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Sand Engines - Frisian IJsselmeer Coast - NL

Location: Friesland, The Netherlands
Date: December 2017
Involved parties: Wageningen Environmental Research, Deltares, Witteveen+Bos, Arcadis, Province Friesland,  Wetterskip Fryslan, local municipalities, Stichting Het Blauwe Hart
Technology Readiness Level: 7 (Technology formulation)
Keywords: sand engine, sand nourishments

 Building With Nature Design


The effect of a sand engine on the coast, how and where the sand moves, and the effects on the vegetation under water and above water is monitored. The knowledge gained will be used to develop a strategy for sustainable protection and enhance the spatial quality of the entire Frisian IJsselmeer coast. The function of a sand engine is based on the use of natural processes in the defence of the coast related to future water level rise and water level fluctuations.

 

 

 

 

Traditional Design



The proposed new water level management in Lake IJsselmeer has negative consequences for the valuable areas and nature reserves outside the dikes along the Frisian IJsselmeer coast, and for water safety for the area behind the dikes.

 

 

Abstract

The Building with Nature project ‘Zandmotor’ along the Frisian IJsselmeer coast investigates how a robust coastal defence can be achieved by utilizing natural processes. For this purpose underwater sand nourishment is applied at two pilot sites: Workumerwaard (sand bar constructed in 2011) and Oudemirdum (sand bar constructed in 2013). For a third location, Hindeloopen, a model study was executed.

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Initiation phase

The proposed new water level management in Lake IJsselmeer has negative consequences for the valuable areas outside the dikes along the Frisian IJsselmeer coast, and for water safety for the area behind the dikes. The areas outside the dikes are vulnerable and at risk for inundation when the new water level management will take place, as proposed in the Delta Programme. The flexible water-level management that is needed to increase the buffer of freshwater requires additional protection of these areas outside the dikes. An increase in water level of ten centimetres results in more than 100 hectares of land that will be flooded. Without additional measures, the areas outside the dikes will be eroded. These areas are important for nature conservation, recreation and water safety and therefore the stakeholders along the Frisian IJsselmeer coast develop a strategy for sustainable coastal protection. The challenge is to make the Frisian IJsselmeer coast resilient enough to be able to withstand the negative effects of a higher water level. Also when the water level in the future increases even further.

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Planning and design phase

This type of intervention was meant to have multiple benefits, such as: coastal reinforcement, dynamically evolving coastal fore-shores creating habitats for pioneer vegetation and cost reductions compared to traditional engineering.

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Construction Phase

The project consists of three pilot studies. In two locations along the Frisian IJsselmeer coast sand nourishments are applied.

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Operation and Maintenance phase

The pilots are intended to gain knowledge of the system, therefore appropriate monitoring is essential. The monitoring is focused to gain a better understanding of:

  •  Effects on the coast
  •  Effects on ecology (above and below water)
  •  Behaviour of the sand engine
    • where the sand travels
    • how fast the sand travels
    • what (weather) conditions is dominating the observed changes

 

An overview of the nourishment location (white oval upper left) and monitoring aspects for the Workum sand engine can be seen in the picture above. The red line is a dam made from wooden poles. The location of the fibre-optic grid is also indicated.

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 Lessons Learned

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 References

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