Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    '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.

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    How natural processes contribute to flood protection - A sustainable adaptation scheme for a wide green dike
    Marijnissen, Richard ; Esselink, Peter ; Kok, Matthijs ; Kroeze, Carolien ; Loon-Steensma, Jantsje M. van - \ 2020
    Science of the Total Environment 739 (2020). - ISSN 0048-9697
    Clay mining - Climate adaptation - Flood risk - Nature-based solutions - Salt marsh - Sea-level rise

    Effective adaptation to sea-level rise is critical for future flood protection. Nature-based solutions including salt marshes have been proposed to naturally enhance coastal infrastructure. A gently sloping grass-covered dike (i.e. Wide Green Dike) can be strengthened with clay accumulating locally in the salt marsh. This study explores the feasibility of extracting salt-marsh sediment for dike reinforcement as a climate adaptation strategy in several sea-level rise scenarios, using the Wide Green Dike in the Dutch part of the Ems-Dollard estuary as a case study. A 0-D sedimentation model was combined with a wave propagation model, and probabilistic models for wave impact and wave overtopping. This model system was used to determine the area of borrow pits required to supply clay for adequate dikes under different sea-level rise scenarios. For medium to high sea-level rise scenarios (>102 cm by 2100) thickening of the clay layer on the dike is required to compensate for the larger waves resulting from insufficient marsh accretion. The model results indicate that for our case study roughly 9.4 ha of borrow pit is sufficient to supply clay for 1 km of dike reinforcement until 2100. The simulated borrow pits are refilled within 22 simulation years on average, and infilling is projected to accelerate with sea-level rise and pit depth. This study highlights the potential of salt marshes as an asset for adapting flood defences in the future.

    The Sensitivity of a Dike-Marsh System to Sea-Level Rise—A Model-Based Exploration
    Marijnissen, R.J.C. ; Kok, Matthijs ; Kroeze, C. van; Loon-Steensma, J.M. van - \ 2020
    Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 8 (2020)1. - ISSN 2077-1312 - 17 p.
    Integrating natural components in flood defence infrastructure can add resilience to sea-level rise. Natural foreshores can keep pace with sea-level rise by accumulating sediment and attenuate waves before reaching the adjacent flood defences. In this study we address how natural foreshores affect the future need for dike heightening. A simplified model of vertical marsh accretion was combined with a wave model and a probabilistic evaluation of dike failure by overtopping. The sensitivity of a marsh-dike system was evaluated in relation to a combination of processes: (1) sea-level rise, (2) changes in sediment concentration, (3) a retreat of the marsh edge, and (4) compaction of the marsh. Results indicate that foreshore processes considerably affect the need for dike heightening in the future. At a low sea-level rise rate, the marshes can accrete such that dike heightening is partially mitigated. But with sea-level rise accelerating, a threshold is reached where dike heightening needs to compensate for the loss of marshes, and for increasing water levels. The level of the threshold depends mostly on the delivery of sediment and degree of compaction on the marsh; with sufficient width of the marsh, lateral erosion only has a minor effect. The study shows how processes and practices that hamper or enhance marsh development today exacerbate or alleviate the challenge of flood protection posed by accelerated sea-level rise.
    Versterking Grebbedijk als voorbeeld van participatie volgens de Omgevingswet
    Klostermann, J. ; Buuren, Michael van; Loon-Steensma, Jantsje van; Pedroli, Bas - \ 2019
    Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2958) - 71
    In consultation with partners from the HWBP project Grebbedijk, Rijkswaterstaat Oost-Nederland (RWS-ON) has commissioned Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR) for an exploratory studyto create an action perspective for the upcoming introduction of the Environmental Act and the introduction at RWS of the term “Sustainable Living Environment”. In 2018, in-depth interviews were held with project leaders of river widening and dyke improvement projects and with RWS advisers. The report includes a case study of the Grebbedijk, starting with a historical analysis. The integral approach and the participatory approach have been studied in more detail on the basis of the “Dijkversterking Grebbedijk” project of 2016-2018. The emphasis was on the participative, spatial design process that was used in this dyke improvement project. Conclusions include that structural reflection helps with complex processes and with the introduction of new methods such as the new Environment Act; and that trust and reliability are crucial in complex dyke improvement projects
    Klimaatadaptatiedijk: Duurzaam en Toekomstgericht
    Loon-Steensma, J.M. van; Meurs, G. van - \ 2019
    Re-evaluating safety risks of multifunctional dikes with a probabilistic risk framework
    Marijnissen, Richard ; Kok, Matthijs ; Kroeze, Carolien ; Loon-Steensma, Jantsje Van - \ 2019
    Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 19 (2019)4. - ISSN 1561-8633 - p. 737 - 756.

