Development of rapid assessment numerical tool for fate and environmental impact of fluidized sediment layers

Samenvatting project

This project aims to develop a numerical tool to rapidly assess the fate and environmental impact of fluidized sediment layers induced by a moving turbidity source. The numerical tool provides insight in the stability and dispersion of turbidity currents and fluid mud in estuarine, tidal and harbour basin environments, especially resulting from a moving turbidity source. During development of this tool, it will be tested and applied by Boskalis to specific dredging
The project is subdivided in two phases:
• Phase I: development and verification of the numerical tool
• Phase II: validation and application of this tool on specificreal dredging operations.
Boskalis and Deltares will collaborate closely in both phases, with Deltares leading Phase I and Boskalis leading Phase II. Phase I includes implementing the relevant physical processes in a numerical tool. By focussing on testing against practical applications in Phase II, high quality model development will be assured and optimum knowledge transfer from Deltares to the private sector and vice versa is guaranteed.
This project will deliver (at least) a numerical tool (executable) together with the relevant background information, and a journal / conference presentation or publication. This tool is important for quick assessment of environmental and
operational implications in harbours and navigation channel maintenance, contributing to safety and quality of navigation infrastructures and water bodies. With minor modifications, the same tools can be utilized in predicting sedimentation and consolidation rates for beneficial use of dredge sediments, building with mud and nature-based applications. Finally, this tool strengthens the knowledge and competitive position of Dutch knowledge institutes and private sector (contractors) abroad.

Doel van het project

Develop a rapid assessment numerical tool to assess the environmental impacts of fluidized sediment layers induced by a moving turbidity source and validate and transfer of the tool to the private sector (Boskalis) for direct application.


Within the dredging industry it is common practice to generate fluid mud layers when executing projects in for example port areas. After generation of the fluid mud layer it can then flow by gravity to deeper sections where it can be trapped. During flow the fluidized layer will interact with the ambient water column and local hydrodynamic forcing (i.e. tidal currents or waves). Interaction of the fluidized layer with the water column can lead to an increase in turbidity of the water. The turbidity plume is important to be evaluated prior to project execution to estimate and mitigate environmental impacts of the dredging activities. Normally extensive model simulations are needed to predict the stability and fate of the fluidized layer and thereby the impact of these dredging operations. However during the planning and engineering phases preceding the actual dredging operations time is limited and extensive model simulations are often not a viable approach. Therefore the need exists to rapidly assess the impact of dredging operations using a model that correctly represents the relevant physical processes.While this tool focuses on safe navigation and quality of the water body knowledge and tools are directly applicable to “Building with mud” and “Nature-Based” applications in the interface area between fluid and soil or fluid to soil behaviour. This project contributes to the general topic of beneficial and sustainable use of sediments for water infrastructure flood safety nature biodiversity and resiliency which are global critical societal challenges with high priority in the Dutch Government and Dutch Private Sector agenda (BV Nederland).



Uitgevoerde acties

The innovative aspect of this project lies within the nature of the numerical tool which enables consultants and engineers to rapidly assess the impact of dredging operations. Currently simple empirical less accurate tools or with or (on the other extreme) extensive model simulations are utilized to predict the stability and fate of fluidized sediment layers and thereby the impact of these dredging operations. This tool will correctly represent the key physical processes yet allowing quick first order assessment. Such tool is very much needed but currently missing within the private sector. Two main project phases can be distinguished:1)Development and verification of the numerical tool to model fluidized layer flow and interaction with the water column. The generic tool developed will be based on the Deltares 1DV model.2)Validation of this tool on specific real dredging operation.Project planning:-Definition of approach: Q1 2018-Model development: Q2 & Q3 2018-Model validation: Q3 & Q4 2018

Verwachtte resultaten

1Rapid assessment numerical tool20182Report describing physics and functionalities of numerical tool20183Publication (scientific journal/conference paper or presentation) about tool development and functionality2018 / 2019


Niet ingevuld


Niet ingevuld

Hoe gaan de participanten van het project om met intellectueel eigendom dat voorkomt uit deze projecten?

Alle partijen krijgen alle resultaten van het Project ter beschikking. De resultaten van de samenwerking kunnen breed verspreid worden. Partijen kunnen over deze resultaten vrijelijk publiceren. De resultaten zullen volledig openbaar beschikbaar zijn, met uitzondering van ter beschikking gestelde achtergrondkennis.

Op welke wijze wordt de informatie over dit project op eenvoudige wijze voor het algemene publiek kenbaar gemaakt (beschrijving van het onderzoek, deelnemers en de planning en voortgang)?

De informatie over dit project wordt kenbaar gemaakt via de website van de TKI Deltatechnologie (projectbeschrijving) en de projectwiki van Deltares (projectvoortgang en resultaten).


Na de datum waarop deze Overeenkomst in werking is getreden, maar uiterlijk tot een jaar voor de beoogde datum waarop het Project zal zijn voltooid, kunnen ondernemers en/of onderzoeksinstellingen, die op het terrein van het relevante subsidieprogramma van het TKI werkzaam zijn alsnog als Partij toetreden. Een later toetredende Partij zal een nader overeen te komen bijdrage in kind en/of in cash moeten leveren die in redelijke verhouding staat tot zijn relatief aandeel in het Project na toetreding. De overige Partijen ontvangen vervolgens naar rato een terugbetaling en/ of gedeeltelijke vrijstellingen van hun nog te leveren bijdrage in kind, voor zover niet besloten wordt de bijdrage van de later toetredende Partij aan het projectbudget toe te voegen.

Projecteigenaar en projectleider(s)

Hans Groot
Er is geen projectleider aan dit project toegekend.


  • Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.
  • Stichting Deltares (Delft)
  • TKI Deltatechnologie


Development of rapid assessment numerical tool for fate and environmental impact of fluidized sediment layers-2019-4

Resultaat type

A beta research executable of the numerical tool
To request a copy of the software and the associated user guide, please create a request on this website:

Wetenschappelijke publicatie?

Development of rapid assessment numerical tool for fate and environmental impact of fluidized sediment layers-2020-1

Resultaat type
Product-/Proces Deliverables

In this project, we have successfully developed a tool with the capabilities described above. This tool is based on the Deltares 1DV model. We have adapted the 1DV model to make it suitable for a Lagrangian 1DV modelling approach. The Lagrangian 1DV approach entails that we follow the development of the fluidized layer flow along a user-defined trajectory using a moving frame of reference.

The final report of this project can be accessed via:

Wetenschappelijke publicatie?