At IHCantabria, we assists public administrations, companies and coastal managers in the design, construction and monitoring of infrastructures and actions on the coast.

Our knowledge of coastal processes, coastal management, together with its technical resources (databases, models, methodologies) have enabled it to design coastal infrastructures and actions all over the world as protection, mitigation and/or adaptation measures against any coastal threat (natural or anthropogenic).

At IHCantabria we design both structural (dikes, breakwaters) and non-structural actions (beach regeneration, dredging, management plans…), we even employ the so-called nature-based solutions (e.g. mangroves), we always seek the optimum solution according to the spatial-temporal scale of the problem, the potential impacts on the environment (economic, social, environmental) and the design criteria established by the client.


We analyze the dynamics acting on the coast and their effects on it, the different activities and uses of the study area, ecosystems, communities, local conditions (economic, social, environmental).

We maintain continuous contact with the main administrations in charge of coastal management, at regional, national or international level, and developing tailor-made products for the design of actions, management and adaptation of the coasts according to the needs at all times.

We propose action alternatives depending on the scope of the study, the design criteria and the implementation period.

We evaluating alternatives and select the optimal solution based on their possible impacts (economic, social, environmental) and thus reduce future problems and ensure sustainable management of the area.

We propose solutions based on the use of advanced numerical tools, state-of-the-art experimental techniques and unique climate databases which, together with the experience of a multidisciplinary team, make it possible to analyse the viability of alternative actions and seek the optimum solution based on established design criteria.

We transfer to the productive sector and to the public administrations in charge of coastal management the tools developed and the methodologies of analysis and design, through on-demand training courses, seminars and dissemination days.


Design of actions to protect and stabilise the coast against erosion

Regeneration of beaches.
Nature-based solutions.

Design of protection measures against coastal flooding.

Design of navigation channels

Design of coastal zone management plans

Uses of the beach.
Channel dredges.

Analysis of the effects and impacts of actions in coastal areas and in the uses and activities carried out in them

Analysis and design of structural and non-structural protection measures

Coastal mitigation and climate change adaptation.

Analysis of the effects of tsunamis on infrastructure and coastal areas

Recommendations for design and/or adaptation.

Preparation of basic studies of coastal dynamics

Including the effects of climate change, in accordance with those established in the General Coastal Regulations (RD 876/2014).

Technical advice on coastal engineering and coastal processes for planning and sectorial management

Tourist developments.
Industrial developments.
Urban developments.

Distribution and training

Use and application of self-made tools and methodologies for coastal engineering and management, such as the Coastal Modeling System (SMC).


IHCantabria has carried out projects within the framework of national and European competitive calls aimed at understanding coastal dynamics and the response of the coast to these dynamics and anthropic actions (Beach-Art, SMC2020, MUSCLE-Beach, ANIMO, HUMOR, COASTVIEW, …).

In addition, through consortiums and cooperation-transfer projects with private sector companies and public administrations, it has developed models, methodologies and tools that facilitate the analysis of dynamics, the design of actions and the management of coastal areas (MANOLO, SMC, etc.), which are being used in various parts of the world such as Colombia or Brazil (SMC-Brazil), among others.



Analysis of coastal erosion and design of actions for the protection of Duqm.

This work deals with the protection against coastal erosion of the 80 km long coastal section of the special economic zone of Duqm. Firstly, a study is being carried out to understand the problem of coastal erosion, including the influence of the new drainage system for the area and the new dikes in the port. Subsequently, a series of alternative actions are proposed to protect the area. Then, in agreement with SEZAD, the most profitable solution is selected and a detailed design of the coastal structures and actions to be carried out is selected.

Basic study of the stability of Tauro beach (Gran Canaria)

The main objective was to characterise the marine dynamics in front of Tauro beach and to evaluate its stability, both current and future, after the works of the port of Tauro. To this end, the dynamics acting in the study area have been analysed in order to find out how the beach works, its current stability and the potential impact of the works planned in the port on the beach have been analysed. In view of the results, a series of lines of action have been proposed, including dykes and regenerations for their stabilisation both in the current situation and in the future.


Study of the Erosion Problem of Bávaro Beach and Proposal for its Recovery and Stabilization.

In the last decade, this area has experienced a considerable setback of the coastline, with a corresponding loss of dry beach area. This situation implies both an impact on its tourist use, as well as an imminent threat to the facilities of the existing hotel in the area if the erosion process persists. In order to avoid this problem, a series of alternatives have been proposed aimed at stabilising Bávaro Beach, ensuring a minimum width of beach and, therefore, the protection of the coastline and hotel infrastructures. To this end, the dynamics acting in the region, which are conditioned by the presence of a coral reef, have been analysed in detail and a series of laboratory tests have been carried out to analyse the behaviour of the geotubes currently existing in the area as a protection measure.


Coastal Modeling System (SMC)

SMC is a set of databases, methodologies and numerical models that allows the study, on different spatial-temporal scales, of coastal processes and the effects on the coast (erosion, flooding) due to natural events or human actions (Climate Change, construction of dikes, dredging, etc.), with the aim of proposing sustainable solutions.
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IHData is the collective name for a database developed by the Environmental Hydraulics Institute of the Universidad de Cantabria. IHData is capable of providing accurate wind/wave/sea level climatological statistics for any European country and wave climate for any region worldwide.
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Would you like to know how we can help you?
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Would you like to know how we can help you?
Send me a message. I will get back to you as soon as possible

Verónica Cánovas

Researcher || Coastal Engineering Expert

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