GCSE Geography: Coastal Management with Hard Engineering

26th June 2021

Do you know what coastal management is? Learn about hard engineering below!

Coasts need to be managed because it’s a place people live, relax, view scenery and learn from. So, we need to use coastal management tools to keep the coastline safe. It isn’t possible to completely stop the power of natural forces from eroding the coast, but we can help preserve the coastline with coastal management. 

Some people try to protect the coastline from erosion but sometimes it does more bad than good. Also, the way people manage the coast may create social conflict especially when hard engineering is used. 

Hard engineering involves man-made building structures to protect the coast from erosion. Hard engineering is a more invasive way of coastal management so may cause drastic changes to the aesthetics of the beach or coastline. 

Types of hard engineering include: 

  • Sea wall 

    • A large wall is built in front of the coastline to protect public places from waves and erosion.

    • Advantages: 

      • Protects area behind the wall including public footpaths.   

      • Helps prevent flooding. 

    • Disadvantages: 

      • Very expensive 

      • Waves bounce off the wall and scour the beach, removing the material. 

      • Sometimes sea walls do not look good, 

  • Groynes 

    • Large wooden fences built vertically down the beach. 

    • Advantages: 

      • Helps stop longshore drift  from moving sediment down the beach. 

      • Traps sediment and builds up the beach equally across the coastline. 

    • Disadvantages:

      • May create problems in other areas of the coastline as other beaches can be starved from sediment. 

  • Rip rap or rock armour 

    • Rocks placed before public places. 

    • Advantages: 

      • Large boulders absorb waves energy and reduce the power of the waves. 

    • Disadvantages:

      • Strong waves can move and change the rock structures. 

      • Can look unpleasant and ruin scenery. 


Are you looking for an easy way to memorise GCSE theory? Don’t forget to check out our GCSE Geography revision songs. Find it here: https://learnthrumusic.co.uk/subjects/gcse-geography/



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