Geo Pre-Coursework: East Coast Park


Is East Coast Park natural?

East Coast Park is actually built entirely on reclaimed land at a cost of S$613 million. The newly reclaimed land is constructed by dumping sand on top of marine clay.

What did people do to stop / slow down the process of erosion?

At first, artificial ‘headlands’ were constructed. These headlands were supposed to protect parts of the coast, and leave parts in between to erode naturally to form nice bays. But the bays eroded faster than anticipated, infrastructures are destroyed by the waves. So then, we have

Other Strategies:

  • Building sea walls
  • Building rock groynes
    • To stop long shore drift
  • Beach nourishment

Sea Wall

A sea wall is a form of coastal defense constructed where the sea, and associated coastal processes, impact directly upon the landforms of the coast. The purpose of a sea wall is to protect areas of human habitation, conservation and leisure activities from the action of tides, waves, or tsunamis.

A Sea Wall

Rock groynes (防波堤)

A Rock Groyne

A Rock Groyne is a rigid hydraulic structure built from an ocean shore (in coastal engineering) or from a bank (in rivers) that interrupts water flow and limits the movement of sediment.

Beach Nourishment

Beach nourishment

Beach Nourishment replaces beach or cliff material that has been removed by erosion or longshore drift. Its advantages are that it is relatively inexpensive, natural defense against coastal erosion and that it can attract tourists. On the other hand, it needs constant maintenance to replace the beach material after it has been washed away.

Comparison between 3 strategies

Rock GroyneSea WallBeach Nourishment
Prevent beaches being washed awayProtect Human habitation from tides, waves, and tsunamis.Replace beach material after it has been washed away.

Since there are important and expensive infrastructures near the coast, the Singapore Government is currently exploring new strategies with the Dutch engineers. Possible strategies:

  • Big Concrete embankment
  • Raising the height of buildings
  • Soft methods: Planting mangroves and seagrass beds

Guiding Questions

How has East Coast park changed over time?

At first, East Coast Park does not exist, until the land was reclaimed from the sea and East Coast Park was built on the reclaimed land. Later, serious coastal erosion started taking place, artificial headlands were built to form natural bays and to slow down the process, but the process was quicker than expected and many new strategies were adopted.

What kinds of land uses are there at East Coast? 

Important infrastructure like the ECP (which cost S$225 million), Changi airport, tourist developments HDBs, Private housing, and the S$250 million Laguna Golf resort are all at East Coast.

What landforms may be seen at East Coast?

Coast, discordant coastlines such as artificial bays and headlands.

What processes may be taking place there? 

Weathering could happen first, leaving the weathered rocks or beach materials in their original places. Coastal erosion could take place after weathering, for example, eroding beaches and rocks by the processes of attrition, hydraulic action, solution, and abrasion.

Why does East coast need to be managed?

Because many important and expensive infrastructure and buildings are built at East Coast. If it is not managed, there will be huge economic losses from the destruction of the buildings, the decrease in foreign visitors. There is also going to be severe consequences in the local ecosystem from the disturbance of the natural environment if buildings collapse into the sea. In order to prevent all of these, East coast have to be managed.

What strategies are being used to manage the beaches at East Coast? 

Both hard and soft engineering managements are being used to manage the beaches at East Coast. Hard engineering management like building sea walls and rock groynes, the SG govt. was considering the explore other methods like raising the height of buildings and building big concrete embankments. Soft engineering managements were also adopted, such as beach nourishment using materials from Singapore itself, imported from Indonesia and Cambodia. The SG govt. also planned to plant mangroves and seagrass beds to increase natural protection and to make hard engineering managements more sustainable.

How are these and other human activities changing the shape of the coastline at East Coast Park?

Coastal erosion has slowed down so the decrement of coastline at East Coast Park has eased. The artificial headlands and bays formed an artificial discordant coastline at East Coast Park.

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