    It is not uncommon for a flood defence to be combined with other societal uses as a multifunctional flood defence, from housing in urban areas to nature conservation in rural areas. The assessment of the safety of multifunctional flood defences is often done using conservative estimates. This study synthesizes new probabilistic approaches to evaluate the safety of multifunctional flood defences employed in the Netherlands and explores the results of these approaches. In this paper a case representing a typical Dutch river dike combining a flood safety function with a nature and housing function is assessed by its probability of failure for multiple reinforcement strategies considering multiple relevant failure mechanisms. Results show how the conservative estimates of multifunctional flood defences lead to a systematic underestimation of the reliability of these dikes. Furthermore, in a probabilistic assessment uncertainties introduced by multifunctional elements affect the level of safety of the dike proportional to the reliability of the dike itself. Hence, dikes with higher protection levels are more suitable to be combined with potentially harmful uses for safety, whereas dikes with low protection levels can benefit most from uses that contribute to safety.

    How “wide green dikes” were reintroduced in The Netherlands: a case study of the uptake of an innovative measure in long-term strategic delta planning
    Loon-Steensma, Jantsje M. van; Vellinga, Pier - \ 2019
    Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 62 (2019)9. - ISSN 0964-0568 - p. 1525 - 1544.
    Dutch Delta Program - innovation - long-term adaptation strategy - new actor coalitions
    This article describes and analyzes the reintroduction of the “wide green dike” in the Netherlands. It is a noteworthy example of implementation of an innovation in long-term strategic delta planning. The Dutch Delta Program was central herein. Pursuing its ambition to make the Netherlands climate-proof, the Delta Program invited a diverse set of actors to participate in developing a long-term adaptation plan, and also to propose innovative short-term measures to help realize that plan. The wide green dike was actively promoted by a local water board, with involvement of scientists and nature conservation organizations. A stepwise participatory process resulted in national-level recognition of the potential of the wide green dike, particularly due to its “green” and “adaptability” characteristics. Alignment of flood protection and climate adaptation goals with nature conservation objectives, as well as collaboration with new actors, were all crucial in the reintroduction of this innovation.
    The potential of BRIGAID’s Testing and Implementation Framework (TIF) as a tool to promote Nature Based Solutions
    Loon-Steensma, J.M. van - \ 2018
    Geophysical Research Abstracts 20 (2018). - ISSN 1029-7006
    Kan natuurlijk voorland de kans en omvang van een dijkdoorbraak reduceren?
    Loon-Steensma, J.M. van - \ 2018
    Integration of water management and land consolidation in rural areas to adapt to climate change : Experiences from Poland and the Netherlands
    Stańczuk-Gałwiaczek, Małgorzata ; Sobolewska-Mikulska, Katarzyna ; Ritzema, Henk ; Loon-Steensma, Jantsje M. van - \ 2018
    Land Use Policy 77 (2018). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 498 - 511.
    European policy - Land consolidation - Process effectiveness assessment - Rural development - Spatial adaptation - Water management
    Rural areas face major challenges in adapting to the impacts of climate change, in particular to floods and droughts. This calls for both adaptation of rural functions and climate-proof and water-resilient design of the rural area, often implying improvement of water retention and flood protection. Implementation of such climate change-related goals in spatial planning often involves adaptations in water management, perhaps even leading to land consolidation. Water management and land consolidation thus form important tools for spatial adaptation. Land consolidation is also a tool to support the integration of other claims that need room, such as agriculture, nature, landscape and tourism functions. This paper investigates the history of and approaches to land consolidation and water management in Poland and the Netherlands, and illustrates the integration of land consolidation and water management to realize a multifunctional climate resilient rural area by two examples in each country. We