Different Shoreline Structures & Erosion

The coastline has long since been a popular commercial, residential, and retail spot to erect structures of all types and sizes. After all, the sea breeze, stunning views, and millions of visitors year-round make it ideal for lighthouses, hotels, houses, shipping ports, recreational centers, restaurants, and boutiques. 
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Unfortunately, despite the shoreline being a popular building spot, it encounters many challenges; one of the biggest being erosion. In recent years, builders have sought solutions to natural erosion to protect human-built structures. Luckily, a range of different shoreline structures can be used to protect against coastline erosion. 

In our article, the Delta Aggregate team will discuss everything you should know about shoreline structures and erosion to determine if it’s something you should consider for your business or residence. 

What Is Shoreline Erosion?

Did you know that coastal erosion is responsible for about $500 million annually in property losses, including damage to land structures in coastal cities and towns? Before we dive into discussing the different shoreline structures that can help prevent erosion, we want to discuss what it is. 

Essentially shoreline or coastline erosion is a gradual process of degradation that occurs because of local sea levels rising, coastal flooding, strong wave action, or a combination of these causes. 

Every coastline is affected by these conditions and numerous other natural events that cause erosion – only the extent differs depending on where the coastline is located. It is because the cause and extent of erosion vary so drastically that there is no one size fits all solution for building a shoreline structure to protect against it. 

What Are Four Different Shoreline Structures That Help Prevent Erosion? 

Now that you know more about shoreline erosion and its causes, we can discuss the different shoreline structures that can be used to protect buildings and infrastructure. Should you have a beach commercial or residential property, you can speak with us about one of the below solutions, and we’ll custom tailor an erosion action plan for you. 

  • Groins

Groins are some of the most reliable shoreline structures to implement against erosion. These long wall-like structures are typically built along beaches and extended into the ocean. They are often built from timber pilings, steel sheet pilings, and stone rip rap. Unlike other structures to prevent erosion, groins control the movement of sand particles while acting as a barrier. 

Additionally, groins work by allowing the current to offload some of its sediment load on the side of the groin. After it does this, the groin builds up, effectively preventing erosion. Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks is that once the groin is built, it must be created at any beaches near it to stop local erosion.  

  • Geotextile Installation

A geotextile installation is possibly one of the most effective methods for preventing shoreline erosion. This installation not only controls erosion but also improves the soil in that earth-retaining structures, roads, pipelines, roads, and embankments are built. 

Interestingly, a geotextile installation comes in many different types: open mesh woven geotextile, warp-knitted geotextile, and nonwoven geotextile. What you need for your project will determine the type of geotextile wall you need to build. 

  • Jetties

You might have seen jetties built along shorelines in the past. These structures are usually constructed from steel, concrete, stone, or timber. In most instances, a company will build a jetty perpendicular to a coastline while extending it out into the ocean. 

Interestingly, jetties’ main function is to stop sand from moving into a ship channel. Doing so ensures the channel doesn’t become too shallow over time, thus preventing ships from running aground. 

According to industry experts, jetties stop erosion and prevent storm waves and drifts from making their way into protected channels. This is because they are built in such a way that they redistribute sand that builds up along the shoreline and jetty. 

  • Seawalls

Building a seawall is popular one of the most effective ways to prevent beach erosion. These specially designed structures are erected along shorelines to stop waves from getting into contact with the shore or sane on the opposite side. 

Usually, rocks and other durable materials are built along shorelines as sea walls to effectively prevent erosion. However, you should note that they are only effective at protecting the coast they are installed along – meaning their benefit stops at the point they are built. 

At Delta Aggregate, our team can help with your shoreline structure needs. We have experience building shoreline structures to prevent erosion while protecting your investment and the environment. So contact us today, and we will tell you about our options.

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