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Figure 1: Scheme of interaction of groynes, waves, currents and shore

A groyne is an active structure extending from shore into sea, most often perpendicularly or slightly obliquely to the shoreline. Adequate supply of sediment and existence of satisfactorily intensive longshore sediment transport are the sine qua non conditions of groynes efficiency.

Catching and trapping of a part of sediment moving in a surf zone (mainly in a longshore direction), as well as reduction of the sediment amount transported seawards, are the principle functions of the groyne.

As revealed by experiments, during weak and moderate wave conditions, the groynes partly dissipate energy of water motion and lead to sand accumulation in the vicinity of a shore, thus causing its accretion. Under storm waves, mainly approaching the shore perpendicularly, the role of the groynes decreases and a beach is partly washed out.

Groynes are frequently used. However, applied as a self-contained shore protection measure it is a very dubious solution. This is because of unfavourable side effects which they can cause locally. Satisfactory supply of sand and existence of longshore sediment transport are fundamental conditions for efficiency of groynes. The groins role distinctly increases if they are applied together with other (soft) shore protection measures, like artificial beach nourishment or shore nourishment.