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The self-replicating, self-similar geology of San Lucido
San Lucido, Italy

On the coast
  • mark
  • November 21, 2008 at 5:26:00 PM CST
  • plate tectonics will have the last word.

  • Alexander Trevi
  • November 21, 2008 at 8:02:00 PM CST
  • The structures parallel to the shoreline are breakwaters. They are used here to trap sand, which I'm assuming have been trucked in from elsewhere to replenish what had been eroded, by slowing the movement of water on shore. They differ from groynes in that groynes are perpendicular to the beach. Jetty is an incorrect term as well.

    One of the more comedic elements of this sort of coastal engineering is that if you build one and start trapping sand, areas downdrift will be starved of their supply of sand. So a second one is built. The beach behind it will diminish because the sand being eroded away isn't getting replenished. So another one is built. And so on and so and on until you come to an area where its source of sand isn't coming from updrift or there aren't tourists to cater to or you're too poor to build one or too politically weak to ask for public financing or could be any number of other situations that will certainly interest me to no end.

  • Alexander Trevi
  • November 21, 2008 at 8:19:00 PM CST
  • Here's a technical article from a Wiki on coastal engineering: detached breakwaters.

    Fig. 5 has a smallish photo of beach breakwaters similar to the Google Map image in the post.

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