Methods of Addressing Shore Erosion

Geotubes to prevent shore erosion

Shoreline erosion is a serious issue faced by a lot of countries and areas around the world. With modern advancements in technology, numerous strategies are available to mitigate the issue of erosion. The primary purpose of shoreline protection is to defend the property from shore erosion resulting from wave attacks. There are many other factors that cause shoreline erosion, such as geological changes at the regional level. In this article, you will find out a modern method that prevents shore erosion, namely geotextile installation/geotubes for protection.

First of all, you should know that shoreline protection means the methods used to protect, preserve or restore the shore and the surrounding landscape against erosion, such as the following.


1. Proper Management of the Land

Local, state and federal authorities should work with each other to make the best decisions for different types of lands, especially the shores. In many areas, important decisions are taken without much consideration and research that could prove to be quite destructive in the future. Instead, proper research and geological studies should be conducted to gather data about the land. Thorough planning is essential for eco-friendly and sustainable development. 

If the shores are properly managed, the following benefits are possible:

  • A decrease in the coastal infrastructure and development to reduce littering
  • Reduction in water quality degradation
  • Greater property values
  • Decreased losses and chances of erosion 


2. Geotextile Installation

Due to the rapid increase in population, urbanization and water pollution, the threats to beaches have also increased. Therefore, many countries have been installing geotextile tubes to avert shoreline erosion. Moreover, geotextile installation facilitates nourishment and helps in mangrove rehabilitation.

However, installing geotextile tubes in muddy coastal areas is a very challenging procedure. If they are properly installed, they can support mangrove rehabilitation in sandy and muddy areas, which is much-needed.  Studies show that geotextile installation plays a very significant role in coastal restoration and preventing shore erosion.

Specialized geotubes are manufactured to support the shores soil and reduce erosion. Geotubes are also known as ‘jetties’ or ‘break walls’. There are many geotube-based solutions that provide maximum performance at a very affordable rate.

The reliability of the geotubes in preventing shore erosion can be judged from the fact that many countries have used this strategy to rebuild beaches, defend properties from eroding shores, and even develop new islands. The process of using geotubes in the prevention of shore erosion is quite straightforward. 

A large tube manufactured from a specialized geotextile material is filled with sand and buried under the shore, commonly the beaches. Whenever the weather gets extreme, the geotubes will hold the sand and soil together. As a result, erosion will be dramatically reduced, and properties on the beach will also remain safe. 

One of the most beneficial aspects of using geotubes is that they are commonly installed permanently and are invisible. As a result, the authorities do not have to worry about continuously changing the tubes. Moreover, geotubes can also be used to recreate the original slope of a beach. By doing this, the attractiveness of the beach is greatly improved, and the slope will support the oceanic life too. Different types and sizes of geotubes are available to accommodate different types of beaches.

The entire concept of using geotubes revolves around the fact that these tubes will absorb the impact of the waves and the shore will remain protected from erosion. As the geotubes will greatly decrease the intensity and strength of the waves, they will not be strong enough to damage the shore and cause erosion. 

The best way to get maximum benefits from geotextile tubes is to use them with other strategies of erosion protection. Therefore, geotubes often act as the first line of defence against strong waves and tidal actions. They not only help the areas to retain shorelines but also prevent further erosion. 

There are different types of geotextile and geosynthetic materials used to manufacture geotubes. Commonly, they are developed from a woven geotextile fabric. This special type of fabric is suitable for the manufacturing of geotubes because it is capable of handling extreme temperatures and remain stabilized in high UV rays. The use of strong and durable material in the geotubes makes them the perfect choice to protect your beachfront property and even other commercial coastal areas. 


3. Vegetation

Vegetation is a tried-and-tested method of controlling shore erosion by planting suitable grasses and plants on the shorelines. As every shore is different from the other, it is very important to fully understand the soil’s composition, such as sandy or muddy.

It is a very good practice that can be done on river banks and other areas. Usually, geotextile installation, along with vegetation, is preferred to stabilize the ground and control groundwater seepage. Such a combination proves to very effective against erosion.


4. Hardening the Shores

Hardening the shores is one of the most popular techniques of shoreline protection around the world. It means installing some kind of fixed material, like a seawall, geosynthetic or geotextile material, to harden the shore. It is done to protect the coast from wave attack because the hard material will act as a barrier to the erosive forces. Conventional shoreline hardening approaches include using materials such as concrete, wood and stone to support the soil.

However, modern techniques and material allow geotextile installation, which is proven to be much more effective than using other types of materials. There are many benefits of such measures. First of all, a well-designed structure will protect the land from excessive wave attacks, preventing shore erosion. Secondly, the accumulation of sediments will also be greatly decreased.


5. Construct Groynes

Groynes are essentially tall and wall-like structures that are built along beaches extending into the ocean. Typically, stones, steel sheets or timber pilings are used to construct groynes. The purpose of these structures is to act as barriers and prevent the longshore currents from disturbing the ground and eroding the soil. Moreover, they support the soil and play a critical role in ground stabilization.

Even though Groynes are a very effective method of preventing and reducing soil erosion, they cannot be used in all areas. It is quite expensive to cover the entire shore. When you install a groyne at one beach, you often need to install it at the next one. As a result, the entire project becomes very complex and expensive.


The Bottom Line

Shoreline protection is an important phenomenon because erosion is a very serious issue that not only disturbs the geology of an area but also adversely impacts the economy by reducing property prices. Thanks to modern materials and techniques, like geotextile installation, shoreline erosion can be controlled to a great extent. Installing seawalls and geosynthetic and geotextile materials will support the soil, stabilize the ground and eventually prevent shore erosion.   

Geotubes are one of the best solutions available to address shore erosion. They are highly beneficial in minimizing the strength of the tides before they hit the surface and start causing damage to properties. Moreover, geotubes can also be used to reconstruct beach fronts by supporting the soil and stabilizing it. Some of the best developers are using geotubes to protect properties on the beach. It is always a good idea to use a balanced combination of the geotubes and other methods to minimize shore erosion and get the best results. For more information, feel free to get in touch with us