Sediment transport in the Schelde-estuary: a comparison between measurements, transport formula and numerical models

Yves Plancke, Styn Claeys

Monday 29 june 2015

15:05 - 15:17h at South America (level 0)

Themes: (T) Special session, (ST) Scheldt Estuary physics and integrated management

Parallel session: 2J. Special session: Scheldt Estuary physics and integrated management

The Schelde-estuary serves different estuarine functions and therefore faces managers with multiple challenges: increasing tidal propagation vs. safety against flooding; sedimentation in the navigation channel vs. port accessability; changing dynamics vs. ecology. Within the Flemish-Dutch Long Term Vision for the Schelde-estuary, a 4 year (2014-2017) research programme was defined, in which 8 topics will be dealt with (e.g. tidal penetration, risk for regime shift, sediment strategies, valueing ecology). Two fundamental tools will be crucial in answering the different questions towards the future management of the estuary: expertise/system understanding and numerical models. At this moment (first year), several projects are ongoing trying to increase the system understanding and improving the state-of-the-art numerical models. Where the numerical models reproduce the hydrodynamics reasonably well, sediment transport and the resulting morphological changes is still a big challenge. Therefore an extensive monitoring campaign was performed in 2014, during which both hydrodynamic and sediment transport measurement were performed in the Schelde-estuary. At more than 10 locations, from the up-estuarine part (Boven-Zeeschelde) to the mouth area (Vlakte van de Raan), measurements were executed over a full tidal cycle (13h). Currents were measured using ADCP, while sediment transport was measured using both direct (Delft Bottle and pump samples) and indirect (OBS, ABS) techniques. This extensive dataset allows an in-depth analysis of the sediment transport processes occuring in the estuary. A comparison will be made with several transport formula (e.g. Bagnold, Engelund-Hansen, Van Rijn, ...). The data will also be used to validate the existing numerical models, allowing a better assesment of the possibilities and limitations of the present numerical models.