan is still a major problem. This paper concentrates on the role of beaches, whether natural or man-made, in defending the coast. In particular, attention is focussed on methods for predicting beach morphological changes, both well-established and novel.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Coasts > Coastal erosion and flooding
Coasts > Beach management
Coasts > General
Divisions: Coastal
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2020 09:43
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2020 09:43

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