Smart and sustainable design for offshore operations in a sandy seabed

TYPE
PhD-research

Duration
2015-2019

Persons involved
Ir. J.H. Damveld (PhD candidate)
Prof. dr. S.J.M.H. Hulscher (Promoter)
Dr. Ir. P.C. Roos 
Dr. Ir. Bas Borsje

Funding of the project
NWO- ALW
Boskalis Westminster N.V.

Other stakeholders
Imares
RBINS OD Nature
Dienst der Hydrografie
ACRB
Deltares
Rijkswaterstaat

Summary
Shallow coastal seas are subject to an increasing pressure by offshore operations, such as sand mining and the construction and operation of offshore infrastructure. The seabed topography, seabed life, sediment dynamics and hydrodynamics form a coupled system. When disturbed, this system needs time to recover. Anthropogenic disturbances will affect the (local) ecosystem, which in turn will affect the sediment-water interaction and the potential of the seabed to store fine sediments. Consequently, the potential of the system for recovery may be affected.

The SANDBOX programme is focused on a better understanding of the functioning and stability of the coupled system during the lifetime of the offshore operation. This requires integration of knowledge from ecology, geomorphology and fine sediment dynamics.

Within this subproject we aim to come up with an idealised model for sandwaves coupled with benthic organisms giving insight in the dynamics of this system, as well as a more complex numerical model which can be applied in practical cases. The intended overall goal of the programme is to use the Delft3D sandwave-biology model to develop the concept of ecological landscaping in marine environments.