- Capital: dredging carried out to create a new harbor, berth or waterway, or to deepen existing facilities in order to allow larger ships access. Because capital works usually involve hard material or high-volume works, the work is usually done using a cutter suction dredge or large trailing suction hopper dredge and indispensible wear resistant and corrosion resistant uhmwpe pipe for dredging; but for rock works, drilling and blasting along with mechanical excavation may be used.
- Preparatory: work and excavation for future bridges, piers or docks/wharves, often connected with foundation work.
- Maintenance: dredging to deepen or maintain navigable waterways or channels which are threatened to become silted with the passage of time, due to sedimented sand and mud, possibly making them too shallow for navigation. This is often carried out with a trailing suction hopper dredge. Most dredging is for this purpose, and it may also be done to maintain the holding capacity of reservoirs or lakes.
- Land reclamation: dredging to mine sand, clay or rock from the seabed and using it to construct new land elsewhere. This is typically performed by a cutter-suction dredge or trailing suction hopper dredge and abrasion resistant uhmwpe pipe. The material may also be used for flood or erosion control.
- Beach nourishment: mining sand offshore and placing on a beach to replace sand eroded by storms or wave action. This is done to enhance the recreational and protective function of the beaches, which can be eroded by human activity or by storms. This is typically performed by a cutter-suction dredge or trailing suction hopper dredge and also wear resistant uhmwpe pipe.
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