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Sediment dynamics in the Coastal Turbidity Maximum of the Scheldt estuary
D.S. van Maren
Publicatie type | artikel (congres)
Turbidity Maxima are common in many estuaries and coastal seas worldwide, featuring areas with relatively high levels of Suspended Sediment Concentration (SSC). An example of a port located in a turbidity maximum, and suffering from very large siltation rates, is the Belgian Port of Zeebrugge, located in at the mouth of the Scheldt estuary. We refer to this turbidity maximum as a Coastal Turbidity Maximum (CTM). In order to better understand the contribution of these various mechanisms to the formation of the CTM and siltation rates in the port, a complex 3D numerical sediment transport model has been setup. The model is forced with tides, fresh water flows, and waves, and accounts for fine sediment buffering in the bed, sediment-induced buoyancy effects and dredging and disposal routines. This model is calibrated to first reproduce the available observed sediment dynamics in the area (such as in situ measured SSC) and satellite-derived SSC fields, morphological changes, and dredging rates), and to be subsequently applied to investigate the relative role of sediment transport mechanisms to the formation of the CTM.