Development of sustainable as well as environmental-friendly, adaptive and cost-effective technical protection measures for sandy beaches

Project: Research

Project participants


Coasts are forming the narrow interface between land and sea facing strong natural loads from tides, winds and waves as well as high population density and accumulation of assets. Residents of coastal settlements have always put a great effort in protecting their properties against flooding and coastal erosion. Up to now, development policies and land-use regulations have not been able to stop concentration processes at the coasts. With anticipated climate change and associated sea level rise expenditures for protection measures will rise.
For these reasons, coastal risk reduction will rely not least on improved technical protection measures. These have to be environmental-friendly, adaptive to new load situations and cost-effective in construction and maintenance. For the protection of erosive sandy beaches soft structures on the basis of geotextiles offer significant environmental, structural and economical advantages compared to hard structures made of stones and concrete.
Within the project existing soft coastal protection structures in South Africa and Germany are investigated and enhanced with respect to their stability, functionality and sustainability. The project works contributes to overcome existing obstacles for an extensive beneficial use of geotextiles in the coastal environment in South Africa, Germany and beyond. Future research requirements are be defined and a follow-up joint research project are be prepared in co-operation with South African and European partners.