Netherlands to study impact of waves on dikes

Netherlands to study impact of waves on dikes

Increasing the Dutch knowledge of dikes and developing new technologies and insights to keep the Netherlands safe, today and in the future. That is the aim of a new study launched today in Oosterbierum into the strength of the grass-cover on dikes.

For the first time, Deltares research institute will be using an apparatus that simulates the impact of waves: a wave-impact generator. State Secretary Atsma (Infrastructure & the Environment) and Harry Boon, member of the Executive Board of Wetterskip Fryslân water authority, were present at the launch of the study.

The study will examine at what height waves cause damage to the grass and how this is affected by objects like trees, stairs, masts and buildings on the dike. By having the water repeatedly strike the dike, the long-term effect of waves is simulated and the consequences can be measured. The study will also look at how quickly the damage incurred spreads. The wave-impact generator can be set up at various spots across the country so that different types of dike cover on different subsurfaces can be tested.

‘The Netherlands is a safe delta and is known internationally for its extensive knowledge in the field of water. To maintain this, it is essential to keep our knowledge up to date and to expand it with new insights and technologies like this,’ according to State Secretary Atsma. This is the reason that the Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment set up the Sterkte en Belastingen Waterkeringen research study that is being performed by Rijkswaterstaat and Deltares. The field test using the wave-impact generator in Oosterbierum is part of this programme. Other projects are also currently underway within this programme, including measuring the height of waves on the Wadden Sea and a study into the effect of piping whereby water leaks under dikes.

The results of the research are being used to improve the Wettelijk Toetsinstrumentarium (Legal Assessment Instruments). This set of tools is being used to assess dikes and dunes in the Netherlands, a kind of MOT. By gaining more insight and knowledge, flood defences can be assessed more accurately and it becomes clearer which dikes are in need of additional attention,’ explains Harry Boon of Wetterskip Fryslân. This knowledge can be used in the assessment of Dutch dikes as well as when exporting our water expertise. The research institute Deltares is performing the research. The section of dike in Oosterbierum that is being tested is managed by Wetterskip Fryslân.


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