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Building with Nature Guideline > Toolbox > Impact Assessment > Roughness module for sediment dynamic modelling

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Roughness module for sediment dynamic modelling

Type: Model

Project Phase: Planning and Design

Purpose: Assessing effects of different biological structures on hydrodynamics and morphology, creating roughness height map for input into hydrodynamic model

Requirements: Knowledge on hydrodynamic modelling

Relevant Software: Matlab, Delft3D


The bed roughness tool, a mathematical model, can be a useful instrument for hydraulic engineers to quickly set up a bathymetry with a variable roughness of the surface. Sediment dynamics in the intertidal area are the result of the complex interaction between hydrodynamics and biological activity. Bed roughness is one of the most important and difficult parameters to quantify in order to model the hydrodynamics and sediment dynamics. Bed roughness can be generated by physical characteristics (ripples, sediment grain size) and by benthic organisms that modify the surface. The roughness tool can be used to reproduce the hydrodynamics based on both physical and biological processes.

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How to Use

The module is constructed in MATLAB. The output of the tool is a file type that can be imported in a hydrodynamic model, like Delft3D, to describe the roughness height in the different cells. It is recommended that users acquire a basic understanding of the implemented formulations prior to use.

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Practical Applications

Projects that can benefit from the tool are projects in which the biotic features are expected to have an impact on the roughness height. The tool is applicable in the Planning and Design Phase, to analyse the effects of different biological structures on the hydrodynamics and morphology.

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