Stichting FloodControl IJkdijk initiated a new field trial in September 2014, in order to study the phenomenon of  flow slide.

The trial was a part of the multi-year programme implemented by the Department of Public Works and the water boards to safeguard the Dutch dikes. The current calculation models for flow slide are based on theoretical knowledge and (numerous) scaled tests carried out in recent decades. These models only give the conditions for flow slide, and complex scaling rules render the applicability of the models in a real life scale very uncertain indeed. This trial is the first comprehensive trial against which the models can be calibrated. The trial will also provide insight into the progress and consequences of the process, such as the flow of the sand-water mixture and the influence of weakening and breaches. Applied research, including field trials, can reduce the uncertainty with which calculations are currently made. Models can be improved and savings realised in terms of reinforcement measures.

When subsidence flow occurs, material is eroded from the top of the underwater slope, which in turn can damage the dike. The process lower down in the slope, namely the flowing away of a sand-water mixture, greatly resembles "turbidity currents", a common phenomenon in seas and oceans. Turbidity currents form a serious threat for important seabed infrastructure such as glass fibre cables and oil pipelines. The trial results will contribute to a better understanding of turbidity currents and the models used to predict them. There is therefore international interest in the trial from the point of view of pipeline management.

Last but not least, the trial provides insight into the optimisation of recovery of the sandbanks and therefore nature conservation.

In order to provide water managers with further support, the trial will also validate useful measuring techniques, monitoring strategies and data analysis techniques. These can then also be applied as extra safety precautions during reinforcement and management. The required techniques and instruments will be supplied by the companies involved.

This experiment has been made possible in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs.The trial is a typical example of cooperation between the so-called golden triangle: government, corporate sector and knowledge institutes. Participants in the trial are as follows:

Government bodies

• Department of Public Works

• Scheldestromen water board

• Hollandse Delta water board

• Flood protection programme

• STOWA Foundation for Applied Research into Water Management


Knowledge institutions

• Deltares

• University of Utrecht

• TU Delft

• National Oceanography Centre (Great Britain)

• University of Ghent (Belgium)

• University of New Brunswick

Netherlands corporate community

• Fugro

• Miramap


• Nelen&Schuurmans

• Target


GeoXYZ (Belgium)


Read the press release about this trial

Check the data of the test in the Dijk Data Service Centre use the login data user name: zettingsvloeiing     and password: zettingvloeiing

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