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Sediment Transport in the Westerschelde Delta
Verduin, F. (2009). Sediment Transport in the Westerschelde Delta. MSc Thesis. TU Delft, Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Hydraulic Engineering: Delft. xii, 86 + appendices pp.

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Document type: Dissertation

    Brackish water
Author keywords
    sediment transport · Westerschelde · Westerschelde delta

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    The objective of this thesis is to improve the insight into the morphological processes in the outer delta of the Westerschelde estuary, especially those related to the sediment exchange between the delta and the estuary. The main residual sediment transport patterns in the delta have been found to look as follows. On a large scale there is a counter clockwise circulation of sediment. The Wielingen/Scheur channel transports sediment from the seaside towards and into the estuary. Along the eastern side of the delta there is a net transport of sediment towards the north/northwest, through the Oostgat and Deurloo channels as well as through the Geul van de Walvischstaart. Along the western (seaward) edge of the delta there is a resulting sediment transport towards the south west. The Vlakte van de Raan sits in the centre of this cyclic pattern and the main transport direction across the Vlakte van de Raan is to the southeast. On the southern side of the Westerschelde inlet there is a residual sediment transport into the estuary, while on the northern side of the inlet there is a residual transport from the estuary into the delta. Changes in the sediment transport patterns have been investigated using computer model simulations for the years 1970, 1983 and 2002. The development of the delta and the changes in the transport patterns in these years are dominated by the influence of human activities in the delta. Notably the deepening of the Wielingen/Scheur and the entrance channel to the port of Zeebrugge as well as the expansion of the breakwaters of the port of Zeebrugge around 1980 have had a significant impact on the transport patterns along the southern side of the delta. A representative morphological wave has been determined to investigate the influence of waves on the sediment transport patterns in the delta. The wave considerably enhances the tide induced sediment transport in most of the delta, except for the Wielingen/Scheur channel. In the channel the wave causes a decrease of the flood directed transport and in the western part of the channel it changes the residual transport direction from flood to ebb. The wave influence at the inlet causes a decrease in the residual transport to the estuary.

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