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Adaptation of coastal protection infrastructure

Blakely, H., Quilter, P., Smith, S., Witney, M., Shand, T. & Whittaker, C. (2022). Adaptation of coastal protection infrastructure. Special Publication #5 - Coastal Adaptation, New Zealand Coastal Society. https://www.coastalsociety.org.nz/media/view/publications/special-publication-5-coastal-adaptation/


New Zealand coastal infrastructure is currently at the onset of deteriorating performance associated with ageing of coastal protection infrastructure, ongoing sea-level rise, and potentially outdated design methodologies. The near-term decrease in performance can be attributed to two key components: an increase in structural damage, and an increase in wave overtopping frequencies (a precursor to more sustained coastal inundation).

This article provides an overview of a research project currently underway at the University of Auckland. this project aims to contribute to the understanding of the current state and required adaptation of New Zealand's coastal protection infrastructure with respect to structural damage and wave overtopping. We first consider existing approaches to monitor and measure overtopping, and the relevance of these measurements to tolerable limits, before discussing opportunities to manage overtopping through hybrid approaches. We then discuss some of the complexities encountered with existing coastal asset management practice, including current approaches used by asset managers, before discussing the effectiveness of different remediation options. Finally, we consider how changes in resource availability and environmental conditions will in turn affect future asset management decision making.

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