How Geotechnical Drilling Contractors Can Help With Coastal Erosion

by | Nov 29, 2023

Coastal erosion is a pressing concern in the UK, posing significant threats to property, infrastructure and natural habitats. Geotechnical drilling contractors must intervene to help restore sea defences and carry out engineering works to preserve the future of our coastlines.

Coastal Erosion

Climate change and rising sea levels have dramatically increased the rate of coastal erosion. With powerful waves carrying away sediment via longshore drift and the corrosiveness of saltwater wearing away coastal structures, there are many factors that need to be considered when building coastal protection.

Geotechnical drilling contractors must consider wave patterns, sediment movement and long-term structural stability. With no signs of erosion slowing down, it’s important to stay-up to date with the latest technology and ensure the defence designs are adaptive to accommodate any future shifts in the climate conditions.

Click here if you want to find out more about how coastal erosion can be minimised through innovative engineering.

How Fast is the UK’s Coastline Retreating?

The UK is an island nation with over 31,300km of coastline. However, in areas such as Norfolk, Dorset and Suffolk, the cliffs are starting to retreat at an alarming rate. In fact, it’s estimated that 7,000 homes may be lost to the sea by the end of the century!

Igneous rocks, such as granite, can withstand extreme weathering and exposure to the elements. These hard formations make up some of the UK’s coastlines. However, some other areas are compiled of sedimentary rocks, including limestone and sandstone. These are much more susceptible to erosion.

Coastal Engineering

Firstly, a thorough evaluation and assessment of a site is necessary to determine which engineering approach is required. This includes analysing the sea’s behaviour, any existing structures as well as the sediment composition.

These are some coastal engineering strategies:

  • Breakwaters and sea walls – these structures help to dissipate wave energy.
  • Beach nourishment – adding additional sediment to beaches can help to protect the area.
  • Living shorelines – plants, sand and rocks can be added to form a stable and solid edge.

The Holderness Coastline

The Holderness coastline in Yorkshire was rapidly eroding at a rate of 1.8 metres per year due to its soft clay and sandy composition. What’s more, with minimal sea defences and powerful waves from the North Sea, it was left in a vulnerable position.

A combination of beach nourishment, revetments and rock groynes were implemented by geotechnical drilling contractors to help absorb the wave energy and prevent any further erosion.

Contact Us

Geotechnical drilling contractors play a vital role in maintaining our coastlines for years to come. Here at Borehole Solutions, we have over two decades of experience when it comes to coastal engineering and offer a wide range of geotechnical services; including sonic drilling, cable percussion drilling, and more! Give us a call today on 01733 200501 or click here to get in touch with the team. We look forward to hearing from you.