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The Sand Engine: A Solution for the Dutch Delta in the 21st Century?

Author(s): Marcel Stive; Matthieu De Schipper; Arjen Luijendijk; Roshanka Ranasinghe; Jaap Van Thiel De Vries; Stefan Aarninkhof

Linked Author(s): Marcel Stive

Keywords: Nourishment; Coastal erosion; Sea level rise; Storm erosion; Shoreface processes; Flooding; Sand Engine

Abstract: The Netherlands’ strategy to combat coastal erosion since 1990 has been through nourishment, initially as beach nourishments but more and more as shoreface nourishments. In the light of sea level rise projections the yearly nourishment magnitudes continue to increase. In view of this an innovative soft engineering intervention, comprising an unprecedented 21 Mm3 sand nourishment known as the Sand Engine, has recently been implemented in the Netherlands. The Sand Engine nourishment is a pilot project to test the effectiveness and efficiency of a local mega-nourishment as a measure to account for the anticipated increased coastal recession in this century. The proposed concept, a single mega-nourishment, once every 20 years, is expected to be more efficient and effective in the long term than traditional beach and shoreface nourishments, presently being used at the Dutch coast with typically a three to five year interval. While the judgement is still out on this globally unique intervention, if proven successful, it may well become a generic solution for combating sea level rise driven coastal recession on open and vulnerable coasts.


Year: 2013

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