How long can a Geotube® shoreline protection system last?

DATE POSTED: July 2, 2021

Decades—even under some pretty tough conditions. Here’s an example. 

Nearly 25 years ago, Geotube® containers were installed at Atlantic City, New Jersey to protect more than a mile of shoreline and the famous boardwalk from storms and extreme high tides. The tubes were filled and covered with sand from the local area and planted with dune grass to give the appearance of a natural dune. 

But only three months after project completion, Hurricane Luis produced three days of storms and 10- to 12-foot waves that pounded the shoreline. Once it was over, residents could see that sand had been washed from the ocean side of the Geotube® containers, but on the other side, there was no damage to property or loss of shoreline. The local media called it, “a line in the sand… there will be no more erosion past that line.” 

Sand and vegetation was replaced and those same Geotube® containers have continued to protect the Atlantic City shoreline from storms, wind and waves. More severe weather in 2012, Super Storm Sandy, damaged the north end of the boardwalk, which was not protected by Geotube® containers, but the south end performed as designed and withstood the waves. 

Why are Geotube® containers so successful in Atlantic City? 

1. Massive size 

Each Geotube® container is a monolithic structure—100 feet long, 7 feet high and a circumference of 30 feet. The circumference can be as much as 50 feet, which gives engineers the flexibility to select the most appropriate size of Geotube® to withstand damaging forces from waves and ice. 

2. Durable Construction

Geotube® containers are made from high-tenacity polypropylene multifilament yarns, arranged in a stable weave. This material is highly resistant to UV, inert to biological degradation and resistant to chemicals, alkalis and acids. This material is also engineered to withstand scouring and punctures and can be reinforced for more demanding environments with a debris shield or polyurea coating.

Newly introduced Geotube® Durability Engineered Composites offer even more robustness and abrasion/damage resistance for shoreline projects. This advanced container incorporates a highly UV stabilized crimpled fiber that shields and cushions a woven geosynthetic underneath and also enables sand and soil entrapment so vegetation can easily be established. Watch our future e-news issues for more info. 

3. Stable structure

Engineers incorporated Geotube® containers into the natural structure of the sand dunes. Geotube® containers form the core of a more storm-resistant sand dune structure. Although the Geotube® containers may be uncovered during a storm, the help limit erosion primarily to the ocean-side area and can be easily covered up afterwards. 

Read more about the Geotube® shoreline protection project in Atlantic City. 

Learn more about the advantages of Geotube® containers for shoreline protection. 

Contact us to discuss your shoreline protection project. 

Watch our webinar to learn more about Geotube Shoreline Systems.

You will learn about:

  • Economic and environmental advantages of Geotube® solutions
  • Using Geotube® solutions for breakwalls, revetements, sand dune cores, wetlands restoration and more
  • Strength, versatility and customizability of Geotube® materials and products
  • Design and installation of Geotube® systems
  • Case studies from sites around the world

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Monolithic Protection From Shoreline Erosion

DATE POSTED: May 27, 2019

Protection from Shoreline Erosion with Geotube Containers

Does a massive, tapered structure provide better protection from shoreline erosion than rip rap or armor stone when a hard stabilization method is needed to protect property from shoreline erosion?

There’s a large body of evidence to say that it would.

More Than 150 Miles of Protection from Shoreline Erosion

More than 150 miles (241 km) of shoreline worldwide is protected by Geotube® containers against erosion caused by storms, waves, flood waters, ice and human activity. Many of these installations have been protecting shorelines for decades and face some of the toughest waves and weather on the planet.

Geotube® containers are one of the best alternatives for protection from shoreline erosion. The size, shape and materials of Geotube® containers all contribute to their success in providing superior shoreline protection.

Here’s how:

  1. Virtually immovable mass – A single Geotube® container is more than 100-feet (30.5-m) long and when filled with sand could weigh up to 150 tons (136 tonnes). With that much mass, it becomes extremely difficult for waves or ice to shift the Geotube® container.
  2. Deflective elliptical shape – As ice advances towards the shoreline, the elliptical shape of the Geotube® containers can deflect the ice and force it up and over the structure. Conventional barriers made of materials such as armour stone or timber, face the ice head-on and are often dislodged or heaved up.
  3. Durable, impact-resistant technology – Geotube® containers are specially designed for shoreline protection and are manufactured using high-strength polypropylene multifilament yarns that meet several ASTM standards for fabric strength, seam strength and puncture resistance. In extremely demanding applications, Geotube® containers can be further protected with a Geotube® Debris Shield, a polyurea coating, or even a conventional barrier such as an armour stone wall.
  4.  Simple installation – A breakwater structure made of Geotube® containers could be filled with material that is dredged from the water body. This dramatically reduces truck traffic, carbon emissions, and could also reduce the time and cost to complete the project.

