Last edited 08 Jun 2021


Groynes in coastal engineering (CIRIA C793), published by CIRIA in 2020, defines a breakwater as: ‘A structure projecting into the sea that shelters vessels from waves and currents, prevents siltation of navigation channel, protects a shore area, prevents thermal mixing (for example, cooling water intakes) or has a recreational purpose. In beach management, breakwaters are generally structures protecting areas from the full effect of breaking waves. Breakwaters may be shore attached and extended seawards from the beach, or may be detached and sited offshore, generally parallel to the beach, to provide sheltered conditions.’

It defines shore-parallel breakwaters as: ‘Shoreline erosion control structures placed parallel to the coast to reduce the wave energy attacking the coastline.’

See also: Coastal defences.

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