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Lessons from New Orleans for the Western Scheldt estuary - Comparison between Mississippi Delta and the Western Scheldt estuary
Vatvani, D. (Ed.) (2008). Lessons from New Orleans for the Western Scheldt estuary - Comparison between Mississippi Delta and the Western Scheldt estuary. Delft Hydraulics/Waterbouwkundig Laboratorium: Delft. 30 pp.

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Keywords
    Flood management; Flood protection; Storm surges
Author keywords
    Coastal safety; Flood disaster; Overstromingsramp

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  • Vatvani, D., editor, more

Abstract
    The Dutch Rijkswaterstaat has commissioned WL/Delft Hydraulics, as part of the long-term research program "Lange Termijn Verkenningen Westerschelde - Onderzoek en Monitoring" (LTV O&M), to conduct a preliminary study and identify lessons to be learned from hurricane-induced flooding of New Orleans, applicable to the Dutch-Flemish situation.This desk study is based on currently-available information, reports and model studies, augmented by general knowledge of tide and surge propagation in the Scheldt Estuary and the Mississippi Delta. Brief comparative analysis of the important and major flooding events and the wind forcing that caused these events in the deltas, respecively Katrina hurricane event for the Mississippi delta and the 1953 storm event for the Western Scheldt, were carried out. Similarities and differences between the two deltaic systems and of the events are reviewed.Based on these comparisons it is concluded that the similarities between the Mississippi delta and the Western Scheldt estuary are in essence related to their uses. Otherwise, the hydrodynamics, the morpholoy and the weather systems of these areas differ to a large degree. Despite the fact that both areas are both subject to coastal flooding originating from meteorological forces, there are important differences in storm surge characteristics affecting the two areas. These differences are important because they present the physical boundary conditions for solutions to prevent and prepare for flood disasters.Finally, it is concluded that some gaps yet exist in our knowledge and capability for reliable short- and long term prediction of the effects of human intervention on natural processes and on risk of flooding, be it positive or negative. For further improvement of the Dutch flood prevention measures these knowledge gaps should be adequately addressed. An effort is made to identify the gaps through five concrete research topics that need to be studied in the near future.

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