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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Currently Suffolk
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Conspiracy Theory

    I was chatting with a pal of mine recently who has a property at Happisburgh on the east Norfolk coast. I mentioned that there always seemed to be dredgers operating a few miles offshore and his answer rather surprised me... He reckons the dredgers are being operated by Dutch companies buying 'our' aggregate to shore-up their coastal defences. I wonder if there is any truth in this and, if so, whether it's having a detrimental effect on our own erosion problems. It seems unlikely but nothing would surprise me anymore...
    "I thought my daffodils were yellow until I met Joe Kennedy."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,442

    Default Re: Conspiracy Theory

    I'll go with that.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Boat Orwell - Me Norwich
    Posts
    7,892

    Default Re: Conspiracy Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by Major_Clanger View Post
    I was chatting with a pal of mine recently who has a property at Happisburgh on the east Norfolk coast. I mentioned that there always seemed to be dredgers operating a few miles offshore and his answer rather surprised me... He reckons the dredgers are being operated by Dutch companies buying 'our' aggregate to shore-up their coastal defences. I wonder if there is any truth in this and, if so, whether it's having a detrimental effect on our own erosion problems. It seems unlikely but nothing would surprise me anymore...
    This is something that I have had a fleeting professional involvement with. The dredged aggregate is also used in defending/replenishing English beaches, so your Happisburgh property owner may have a direct interest in it continuing!

    The dredging (UK companies involved, I believe) takes place some miles offshore, in water outside two shallow lines of sandbanks roughly parallel to the coast. The currents run to and fro along the coast inside and over those sandbanks.

    The amount of material dredged is large if you put it in a pile onshore, but relative to the vast amount of aggregate material being transported around the the southern North Sea by tides, currents and wave action, it is almost negligibly tiny. The net drift of aggregate in the dredging area is northwards into the open North Sea, and any connection with the shore at Happisburgh (or elsewhere) is indirect, complex and minor. Scanning of the dredged areas shows they quickly fill in with further material from the south.

    Several detailed studies have been undertaken to assess the risk of an effect on shoreline change, and have found no evidence of any such risk.

    On the other hand, the shoreline which is now at Happisburgh has been receding for around 10,000 years, so it is unsurprising that it continues to do so!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    543

    Default Re: Conspiracy Theory

    Many years ago the sand off the Norfolk coast was used in the construction of schipol Airport's runway.
    Jon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    6,042

    Default Re: Conspiracy Theory

    The bottom line is that defending a retreating coastline is only ever a temporary expedient. In the long run, the sea will win. The same goes for an advancing coastline - in the long run, water that was once navigable will become unnavigable. Defense measure can often be self-defeating; they work for a while, but when they fail, a large area goes all at once. And they WILL fail, sooner or later. Human beings simply don't have a long enough attention span to beat natural processes.

    If you think we've got problems, consider the problems faced by New Orleans. Sooner or later, the Mississippi will find a new route to the sea, and New Orleans will lose any reason for existing, and may well sink into the mud of the Mississippi delta!

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