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Modelling water and sediment movements in Lippenbroek


The Lippenbroek polder is a so-called reduced tidal area (GGG). The region is around 12.5 hectares and is about 450 meters long by the dyke. Water from the Scheldt River enters and leaves the polder by way of intake and discharge sluices. The purpose of the GGG is to allow the creation of a tidal region with salt marshes and tidal flats in a natural manner. Since the GGG became operational in 2006, the region has been changing, with the colonisation phase presently taking place.

Current patterns and alluvial deposits in the region are strongly influenced by the existing vegetation, both in the summer as well as in the winter, when the remains of plants such as reeds, bulrush and sea club-rush are still present. The original polder soil is highly consolidated, as a result of which erosion caused by primary and diagonal creeks is only a slow process.

A group of research bodies, including the University of Antwerp, the University of Ghent, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory are engaging in an intensive study of the development of the Lippenbroek.

IMDC was tasked with investigating, by means of computerized modelling, what the quantities of sediments are that that are left behind in the GGG by means of the intake and discharge sluices and how the vegetation influences this. For this purpose an analysis is initially undertaken of the measured data, to be followed successively by the development of a hydrodynamic model and a model of the sediment transportation from the island. The modelling of the vegetation, together with Delft3D, is a central focus of this.

This project shall serve as a pilot project and also examines the opportunities and applicability of a robust computerized modelling system for estimating the ground development of a GGG. This knowledge shall be of use in modelling other, comparable polders which will, to a lesser or greater degree, be openly linked to the Scheldt River (including the flood plain of Kruibeke).

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