Hard engineering

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In civil engineering of shorelines, hard engineering is generally defined as controlled disruption of natural processes by using man-made structures.


Hard engineering can cause consequences, such as new erosion and altered sedimentation - sand deposition patterns, that are detrimental to the immediate human and natural environment or along down-coast locations and habitats.


Examples of hard engineering include:

  • Groynes - wooden walls that reduce longshore drift
  • Seawalls - concrete barriers deflect waves.
  • Rip-rap/ rock armour - Boulders piled up against the coast that absorb the energy of the waves[1]