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By: Adam Hoffman

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July 2nd, 2013

What is Coastal Engineering?

Civil Engineering

coastal engineeringWhenever sea levels increase rapidly, it produces harmful effects on coastal surroundings. As seawater extends farther inland, it may bring about destructive erosion, flooding, contamination of agricultural soil and water level, and lost habitation for birds, plants and fish. Fortunately for us, knowledge and understanding of coastal engineering designs have prevented these catastrophes.

The term coastal engineering is an intricate subject. To fully appreciate the concept behind it, a definition of the term and information on its functions and responsibilities is needed.

Coastal Engineering Definition

Coastal engineering is a division of civil engineering responsible for the organization, conception, development and preservation of works on the shoreline. The objectives of these tasks involve management of shoreline erosion; improvement of navigation channels and harbors; protection against flooding brought on by storms, tides and even seismically triggered waves (tsunamis); improvement of coastal recreation; and management of pollution in nearby marine environments. Coastal engineering typically includes the development of structures, in addition to the transportation and probable stabilization of beach sand along with other coastal sediments.

Functions and Responsibilities of Coastal Engineering

Erosion and Coastal Engineering

The majority of the world's population lives near coastal areas, yet these prized real estates are prone to the constant dangers of erosion. Erosion prevention and the protection of the coastlines are major responsibilities of coastal engineering. Coastal Engineers come up with structures of defense to protect against the devastation attributed to either erosion or storm waves.

Some of the structures built by coastal engineers to protect against erosion are Breakwaters, Seawalls, Groynes and Revetments.


Flood Control and Coastal Engineering

Coastal engineers develop defenses to preserve coastal residential areas from the consequences of storm flooding. With adequately engineered and developed defenses, the negative effects of the bad weather are reduced and therefore flooding is averted.


Harbors and Coastal Engineering

Coastal engineers construct artificial harbors by installing breakwaters along with other marine structures, generating a safe refuge for vessels, wherever no natural harbor exists. These kind of artificial structures suck in the pressure of the waves, repelling it from hitting the vessels anchored in the harbor.


Dredging Operations and Coastal Engineering

Coastal engineers are responsible for conducting dredging operations to retain a secure route for the transportation of vessels into or away from waterways and harbors. The functions and responsibilities of coastal engineering are crucial to the protection of our coastal environment and the operation of our commercial shipping industry.

shoreline engineering

Key Takeaway:

• Coastal engineering is a division of civil engineering responsible for the organization, conception, development and preservation of works in the coastal area.

• Coastal engineering functions and responsibilities include: Erosion Prevention, Flood Control, Artificial Harbor Construction and Dredging operations.

 

5 Reasons to Hire a Civil Engineer

Image Courtesy of: Freedigitalphotos.net

About Adam Hoffman

Hoffman began his surveying career back in 1978 when he worked for his uncle, Bernard Godfrey. After graduating from Paul Smith’s College, he worked his way from rod-man to transit-man and eventually party-chief. In 1988 when Adam received his Land Surveying license, he and Mr. Godfrey formed Godfrey-Hoffman Associates. After 12 years of a great partnership, Mr. Godfrey retired which left Mr. Hoffman with the entire business.

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Does Your Next Project Need a Civil Engineer? Here are 5 Reasons Why you Should Hire One.

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Wait, before you go!

Does Your Next Project Need a Civil Engineer? Here are 5 Reasons Why you Should Hire One.

Subscribe and download your free guide now!