qualitatively compared the extent to which the planned activities in water retention and flood protection were realized and planned results were achieved for other functions. We found that the two adaptation measures, water retention and flood protection, were more effective in the Netherlands, stemming from ample attention for the impact of climate change and the incorporation of climate change adaptation goals in water policy. Furthermore, the water retention and flood protection measures in the Netherlands better serve multiple functions: agriculture, nature, recreation, landscape and infrastructure. Reasons for this are the multidisciplinary and participatory approach, attention to public awareness and communication and promotion of the process. On the other hand, the Dutch have much to learn from Poland's vast, undisturbed natural areas, which contribute to a climate resilient landscape. Both Poland and the Netherlands could therefore benefit from bringing together ideas and experiences regarding climate proofing the rural area.
    Coping with Climate Change in A densely Populated Delta : A Paradigm Shift in Flood And Water Management in The Netherlands
    Ritzema, H.P. ; Loon-Steensma, J.M. Van - \ 2018
    Irrigation and Drainage 67 (2018)s1. - ISSN 1531-0353 - p. 52 - 65.
    Coastal lowland development - Drainage - Flood protection - Land use - Sustainable development - Water management
    The expected effects of climate change and economic and population growth have motivated the Netherlands government to reformulate its policies on flood protection and water management. Flood protection and drainage are needed to make this low-lying country habitable and suitable for agriculture and other land uses: more than 65% of the Netherlands is protected by dykes against flooding. The likely impacts of climate change in combination with socio-economic developments call for proactive and innovative plans. The new policies and standards are based on an innovative approach: instead of focusing only on prevention, the new standards take into account both the probability of flooding as well as the potential impacts and risks of flooding, for example the individual risk of being hit by a flood. Based on these new standards, conservation, adaptation and mitigation actions are used to create a multi-layer safety approach that focuses on the water management system as well as spatial planning. Examples are presented of changes in perspectives and how flood protection, water management and spatial planning are being combined. These examples can be a basis for further adaptation measures in both the Netherlands as well as in other low-lying countries worldwide.
    Integrating salt-marsh foreland into the dike design : A window of opportunity for a self-maintaining levee
    Loon-Steensma, J.M. van - \ 2017
    In: Integral Design of Multifunctional Flood Defenses / Kothuis, B., Kok, M., Delft : Delft University Publishers TU Delft Library - ISBN 9789461868084 - p. 80 - 83.
    Enhancing values and functions of the rural environment by multifunctional flood defenses : Inspiration from the Dutch Wadden Sea region and the Texas coast
    Loon-Steensma, J.M. van - \ 2017
    In: Integral Design of Multifunctional Flood Defenses / Kothuis, B., Kok, M., Delft : Delft University Publishers TU Delft Library - ISBN 9789461868084 - p. 150 - 153.
    Meer biodiversiteit met brede groene dijken? : een verkenning van de vegetatie op de Waddenzeedijken
    Loon-Steensma, Jantsje M. van; Huiskes, Rik - \ 2017
    Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2802) - 129
    dijken - breedte - vegetatie - biodiversiteit - nederlandse waddeneilanden - nederland - duitsland - denemarken - dykes - width - vegetation - biodiversity - dutch wadden islands - netherlands - germany - denmark
    In dit rapport worden de vegetaties op het buitentalud van de brede groene Waddenzeedijken in Duitsland en Denemarken vergeleken met de vegetaties op het buitentalud van de gangbare Waddenzeedijken in Nederland, met als doel om inzicht te krijgen in de mogelijke meerwaarde van het Brede Groene Dijk-concept voor biodiversiteit, en voor vegetatie in het bijzonder.
    Wide Green Dikes : A sustainable adaptation option with benefits for both nature and landscape values?
    Loon-Steensma, Jantsje M. van; Schelfhout, Harry A. - \ 2017
    Land Use Policy 63 (2017). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 528 - 538.
    Dike reinforcement - Innovative dike design - Multiple-criteria analysis

