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The understanding and management of large-scale coastal systems as a basis for the sustainable design of deltas is a global social challenge and a subject that has not been scientifically explored as yet. If this approach to nature-driven sand nourishment proves successful in the Netherlands, it can be employed elsewhere. A precondition for this is a good knowledge of morphological, hydrological, geochemical, ecological and social processes involved in such a large-scale project and the translation of these into more general practical guidelines.
The objective of STW NatureCoast is to supply this, with answers to a variety of questions such as: what are the effects of such a project on coastline creation both locally and further afield, what about the safety of bathers, what will happen to the dunes, what is the effect on biodiversity and the ecosystem, what will happen to the groundwater and how does such a project need to be managed?

Source: TUDelft

Research of PhD: Effects of large sand nourishments on fresh groundwater resources

Period: 2013-2017


The pilot Sand Motor creates a dynamic environment along the coastline of the Netherlands, in which (continuous) changes in the distribution of fresh and salt groundwater take place. Although the magnitude of the spatial and temporal changes in the density of the coastal groundwater is not known beforehand, it creates an ideal circumstance for the advancement of our knowledge on seawater intrusion processes.


  • Development of the fresh-salt water mixing zone/interface
  • Effect of tides and storm surges on the fresh-salt water mixing zone/interface
  • Uncertainty analysis
  • Possibility to increase coastal fresh groundwater reserves
  • Interdisciplinary (hydrology, geochemistry, ecology, morphology)

More Information

Ir. Sebastian Huizer
sebastian dot huizer at deltares dot nl