Monolithic shoreline protection with Geotube from BishopA Success Story:

A Geotube® shown during installation at Round Lake, Ontario in 2013. The 100-foot long container has provided several years of shoreline protection from waves and ice push. Due to its  bulk and rounded contour, waves and ice have been unable to shift it and compromise the integrity of the shoreline. The Geotube® container is also more aesthetically pleasing than alternatives since it’s covered with soil and provides a gently sloping surface that resembles the natural shoreline.

Learn more about Geotube® containers for shoreline protection.

Contact us to discuss how Geotube® containers can contribute to the success of your shoreline protection project.

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Shrouded in secrecy – A closer look at Geotube shoreline protection systems that work under cover

DATE POSTED: February 27, 2019

hidden shoreline protection systemsShoreline protection systems often need to blend in and maintain a low profile, whether they’re working in a natural environment or in a densely developed urban space. So how do engineers, urban designers and conservation authorities hide expansive Geotube® shoreline protection systems that can stretch for hundreds or even thousands of feet?

Over 150 miles of shoreline worldwide is already protected with Geotube® technology, providing reliable, cost-effective protection from water erosion and storm damage. Most of these systems are permanent–and nearly invisible–installations that can also help improve the aesthetics of the shoreline and rebuild natural habitats such as wetlands.

Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

hidden shoreline protection systems

More than 20 years ago, Geotube® containers were installed at Atlantic City, New Jersey to protect more than a mile of shoreline and the famous boardwalk from storms and extreme high tides. The tubes were filled and covered with sand from the local area and planted dune grass to give the appearance of a natural dune.


Cancun Beach, Cancun, Mexico

hidden shoreline protection systemsCancun’s beaches were severely eroded by Hurricane Wilma in 2005, leaving steep drop-offs and waves advancing right up to ocean-front resort buildings. Over 1.2 miles of Geotube® containers were installed immediately to protect the properties, followed by offshore submerged breakwaters to function as a sandbar and encourage natural beach replenishment. The shoreline Geotube® containers were covered with sand and are invisible to beachgoers.

La Antigua, Veracruz, Mexico

hidden shoreline protection systemsSeasonal flooding and riverbank erosion were threatening many historical structures and a marina in the tourist village of Rio La Antigua. Rather than attempt costly conventional methods such as increasing the height of berms and dykes or shipping in armor stone, engineers installed Geotube® containers in a two-layer, stair-step arrangement. The fibrous surface of the Geotube® containers will entrap sand and sediment, enabling vegetation to be established over time and conceal the containers.

Learn more about Geotube® containers for durable, long-lasting and discreet, shoreline protection.


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Prevent shoreline erosion: Geotube® units make resilient, immovable groynes

DATE POSTED: November 27, 2018

Shoreline protection: Geotube® groynes fight erosion in Quebec reservoir

Wind, waves, and currents are no longer a problem for a section shoreline in Lac Saint Jean. A Geotube® shoreline protection system was able to prevent shoreline erosion issues and improve bank conditions at the Quebec lake.

prevent shoreline erosion geotube groynesBecause the lake acts as a water reservoir for the generation of hydroelectric power, operators keep the water level high. This artificially high water level can potentially destabilize the lake’s shoreline. Since 1986, the site owner has been taking a proactive approach to prevent shoreline erosion.

Three groynes were constructed using Geotube® containers, allowing for the elimination of erosion along a section of shoreline. Each groyne incorporates two Geotube® containers that stretch 200-feet (61-metres) into the lake. In an unusual step, the installation occurred during the winter, as the lake was frozen over. This approach enabled installation of the containers to occur in a dry area rather than in deep water.

Each Geotube® container was placed on a protective scour apron and held in place with anchor tubes. Trucked-in sand was mixed with water from the lake, and pumped into each container. As the lake thawed, water flowed in around the Geotube containers and covered them almost entirely.

Geotube® containers provide significant advantages over conventional construction techniques for jetties or groynes. Typical groynes often incorporate wood, earth, stone, or concrete, making them susceptible to breakage by ice and waves. Conversely, a full Geotube® container becomes a single, massive structure that is virtually immovable. In many cases, a Geotube® groyne can be installed more quickly and at a lower cost than conventional approaches.

Learn more about using Bishop Water’s solids management solution at a WTP.

Contact us to discuss dewatering options for your WTP.

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