Impact of human interventions on estuarine dynamics - towards a regime shift in the scheldt?
Winterwerp, J.C.; Wang, Z.B. (2013). Impact of human interventions on estuarine dynamics - towards a regime shift in the scheldt?, in: CEDA 20th World Dredging Congress and Exhibition 2013 (WODCON XX). The Art of Dredging. Brussels, Belgium, 3-7 June 2013. pp. 728-739
This paper summarizes an analysis of the temporal evolution of the tidal range in the Upper Sea Scheldt. It is concluded that about 1/3 of this large amplification is imported from down-estuary, i.e. a result from interventions in the Western and Lower Sea Scheldt. The other 2/3 of the amplification is induced by local deepening of the river. However, this deepening is likely the morphodynamic response within the Upper Sea Scheldt to large scale deepening and widening, and sand mining in the Western and Lower Sea Scheldt. The tide in the upper 30 km of the river is affected largely by reflections of the tide against the constructions around Ghent (locks and weirs). Suspended sediment concentrations around Schelle have increased substantially, up to a few 100 mg/l, which agrees with the higher effective drag predicted for this part of the river. Comparison with other rivers, the Ems and Loire in particular, suggests that there is a risk that the Upper Sea Scheldt may evolve into a hyper-turbid state. As this would be an alternative steady state of the fine sediment dynamics in the river, such conditions would be difficult to reverse.
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