Rip Rap, also called rubble shot rock or rock armor, is one of the cheapest methods of erosion control. This process places rocks so that they naturally interlock and create a wall against a coast.
Advantages of Rip Rap
Rip Rap works to protect these banks from erosion mostly caused by ice or water. They can also be used to shore up bridge abutments, pilings, and other structures against damage or overflow. The method itself is easy to incorporate for decreasing water velocity and protecting slopes from erosion. It is also very simple to install and maintain. Water quality also benefits by increasing roughness and decreasing velocity of flow and inducing settling.
Disadvantages of Rip Rap
Plain and simple, Rip Rap is just stone. It seems to be more expensive than a vegetative slope or native shoreline, which provides similar protection using the natural landscape. It also doesn’t provide the habitat enhancement that these vegetative practices do. Since the stones that make up the rip rap don’t absorb any water, it doesn’t entirely stop a flood from occurring. These stones also won’t filter run-off from adjacent land.