ICCE 2022

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At the northern part of The Netherlands the closure dam Afsluitdijk is situated. It is the primary flood defense that closes off Lake IJssel from the Wadden Sea to protect the northern provinces against storm surges. This structure was built in the 1930’s and needed to be improved to withstand the foreseen increase in storm surge conditions and sea level rise. It consists of a 32 km long dam with five discharge sluices for regulating the water level at Lake IJssel. Three of these sluices are located in the west end of the dam and two in the east end. Due to climate change larger discharges are foreseen. Therefore two new sluices were built in between the three old sluices at Den Oever in the west end of the dam to increase the capacity. A new bed protection was designed at Lake IJssel to ensure the stability of the old and new sluices. This bed protection needs to withstand the inflow during the worst case scenario that one sluice does not close during a 45 hour storm surge. This event has a probability of occurrence of 1/1,000,000 per year. During this extreme load case, water flows from the Wadden Sea through the open sluice gates into Lake IJssel. The water level difference is up to 6.6 m. This causes discharges up to 3600 m3/s and currents that are supercritical with speeds up to 9 m/s. Erosion of the bed cannot be prevented entirely with these high velocities. The length of the bed protection is designed large enough to keep the scour hole away from the sluices. The bed protection consists of a structural and a natural part. The natural part was introduced to minimize the length of the structural protection, reducing the construction costs and CO2 footprint. For this design approach the erosion resistant boulder clay layers in the subsoil were taken into account as natural bed protection, ‘Building with Nature’. To achieve the custom made design was a challenge. To predict the flow behavior in combination with the erosion process was extremely complex. This could not be predicted with the conventional formulas and methods. Therefore multiple approaches were used and combined. This resulted in the design being based on the combination of computer simulations, 2D and 3D model tests and calculations with conventional formulas. The structural part of the bed protection has a length of 24 m. The first 19 m is a concrete slab with a sheet pile at the end. The last 5 m consists of grouted rock. The thickness of the concrete slab and grouted rock is 1-1.5 m. This large thickness is required to prevent uplift due to the supercritical flow. Further downstream of this structural bed protection a scour hole will develop. At this location the boulder clay forms the natural part of the bed protection. The expected development of the flow field and geometry of the scour hole during the 45 hour storm surge was determined. The scour resistance of the boulder clay was based on laboratory tests with samples taken on site. This lead to the conclusion that the boulder clay reduces the development of the scour hole enough to ensure the stability of the structural part of the bed protection and the stability of the sluices.


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Copyright (c) 2023 Richard de Rover, Willem Frederik Louwersheimer, Wim Kortlever, Ineke Vos-Rovers, Bas Reedijk, Bas van Rossum, Liz Kemp