Johann Kramer


The Island of Norderney is one of the East-frisian Islands, situated at the southern coast of the North Sea (Figure 1). It arose out of the sea, which -will say that it is not the remainder of an old mainland. In the beginning there was a shoal, moulded by tide currents and wave action where later on various plants enabled the growth of sand dunes. The Eastfrisian Islands are supposed to exist since more than 1000 years already. But the written history dates back as far as to the 1 ^th century only. From charts and other historical documents we know in which way these islands changed during the centuries. Some islands vanished whilst others only changed their positions. At the beginning of the 19th century, when Norderney became a seaside resort, the village was still protected by a wall of sand dunes against the assault of the open sea. In the course of time, however, the western part of the island got lost by erosion and the sand dunes were destroyed (Figure 3). When in the middle of the nineteenth century the seaside resort, which had grown larger and larger in the meantime, threatened to be attacked by the sea, people began to protect their island. In the year 1856 they had built a seawall to the length of 900 metres. As at its ends the dunes were still destroyed, this revetment had to be extended. Moreover groynes had to be built to prevent the development of narrow channels in front of the seawall, which might have caused its destruction. Thus in the course of nearly 100 years the revetments as shown in figure 2 were founded. There are now nearly 6 km of seawalls of different types. In former times the walls were built much steeper than now-a-days. The groynes changed their shapes as well. The building material altered according to the respective level of technology. Material applied was wood, stone, concrete as well as steel and asphalt. During the years 19^0 to 19^8 the revetments could not be maintained. The beach had lost much of its height. Therefore the seawalls and the groynes were to a high degree exposed to the violent attack of the waves. In order to avoid further destruction something had to be done. The protection works represented at this time investments of a value of about kO million DM. After various inquiries had been started, a filling of the beach seemed to be the most profitable way.


beach fill; beach protection; island of Norderney; groin; seawall

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