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An Introduction to Coastal Geomorphology by John Pethick

Journal of Coastal Research
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  • Design
  • Engineering


and (most importantly for Britain attempting to rebuild a post-war economy) business could be dis- located if not shattered, by the re-occurrence of such an event. Another surge of the dimension of 1953, but superimposed onto a spring tide, would for example have put the London Underground Transport system out of action for as long as a year. Hence the massive damages bill estimated in 1966. Chapter 4 reports on the debate surrounding the various options for flood controVdefence. The choice of a barrier was not clearcut, nor the defini- tion of the critical flood design height. Chapter 5 examines in some detail one ofthe earlier suggested barrier sites, at Crayfordness, downstream of the final Woolwich barrier site. This earlier site with its attendant design problems was the alternative choosen by the PLA after the Longreach site (chosen in 1956 by the PLA) was rejected by the same authority in the early 1960s as they had in the inter- vening period built new ship jetties there! Chapter 6 shows how Herman Bondi's report of 1966 cut across most of this never-ending debate by (1) asserting that the barrier must be built at all speed, and (2) indicating that yet another site, at Woolwich, was the optimum location. It is amusing to read how Bondi, an astronomer, cut the Gordian Knot of PLA, GLC and DOE entanglements in order to push the barrier forward! Chapter 7 ends this first theme by examining the river side flood precautions brought in to contend with the movement of the barrier site upstream to Woolwich. The bulk of the rest of the book (Chapters 8 to 13) is a chronological account of how the final site and final barrier design were developed. The descrip- tion of how the barrier was built (started in 1975) including the delays and problems generated by cost and labour during the inflationary spiral of the 1970s, and finally finished by October 1982, will probably be ofmost interest to engineers. However, I found it a useful exercise to follow this readable account of the construction probl

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