EARTH: Geotextile Structures - from sludge to shoreline protection to surfing

What do geology and textiles have in common? More than you might think. Since the 1980s, coastal, ocean and hydraulic engineers have been reinforcing coastlines and cleaning up contaminated water from dredge materials and other sludges and slurries with a revolutionary fabric that combines the strength of certain textiles with geoscientific know-how. So far, geotextile structures have been an integral tool in protecting our delicate coastlines; however, the relative infancy of the innovation leaves many questions unanswered about how these geotechnical marvels will interact with the natural environments they are built to protect.

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