ECAB stands for Erosion Control Armoured Block. It is a specially designed concrete block that interlocks with its neigbouring blocks to form extreamly strong, effective protection against coastal erosion. In use since the 1990s, new research has allowed us to perfect the design and installation. Projects in Counties Cork and Wexford in 2017 have demonstrated their effectiveness against the fiercest of Atlantic storms of 2017 and 2018.
Recent research at the Marine and Renewable Energy Institute (MaREI) in University College Cork have led to increased knowledge in the design, construction and installation of revetments for coastal protection. This research was carried out under the supervision of Dr. Jimmy Murphy. (Below, in the Video Introduction, you can see Dr. Murphy talk to John Creedon of RTE, where he explains about the testing.)
On October 16th, 2017, Storm Ophelia lashed the south of Ireland. Record wind gusts were recorded by Met Eireann. On the Kinsale Gas Platforms, record wave heights of 25mt were recorded. A video was shot at the height of the storm at high tide on the day. This spectacular footage demonstrates the ECAB revetment dissipating wave energy, exactly as predicted in the MaREI laboratories.
There are now several ECAB Revetments installed throughout Ireland. These revetments have stood the test of several storms that have lashed our coastlines since the 1990s. This video shows a sample of them. Note how the older revetments have blended into the environment, where the stones have aged and maram grass has grown through. This is so important in visually sensitive areas.
Video Summary of ECAB Installations