IMMERSE - Morphological management of the Scheldt

IMDC supported the Port of Antwerp-Bruges to investigate the feasibility of alternative morphological management strategies in the Western Scheldt.

The Scheldt estuary is confronted with various challenges, including the rise in sea level, the nautical accessibility of the Scheldt ports, nature conservation and flood safety. In this context, Antwerp Port Authority has appointed IMDC to carry out a study into the feasibility of sustainable morphological management strategies in the Hansweert-Bath zone in the Western Scheldt. The study is part of the Interreg project IMMERSE (Implementing Measures for Sustainable Estuaries), which aims to implement sustainable measures to manage challenges in various European estuaries. 

IMDC has been asked to investigate a management strategy for the current problems of navigability of the side channels in this area, taking into account the general challenges of sea level rise, safety, nature, etc. In this study, various morphological management interventions were investigated by deploying a morpho-dynamic model based on IMDC’s validated numerical model of the Scheldt Estuary. The aim of this study is to gain insight (both conceptually and at system level) into the effects of potential morphological management concepts by means of scenario analysis.

Western Scheldt : the shoals called ‘Plaat van Valkenisse’ and ‘Plaat van Walsoorden’, with in between the secondary navigation channel
Ordinary seals can be viewed in the Western Scheldt during low tide on shoals with steep slopes bordering relatively deep water, like the Zimmerman gully
View on the Zimmerman gully and the ‘Plaat van Valkenisse’ shoal
In the Western Scheldt vessels of different sizes pass close to ecological valuable habitats


  • Client: Port of Antwerp-Bruges NV
  • Start date: 2021
  • Completion date: 2022