What are Tetrapods and How Can They Prevent Beach Erosion?

If you have ever visited a coastal city and watch the strange looking, identical rock-like structures spread on the entire coastline, and thought what are they and why are they there? These objects lying on the coastline and looking mysterious have no alien links to them, they are humanmade concretes structures called tetrapods.

In Greek, tetra means four and pod mean legged. Tetrapods are nothing but structures made of concretes to present coastal erosion. Tetrapod erosion protection is the main reason that they are used for on the coastline. The four-legged tetrapods have become so popular that nowadays even the three-legged structures of concrete are also called as tetrapods.

How does tetrapod work?

The designs of tetrapod are made such that when they distribute the force of the waves such that the waves flow around them rather than flowing against them. And as they are distributed randomly, they interlock each other mutually, and so the chances of displacement get reduced. The design and weight have made them so stable that even in extreme weather conditions they won’t get displaced. With some tetrapods arranged in the form that they interlock each other and prevents the power of waves and currents to make erosion to the coast.

Effects on Tetrapods

The fact is that for a long time no structure or their design can hold breakwaters forever. Tetrapod erosion defense also can’t last forever. Tetrapods become dislodged over a period of time as the forces of nature are always crashing on them. Therefore, they need to be replaced when they become dislodged. They are monitored via satellites, and if any change in structure is noticed, they are displaced.

Some criticize that natural course gets disrupted by tetrapods near the coasts, someday they pose dangers to the boaters, surfers, and swimmers, and some blames it because it spoils the natural scenery of the coasts. But the fact remains that you can’t neglect them.

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