Scour Control

Gator Lake

Scour Control

Protect your marine projects from erosion with a long-lasting solution

The continuous flow of water is one of the most powerful erosive agents in the world, even before wave energy is taken into account. Lakes, rivers, channels, and coasts are all highly susceptible to erosion caused by the water that laps at their banks and shores. Scour and erosion control are vital to the preserving and protecting our waterways and shorelines.

Whether you’re working on a coastal project or building a new bridge, you can protect your project’s soils from scour using Tensar products. Our products have been used on erosion control projects all over the world, withstanding some of Mother Nature’s harshest conditions. Tensar marine mattresses perform better overall than alternatives like riprap, concrete blocks, and tetrapods because they require minimal preparation or excavation of the subgrade and minimal monitoring after installation. Don’t believe us? Check out this comparison chart based on an analysis by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Coastal Erosion Control

Our coastlines are subjected to some of the harshest erosion conditions in the world. A destructive combination of daily tides, flooding and rising sea levels, and major storm events can quickly erode a shoreline and damage natural habitats and property.

Creating structures that absorb wave energy, like armored stone revetments, can help protect our shorelines. When placed out into the waterway, they work by dissipating wave energy before it reaches the shore. Additional erosion solutions include living shorelines (Environmental Construction application), which combine natural elements like oysters with engineered materials to combat scour. Triton® marine mattresses can serve as the foundation for either option.

For over 20 years, Tensar products have been used on one of the biggest and most critical shorelines in the world: the Panama Canal. Scour protection methods in the Canal must be able to stand up to the powerful erosive waves generated by the largest cargo ships in the world.

How Tensar Helps the Panama Canal

Riverbank and Channel Erosion Control

Erosion, stream migration, and flooding are natural processes, but they can pose major problems to human populations living on or near a riverbank. Encroaching waters can threaten the safety and stability of property or the lives of humans and animals. While riprap is the traditional response to riverbank erosion, it can sometimes have a negative impact on the river itself, whether by creating adverse conditions for the river’s wildlife or causing downstream erosion issues due to increased water speed.

Tensar’s Triton Marine Mattresses offer a low-maintenance and environmentally-friendly alternative. Unlike riprap, Triton Marine Mattresses can be used to encourage vegetative growth that helps wildlife and prevents water speed from increasing, and they are flexible enough to survive flooding and other high-water events without the same level of maintenance riprap requires.

Inland Lake Erosion Control

When it comes to erosion and scour, inland lakes get the worst of both worlds. Like coastlines, lakeshores are susceptible to erosion caused by wave energy (both natural and manmade from boats); like riverbanks, they are also in danger from flooding and storm water, as well as freezing in colder climates. And manmade constructions like seawalls sometimes do more harm than good, causing increased scour on the lake floor and neighboring shores and disrupting wildlife.

Tensar can help. Triton Marine Mattresses and other marine products can stabilize the soil around a lake and prevent further erosion without disrupting natural habitats and wildlife. These solutions are less likely to cause unintended damage elsewhere around the lake because they absorb wave energy, rather than simply redirecting it. The result? A stabler, healthier lake for years to come.

Toe Scour Control

In any shoreline erosion control project, one of the greatest points of concern is the structure’s toe – the edge of the structure where it meets the ocean, lake, or river floor. This area is especially prone to scour due to the motion of waves, and it can be especially intense for structures that redirect wave energy, rather than absorbing it. Too much toe scour can destabilize the shoreline and dramatically increase erosion.

Tensar’s marine products can be used to protect the toe of your shoreline project and prevent or lessen scour. Our products help to absorb and mitigate wave energy, and they require little to no maintenance once installed.

Bridge Scour Control

Scour caused by fast-flowing water can be a critical problem for bridge abutments and piers. The motion can carry away enough soil to cause holes that destabilize the structure and compromise its integrity over time. No one wants to see a bridge collapse, least of all the designer or contractor involved in its construction.

Tensar’s marine mattresses and other marine products provide superior performance compared to riprap and other alternatives, with less maintenance. As a flexible and resilient solution, Triton Marine Mattresses resist bridge scour far better than rigid systems and can adapt to the most difficult conditions.

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