Sand Motor developing as expected

Published: 3 April 2014

The Sand Motor appears to be doing its job: strengthening the coast in a natural way by using the wind, waves and currents. The sand from the man-made peninsula on the coast near Ter Heijde (in South Holland) is spreading as predicted by the Deltares models. That was the picture that emerged during a congress in The Hague this week where the first monitoring results were presented.

Many facets of the Sand Motor are being monitored

Deltares was closely involved with all the calculations and thinking leading up to the Sand Motor and we are also one of the organisations monitoring developments. A major study led by Delft University of Technology, ‘NatureCoast’, was launched in 2012 to implement the monitoring programme. The aim of this multidisciplinary study is to build up a picture of how the Sand Motor is developing and the impact on the surroundings and the ecosystem by making wide-ranging observations. Deltares is involved in several sub-projects. The work involves looking at the morphological development of the coast and the dunes in terms of, for example, bather safety, dune development, geo-chemical environmental effects, the development of fresh/salt groundwater and governance issues.

The Sand Motor as an export product

Even as the peninsula was taking shape, there was considerable foreign interest in the Sand Motor. Arjen Luijendijk, one of the researchers from Deltares who is involved with the Sand Motor: ‘We have two study requests on the go at the moment. In the south of Sweden, we will be conducting a short feasibility study, and there is also interest from Peru. South Africa, Vietnam, The United States, Indonesia and the United Kingdom have been in touch as well.’

Sand Motor september 2012, copyright Rijkswaterstaat

Sand Motor september 2012, copyright Rijkswaterstaat