Marloes Wittebrood, Sierd de Vries, Petra Goessen, Stefan Aarninkhof


This paper presents the influence of aeolian sediment transport on the initial morphological evolution of beach and dunes at the man-made dune system ‘Hondsbossche Dunes’ at the Dutch coast. In total 35 million m^3 dredged material was used for the construction of a beach, dune and foreshore system. This study focused on differences in morphological response within the five different realized dune profile types. A conceptual framework was developed, based on the assessment of (1) environmental forcing, (2) sediment supply from aeolian and marine sources and (3) dune types. These three components were quantified from an analysis of measured profile evolution and the application of an aeolian sediment transport model for the first 19 months since the project delivery date in May 2015. Morphological changes were most pronounced in the first seven months after construction. Dune growth of a profile type at this location is determined by a temporal and alongshore variability in local processes that determines the aeolian sediment supply towards the dunes and the dune geometry that determines the capacity of the profile type to capture the sediments. The model simulations managed to qualitatively reproduce alongshore variations in dune growth as a result of spatial variations in sediment availability, grain size, profile shape and interaction with vegetation. Overall, this study shows the relevance of both marine and aeolian processes in such man-made dynamic systems that are comparable to natural systems. Continuing the monitoring and modelling of this system will improve the quantitative knowledge for design optimization of the Building with Nature philosophy.

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