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Building with Nature Guideline
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Feeder beaches


This building block presents an innovative Building with Nature solution for coastal development through the application of feeder beaches: a spatially concentrated nourishment which is placed at a specific location with the aim to gradually feed the surrounding coast. Wind, waves and currents will spread the nourished sediments along the coast thereby contributing to the coastal safety on the longer term while creating more opportunities for nature and recreation.

In the past, erosive coasts were protected by man-made, hard structures like dikes and dams. It was soon realised that these defences often induce erosion down-drift and so softer engineering options were introduced. Structures were built that worked with the natural depositional processes occurring at the coast. Groins and breakwaters were seen as the preferred option to build up beach and dune levels in order to offer a natural barrier to the sea. In the last 15 years alternative but nowadays quite common solutions of soft nourishments were applied. Sand was placed at the location where it was directly needed, and slowly dispersing in time, while interacting with the hard structures. 

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How to use

To determine the feasibility and design of a concentrated nourishment for coastal development, guidance is presented below. First, the feasibility of a concentrated nourishment for coastal development is assessed using a rule-of-thumb method. Subsequently, a preliminary design of the concentrated nourishment is determined using simple (interactive design) tools including parameterizations. For appropriate detailing and a geometric design more advanced tools (like process-based models) are available to be applied.

This Building Block is mainly applicable in the initiation and planning and design phase.

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Practical applications

On the right a couple of cases is presented providing some application experiences that can be used as inspiration for future designs

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  • Achete, F. (2011). Morphodynamics of the Ameland Bornrif: An analogue for the Sand Engine. MSc Thesis, TU Delft.
  • Achete, F. and Luijendijk, A.P. (2012). Morphodynamics of the Ameland Bornrif: An analogue for the Sand Engine, ICCE 2012. Conference proceedings.
  • Huisman, B. and Luijendijk, A.P. (2010). Approach for eco-morphological modelling of mega-nourishments along the Holland coast.Assessment of tools and approach for multi-scale modelling. BwN Report HK4.1.
  • Huisman, B. and Luijendijk, A.P. (2011). Evaluation of nourishment strategies Holland Coast. BwN Report HK4.1.
  • Van Rijn, L. (1998). Principles of Coastal Morphology. Aqua publications.



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