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Scientific assistance for hydrodynamics and sand dynamics in the coastal area


Costal morphology is an extremely complex matter due to the complex flow dynamics and the sediment transport phenomena. Therefore, numerical modeling cannot predict all these processes and the choice of the most appropriate model depends on the relevant processes in each situation.

In this project, IMDC assists Flanders Hydraulics Research to study the morphological evolution phenomena at the Belgium Coast with the assistance of numerical modeling. The vast experience of IMDC in numerical modeling is a strong basis for this study; models like Delft3D, Mike21, RMA, SWAN, XBeach, Litpack, Genesis, Durosta, Cosmos, Unibest, Sutrench have been used in the past in previous projects.

The project comprises 3 tasks: execution of supporting studies and analysis of scenarios; set-up of detailed hydrodynamic models and additional tasks.


1. Execution of supporting studies and analysis of scenarios

This task includes a review of existent data related to the Belgium coastal zone (e.g. water levels, currents, waves, planform evolution, type of sediment, morphological changes), inventory of existent models and literature review of past and ongoing scientific projects related to coastal processes.

Collected data is inventoried and analyzed; this will give a clear view of which type of data is still needed in order to organize field measurements and complement it with additional surveys.


2. Set-up of detailed hydrodynamic models

This is the main task of the project. It includes extension of the existent applicable model tools and development of new detailed hydrodynamic model tools to be used in the Belgium Coast. Subtasks are oriented to calibrate and validate the models using the available field data.

Although the study is initially focused in the hydrodynamics, the aim is also to include long shore transport, cross shore transport and morphology.


3. Additional tasks

The final task is related to additional support in technical topics related to coastal processes, hydrodynamics and morphology for the regional Authorities.

Examples of jobs assigned in this task are: interpretation of measurements and its use; the use of numerical models for the hydrodynamics and sand dynamics of the Belgium Coast; set a monitoring plan for the Zwin Region, a depoldered area in which IMDC has also been involved in the studies.

Furthermore, IMDC organizes congress, colloquia and study days as part of a know-how transfer to the Client and the technical community.

Contact us

For more information about this project, contact: