Hard engineering

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Hard engineering involves the construction of physical structures to protect coasts against the erosive power of waves.


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: Low walls constructed at right angles to retain sediments that might otherwise be removed due to longshore drift. These structures absorb or reduce the energy of the waves and cause materials to be deposited on the updrift side of the groyne facing the longshore drift.
  • Seawalls - Seawalls are constructed to protect coastlines against wave attack by absorbing wave energy. Most seawalls are made out of concrete or stone and are built parallel to the coast. They have been constructed in thousands of locations throughout the world.
  • Rip-rap/ rock armour - Boulders piled up against the coast that absorb the energy of the waves[1]


  1. ^ "BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Management strategies". Retrieved 2015-09-27.