The Thames Barrier is one of the largest civil engineering schemes built in England. It was necessary because of the increasing landward migration of the tidal effect due to eustatic rise and the relative land/sea level changes due to the subsidence of the North Sea area, resulting mainly from post-glacial isostatic effects. This meant that up to 116 km2 of London could be flooded under a high surge tide.

The nine piers and two abutments were built in coffer dams. Construction began in 1975 and was completed in 1982.

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