Houtrib Dike Pilot Project


The sandy foreshore pilot project was executed between 2014 and 2018. Already in 2013 it was explored if a sandy foreshore could be a viable alternative for strengthening the Houtrib Dike in favor of a rock defense. It turned out that insufficient knowledge was available about the application of a sandy foreshore defense in a lake environment (i.e. absence of tide, different wind and wave forcing) compared to the application in a coastal environment. The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and EcoShape therefore jointly developed a research proposal to increase this knowledge: The Houtrib Dike Pilot Project. With the knowledge gained from the research the design and execution of flood defenses in lake environments should become economically more attractive and the safety assessment can be determined.

The Houtrib Dike Pilot Project just after construction in 2014 (EcoShape, 2014)

The monitoringsproject of the Houtrib Dike Pilot Project focused on meteorology and hydrodynamics, morphodynamics and vegetation. The data on the meteorology and hydrodynamics (windspeed, water levels and waves) gave insight into the forces on the dike. By analysing the morphological development (profiledevelopment; erosion/sedimentation processes and subsidence) insight was gained in the response to these forces. The vegetation development was researched on its influence on the morphology. Also, the ecological added value and the role of maintenance was taken into account.

The following research themes were defined:

  1. Design of a safe foreshore in dynamic equilibrium
  2. Efficient implementation of a foreshore (including permits)
  3. Optimal management and maintenance
  4. Definition of suitable assessment methods
  5. The upscaling of the results of this pilot to locations with different characteristics