Angus Jackson, Rodger Tomlinson, Bobbie Corbett, Darrell Strauss


In response to the increasing occurrences of beach erosion along Surfers Paradise and Main Beaches - Gold Coast, Australia, the Northern Gold Coast Beach Protection Strategy [NGCBPS] was developed to widen the beach by 20-30m as well as improving surfing conditions as a secondary objective. The strategy, implemented in 1999- 2000, involved large-scale beach nourishment and construction of a submerged breakwater “reef” to act as a control point at Narrowneck. Construction of the reef involved innovative filling and placement methods using very large sand filled geotextile containers coupled with significant advances with regards to design of the geotextile material and containers. In the 11 years since construction, there has been substantial monitoring of the project since its completion in late 2000 including: - video imaging using webcams; hydrographic and beach surveys; aerial and oblique photography; surf and surf safety observations and GPS surfing track plots; and geotextile container condition and stability. This paper presents an update on the performance of the reef over the last four years. In particular, the response of the structure and the shoreline to a series of major storm events in 2009 has been examined. The results have shown that the erosion caused by these major events was accommodated within the wider beach created in 1999. Over the next 2 years there was a gradual recovery in the lee of the reef with a subtle groyne effect resulting in an even larger increase in the width of the updrift beach. A detailed underwater condition survey was also undertaken in 2011, to determine changes in the condition of the geotextile containers. This revealed a number of containers missing or damaged, and that seaward containers were covered by sand. The marine habitat which has been a feature of the reef has been impacted by the increased coverage of sand, but still shows high abundance and biodiversity.


multi-functional artificial reef; geotextile containers; monitoring; salient

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.9753/icce.v33.structures.54