Staff Publications

Staff Publications

  • external user (warningwarning)
  • Log in as
  • language uk
  • About

    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Record number 498565
Title Management options for restoring estuarine dynamics and implications for ecosystems : A quantitative approach for the Southwest Delta in the Netherlands
Author(s) Ysebaert, Tom; Hoek, Dirk Jan van der; Wortelboer, Rick; Wijsman, Jeroen W.M.; Tangelder, Marijn; Nolte, Arno
Source Ocean & Coastal Management 121 (2016). - ISSN 0964-5691 - p. 33 - 48.
Department(s) IMARES Delta
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Estuarine dynamics - Estuarine gradients - Habitat mapping - Hydrodynamics - Intertidal habitat - Management implications - Management options - Modeling - Salinity

The Delta Works, a series of dams and barriers constructed in the 1960's-1980's changed the estuarine landscape of the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta (SW Netherlands) into more stagnant and disengaged freshwater, brackish water or saltwater lakes. The remaining tidal systems were adapted by building a storm surge barrier in the Oosterschelde and dike reinforcement works along the Westerschelde. The Delta Works brought protection against flooding, but at the same time resulted in environmental and socio-economic problems, such as degradation of ecological quality and ecosystem functioning, disruption of fish migration routes, water and sediment quality problems.In this study we explore in an integrated, quantitative way the consequences of a number of management options for the Southwest Delta and their implications for the occurrence and distribution of aquatic and estuarine habitats, considering the mutual coherence between the water basins. Five scenarios were evaluated using a 1D hydraulic, water quality and primary production numerical model and GIS habitat mapping. Scenarios vary from small-scale interventions, such as changes in day-to-day management of hydraulic infrastructures or creation of small inlets in dams, feasible in the short term, to restoration of an open delta by removing dams and barriers, as a long term potential. We evaluate the outcomes in relation to the restoration of estuarine dynamics, as this is in policy plans proposed as a generic solution for the current ecological and environmental problems. Net water flow rates show more complex patterns when connectivity between water basins is increased and when sluice management is less strict. Estuarine transition zones and fish migration routes are partly restored, but only fully develop when basins are in open connection with each other. Area of intertidal habitats, tidal flats and tidal marshes, increases in each scenario, ranging between 7 and 83%, 1-56%, and 8-100% respectively, depending on scenario. Large scale infrastructural adaptations are needed to restore estuarine dynamics at large scale.The use of a 1D numerical model allowed to quantify the effect of different management measures for all water basins simultaneously, but also has its limitations. The model does not resolve more complex processes such as vertical mixing and morphodynamic changes. This requires expert judgment and more detailed 3D modelling.

There are no comments yet. You can post the first one!
Post a comment
Please log in to use this service. Login as Wageningen University & Research user or guest user in upper right hand corner of this page.