    The dual task of reinforcing the dikes along the Dutch coast and preparing for the effects of climate change have stimulated a search for innovative dike designs. Triggered by the presence of gently sloped grass-covered dikes that merge smoothly into the adjacent salt marshes along the German Wadden Sea coast, we assessed the potential costs and benefits of just such a ‘Wide Green Dike’ along the Dutch Wadden Sea coast, compared to the ‘Traditional Dike’, which is now used. The Traditional Dike has a steeper seaward slope and a stone or asphalt revetment along the dike toe. The assessment criteria were identified by local experts. We investigated, particularly, the spatial impact of a Wide Green Dike on the adjacent salt marshes under various climate scenarios. We also looked at the initial costs and clay demand for both dike designs. Furthermore, we conducted a quick-scan of the vegetation present halfway up the seaward slope of a Traditional Dike in the Netherlands and a Wide Green Dike nearby in Germany. Our analysis revealed four primary advantages of use of a Wide Green Dike along the Dutch part of the Dollard estuary: lower initial costs (based on standard unit prices), greater ease of doing repairs, increased adaptability and enhanced spatial quality compared to a Traditional Dike. Both types of dike were designed to withstand an extreme storm surge with an occurrence probability of 1/4000 years. Both fully met legally mandated engineering standards as well. Though the required crest height is comparable for both designs, the Wide Green Dike had a larger areal footprint, and would overlap more Natura 2000 area than a Traditional Dike. There would thus be a trade-off concerning salt-marsh area. Moreover, the vegetation examined halfway up the seaward slope of the German Wide Green Dike offered little ecological value. Nonetheless, cyclic harvesting of sediment for periodic dike reinforcement appeared to be a sustainable option for adapting to future sea level rise.

    Risk reduction by combining nature values with flood protection?
    Loon-Steensma, J.M. van; Kok, M. - \ 2016
    - 10 p.
    In the Netherlands, the concept of a multifunctional dike has already often been implemented, and has been identified as a promising climate adaptation measure. In a multifunctional dike, functions like urban development, transport infrastructure, recreation, agriculture or nature are deliberately combined with its primary flood protection function. This means that the design must be based on the requirements and life span of all different functions, while in a monofunctional dike only the flood protection function is considered. By accommodating other functions, a multifunctional dike may easier fit into, or even contribute to the quality of the landscape. Moreover, these other functions may help in financing the flood protection works, but governance is more complicated. To avoid costly adjustments forthcoming from changed safety standards, incorporation of multiple functions can require a more “robust” flood defence than a monofunctional flood defence. A robust flood defence can withstand more extreme situations than required by the present safety standards, and has a substantially lower flooding probability. Therefore, a multifunctional dike may be attractive in view of the uncertainties regarding the effects of climate change and a changing world. Moreover, it will result in reduced flood risk. As part of the Dutch Delta programme, several explorative studies on multifunctional dikes were initiated. Most studies focused on urban areas, but also in the rural area interest emerged for multifunctional dikes, e.g. for the integration of salt marshes into the flood defences. Marshes provide valuable habitat for vegetation and invertebrate species, and are important for wading birds. Furthermore, under condition of abundant sediment availability they can keep pace with sea level rise. Explorative modelling results indicate that vegetated forelands affect wave heights, even under extreme conditions. However, the inclusion of a vegetated foreland into the dike design does not automatically mean that nature values and flood protection are well integrated. Flood protection imposes rather different requirements on the extent and features of marshes than nature conservation and development. Wave damping is most effective with a high and stable marsh, while nature thrives with dynamic processes and differences in elevation. Therefore, only a design that allows natural marsh dynamics and includes different marsh zones could combine nature values with flood protection. In practice, this means a dike design with an uncertain foreland, that offers space for natural processes. The uncertainty in foreland development reduces the possible flood risk reduction. In our paper we describe the critical points of interest concerning risk reduction in this system.
    Waddengebied in een veranderend klimaat. Going with the flow of vasthouden?
    Loon-Steensma, J.M. van - \ 2016
    In: Waddenacademie. Visies op de Wadden; Zes essays ten behoeve van de Beleidsverkenning Toekomstige Rol en Ambitie van het Rijk voor het Waddenbied Waddenacademie - ISBN 9789490289379 - p. 50 - 65.
    Adaptation by wide green dikes: opportunity to improve biodiversity along the coast?
    Loon-Steensma, Jantsje van - \ 2016
    Method selection in adaptation research : the case of the Delta Programme for the Dutch Wadden region
    Werners, Saskia Elisabeth ; Loon-Steensma, Jantsje Mintsje van; Oost, Albert Peter - \ 2016
    Regional Environmental Change 16 (2016)1. - ISSN 1436-3798 - p. 111 - 122.
    Adaptation research - Delta Programme - Diagnostic framework - Dutch Wadden region - Method selection

