BeachRock to defend vulnerable coastlines

News - 27 September 2016

A different approach is being researched at the Delft University of Technology to defend vulnerable coastlines. Below the surface a natural process helps gluing  sand grains together. This process is started by a certain type of bacteria. Leon van Paassen and Dianne den Hamer are looking in to this phenomenon.

The idea behind BeachRock is that certain enhanced natural attributes are being used to defend vulnerable coastlines against the growing threat of climate change. The continuous movement of water and wind erodes coastlines around the world threatening people living close to the sea.

To defend these coastlines different methods can be used. One of these methods is the 'Sand Motor', a manmade stretch of beach with millions of cubic meters sand. The natural movement of waves helps eroding the Sand Motor and deposits sand further north on the Dutch coast where it is needed to prevent further coastal decline.

A different defence approach is being researched at the Delft University of Technology. Below the surface a natural process helps gluing  sand grains together. This process is started by a certain type of bacteria. Leon van Paassen and Dianne den Hamer are looking in to this phenomenon. Their experiment concentrates on the creation of sandstone by using this type of bacteria.

Understanding this process can help creating a mechanism to further strengthen dunes and beaches thereby creating a natural hardened cover preventing further erosion.