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Since when coastal protections?
Charlier, R.H.; Bruun, P.; Chaineux, M.-C.P.; Morcos, S. (2004). Since when coastal protections?, in: Morcos, S. et al. (Ed.) Ocean sciences bridging the millennia: a spectrum of historical accounts. pp. 283-302
In: Morcos, S. et al. (Ed.) (2004). Ocean sciences bridging the millennia: a spectrum of historical accounts. China Ocean Press/UNESCO: Paris. ISBN 7-5027-6119-5. XXI, 507 pp., more

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Descriptive Oceanography [67545]

    Beach nourishment; Berms; Dykes; Dykes; Levees; Structures; Marine
Author keywords
    beach nourishment; dykes; feeder-berm; groins; hard structures; levees

Authors  Top 
  • Charlier, R.H., more
  • Bruun, P.
  • Chaineux, M.-C.P.
  • Morcos, S.

    Changes in sea level and retreat of shorelines have occurred throughout all geological times. They have taken a special significance since mankind appeared. Humans have been simultaneously awed by the sea and attracted to its shores. They have consistently attempted to protect their settlements against the onslaughts of the sea and coastal defences can be traced back to remote times. It is probable that dams or walls were erected before the Frisians built theirs, but the ' defences ' of the latter were described by Pliny, and, in the absence of proof to the contrary, those people are considered by many as the first ' dyke builders '. Earthen artificial hillocks were the forerunners of stone constructions built to hold back the advances of the sea, particularly when sizeable areas of land were ' gobbled ' up by the waters along coasts, but also in estuaries witness the Dutch ' Verdronken Land van Saeftingen ' (' drowned land of Saeftingen '). Groins, seawalls, breakwaters and the like proved to be illusory shields, solving little and creating new problems. Engineers and scientists tried different approaches, nourishment for instance, inspired by Nature's own ways. Other methods are being improved. They must also consider the economic and social impacts of coastal erosion. The paper follows the historical evolution of people's attempts to retain ' their land '.

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