    Many methods are available to support adaptation planning. Yet there is little guidance on their selection. A recently developed diagnostic framework offers a structured set of criteria to choose research methods for specific adaptation questions. It has been derived from science-driven cases mostly. This paper offers the first application to a policy-driven case. Thus, it aims to (1) assess the descriptive quality of the framework for adaptation planning and (2) reflect on its value in supporting method selection. The paper focuses on the research commissioned for adaptation policymaking by the Dutch Delta Programme in the Wadden region. It compares the research methods used in the Delta Programme with those suggested by the diagnostic framework. It concludes that the selection of methods in the adaptation planning process can be described quite well by the decision trees of the diagnostic framework. Deviations occurred mostly for pragmatic reasons when the selection is informed by practical limitations of the policymaking process, such as available resources, time constraints and experience of the involved experts. It is recommended to enrich the diagnostic framework with methods from adaptation practice and consult it in climate adaptation studies at an early stage.

    Modelled Impact of Vegetation Heterogeneity and Salt-Marsh Zonation on Wave Damping
    Loon-Steensma, J.M. van; Hu, Zhan ; Slim, P.A. - \ 2016
    Journal of Coastal Research 32 (2016)2. - ISSN 0749-0208 - p. 241 - 252.
    This paper analyses the effect of observed vegetation characteristics on modelled wave heights. Detailed information on species composition, as well as on height, number of stems, and diameter of the plant species of a restored salt marsh on the Wadden barrier island of Terschelling was used to parameterize and apply the Simulating Waves Nearshore – Vegetation wave model to a schematized restored salt-marsh zone in front of the dike. The results indicate that wave damping by vegetated forelands is strongly related to vegetation heterogeneity and salt-marsh zonation. The modelling works suggest that at the study site under storm conditions with a frequency of 5–10 times/y, a vegetated foreland of some 90 m in width will dampen the wave height more than 80%, whereas under extreme conditions (1/2000 y) a foreland covered with dense vegetation will dampen the wave height up to 50%. These results imply that at the study site a vegetated foreland in front of the dike leads to reduced wave attack on the dike, which may result in changed requirements for both height and revetment of the dike while maintaining the required safety level. Although there are still many questions concerning dimensions, management, and performance, developing a vegetated foreland seems an interesting strategy to adapt existing flood protection works to the effects of climate change.
    Ecosystem services along the Texas coast
    Loon-Steensma, J.M. van - \ 2015
    In: Delft Delta Design: The Houston Galveston Bay Region, Texas, USA / Kothuis, B.L.M., Brand, A.D., Sebastian, A.G., Nillesen, A.L., Jonkman, S.N., Delft : Delft University Publishers TU Delft Library - ISBN 9789461864901 - p. 77 - 80.
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