Emma Jane Rendle, Mark Davidson


Geotextile artificial surfing reefs (ASR) are being considered by coastal planners due to their multifunctional potential for coastal protection and habitat provision, as well as additional recreational amenity. However, little research exists on the impact of submerged geotextile structures on the physical marine environment. Europe’s first ASR was constructed in 2009 on the south coast of England in Boscombe and is the case study for this paper. This research investigates the claims regarding the structural resilience of an ASR, the modifications to the inshore wave climate and the shoreline response induced by the introduction of an ASR to a system. The Boscombe ASR has suffered from damage, two major geotextile sand filled containers have degraded in this shallow marine environment in two years post-construction. Observations and simulations presented indicate ameliorated wave field leeward of the ASR. There is little shoreline response, given the structures distance offshore, and no salient or widening of the beach has occurred.


submerged breakwater; artificial surfing reef; multipurpose artificial reefs; geotextile containers

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