Erosion Control – Revetments

Revetments (also called breakwaters and bulkheads) protect banks by absorbing energy of incoming waves or heavy water flows and are usually built to preserve the existing uses of a shoreline and slope. Like seawalls, revetments provide protection for the land behind them; revetments however do not significantly interfere with littoral drift, nor redirect wave energy.

Gabions mattresses are an ideal choice for revetments. Rock fill provides sufficient resistance to water’s flow to dissipate wave energy while the porous nature of gabion mattresses allows for the relief of groundwater pressure in the protected bank. No structural modifications are required to provide adequate drainage. The monolithic nature of gabion structures provides for structural integrity to prevent them from being dislodged by the battering wave action and subsequently washed away in severe storm events.

Design considerations for revetments include providing appropriate height, width and toe protection. Revetments should high enough to prevent over-topping by waves. Sides should be protected from flank erosion by tiebacks or returns. It may be desirable to provide a scour apron at the toe.