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  • Writer's pictureHamsen B Paramahamsa MSc geology

Harmful Engineering practised by Coastal Protection Engineers (Geologists):

River valley erosion in Sri Lanka (Maha Oya)

There are at least “four plus one” harmful methods practised, since decades on, to protect the coasts. They are the common four:

1. Boulder dumping

2.Concrete blocks heaping

3.Wall constructions

4. Sand filling called as beach nourishment.

Besides, there is a remote method which has been practised with grave misunderstanding. It is the expectation of river erosion to save the coast. The engineers at work in coastal protection have not understood the mechanics in the erosion of the rivers and how dangerous it becomes, with time, to the catchment area.

The coastal engineers who claim and consolidated the theory of “river erosion is essential for coastal protection” are present worldwide without exception. I have two excerpts from publications by CNN and European Space agency.

1. Excerpt from CNN: written by Ms Nectar Gan “China’s Three Gorges Dam is one of the largest ever created. Was it worth it”?

Shankman, the geologist at Alabama University, said many dams in the northwestern coast of the US were actually removed because they blocked the migration of fish from the ocean up the rivers, causing their populations to drop. In the southeast of the country, upstream dams in the mountains created environmental problems, driving fish species to extinction, causing water pollution, and the recession of coastlines due to the blocking of sediments.

The conception in the excerpt that river erosion is essential is a dangerous conception for the catchment area. The people and the nature in the highlands are dangerously exposed to landslides caused by progressive Domino effect.

2. Excerpt from article by European Space agency on coastal erosion in Greece: Deltas, estuaries and capes appear to be the most exposed areas with retreat that can reach 30 m per year. Erosion at river mouths are especially of great concern as this signifies a sediment deficit and suggests critical and long-lasting consequences for coasts deprived of sediment input from rivers.

The practised Coastal engineering is a blunder since centuries, worldwide. And up until now there are impossibilities for others to open gates to do the Job. Many people are aware of the methods that should be implemented to save the coasts and make it grow. But their attempts to get an entry to the coasts is of no avail.

Coast cannot be conserved. It is not marmalade, cucumber or sardines that could be conserved. Coast either grows or recedes. The trick, hope there is one who has it, is to turn the wheel to run in different direction without implementing “4+1 methods”.

Very essential now is to turn the theory of the present coastal engineers. From the "4+1 methods plus one". It is: “the river erosion is essential to save the coast.

The present coastal engineers have no correct knowledge of the mechanisms in play at the coasts. They take Engineering steps based on Superficial Observations and analysis.The present coastal Engineers’ theory that river erosion is necessary to save the coasts has come from their superficial study caused by the study of Estuaries that grow due to river erosion. One knows that a third of Turkey, whole of Bangladesh, Karachi, Gujarat, Alexandria, Sothern parts of Myanmar and many more countries and flat lands formed due to land erosion. But it is not necessarily from river erosion as we can see from the newly forming Islands in the atolls. And if good conditions exists, the very waves that erode, build up lands.

River erosion in Cappadokia (Turkey)

If one had a chance to have a look on Cappadokia of Turkey, which is at the end stages of disappearance, One will see the harmful effects of river erosion. However, the disappearance of Cappadokia could be delayed (not stopped) if backward domino-effect of river erosion is brought in. It appears it is too late. Because the vast erosion area has gone beyond management.

The catchment area in Himalayas losing topsoil

A second example is the melting of Himalayas; highly blamed on Fossil energy but least acceptance given to soil erosion of the Himalayan Catchment area, which will lose all its glaciers even after Fossil energy is sealed off, if river erosion is not stopped. This picture shows an area once had been under glacier (according to old villager). Lower end uncontriolled cultivations and progressive erosion pulled the glaciers down. Now flora has reached the ridge. Though the consumption of it for firewood is exposing the glacier free area to erosion.

Nile valley without topsoil after erosion

Nile Valley Egypt shows along the whole long stretch how the topsoil is depleted if erosions are not stopped. It has some flora along the bank and just some metres away the whole topsoil had been washed away and land turned barren.

However, Egypt along the Nile Valley has a very strong whip to punish Horn of Africa if it disobeys, or more essentially to direct the climate of the world. They have not discovered it yet. For, it is very easy and needs no billions nor huge frighteneing maschineries. Besides, it will be a blessing to the animal kingdom both on land and waters, and better living for the people of the region with their age old agriculture.

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