CFD Modelling of Sand Disposal

During dredging operations material is excavated from the bottom of waterbodies and then released in disposal areas. However, during the release part of the material might be detrained from the disposal plume and transported away from the target area. This modelling study aims at understanding the amount of detrained material as function of the conditions under which it is disposed (water depth, flow velocity, bed slopes,…).

IMDC has set up a Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) model to investigate the behaviour of sediment plumes during and immediately after the release by a hopper dredger, at deeper parts of the Scheldt Estuary. The outcome of the model simulations shows how the disposed material is distributed on the river bed and which percentage of the released sediment is brought into suspension and transported further downstream.

Contour plot of suspended sediment concentration


  • Client: Maritime Access Department, Flemish Government
  • Start date: 2018
  • Completion date: 2019