Sediment traps

for reducing maintenance dredging costs in the port of Rotterdam

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Regular maintainance dredging is a large expense to the Port of Rotterdam, therefore the installation of sediment traps is considered. By increasing the bathymetry locally, an increase of local accumulation is expected and a decrease deeper in the harbour basin. This thesis describes the functioning of sediment traps in a stratified tidally energetic estuary, where sediment is supplied by the river and sea. A numerical 2DV representation is set up for the Botlek Harbour with the hydrostatic Delft3D software. A calculated salinity time-series by Operationeel Stromingsmodel Rotterdam (OSR) is combined with a measured water level time series for the same time period to describe the hydrodynamic boundary conditions. Simulations are done with a variable and constant Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) time series boundary conditions, that were generated based on the measurements of De Nijs (2012). Flow expansion caused by the sediment trap reduces the flow velocity, but increases the turbulent kinetic energy locally. A reduction of bed shear stress is observed in the trap, except near the edges where an increase is observed. Density currents caused by salinity differences govern the vertical flow velocity distributions, while tidal filling causes the net exchange. The depth of the trap plays a significant role in the internal flow characteristics. The sediment trap changes the properties of the internal flow, which may change the hydraulic state of the flow, i.e. from supercritical to subcritical, resulting in large instabilities and even an internal hydraulic jump. Shallow sediment traps result in less frequent internal hydraulic jump and weaker jumps compared to deeper sediment traps. To investigate the dominant mechanism for the trapping of sediment in the sediment trap, a distinction is made between an erosion and a fluid mud scenario. The erosion scenario shows the largest agreement with the survey data, i.e. maintenance dredging data and Echosounder multibeam surveys, but contribute only marginally to the trapping of sediment. The fluid mud scenario yields the largest contribution to the trapping of sediment. The decreased amounts of accumulated sediment in the basin for substantial to lots of fluid mud behaviour may vary between 10% and 14%, depending on how this fluid mud behaviour is modelled. Various shapes have been tested on erosion and fluid mud scenarios. Both for erosion and fluid mud a more extreme choice of parameters might yield also more extreme results, this is however not considered realistic. The creation of an overdepth has shown to result in a marginal improvement in the capturing of sediment in an environment where erosion is important. A regular sediment trap decreases accumulation in the harbour basins by 2%. A trap twice as shallow increases this amount to 4%, but deepening the trap further may even enhance accumulation in the basins. A shorter or longer trap did not improve the situation. Installation of a sill did however result in a decrease of 6% compared to the situation without trap. It is concluded that this effect can be largely contributed to the internal flow properties and the presence of internal hydraulic jumps. The presence of an overdepth results in a significant improvement in the capturing of fluid mud flow. For the trapping of fluid mud flow, an overdepth results in 6% less sediment in the harbour basins no matter the depth or shape of the trap. The length of the trap did influence the accumulation in the basins. A trap twice as short shows an increase of 4 % of accumulation in the basins compared to a regular trap. A trap twice as long or installation of a sill results in similar accumulation in the harbour basins as a regular trap. For fluid mud flows, any type of overdepth decreases accumulation of sediment considerably. The amount of overdepth or the shape does not influence this. The length of the trap should be sufficient. A trap that is too short results in an increase of accumulation in the basins. For environments where erosion is important, only shallow sediment traps have proven to reduce accumulation in the basins. Traps that are too deep actually increase accumulation in the basins. A sill has proven to be the best measure for both mechanisms. If overdepth is desirable for navigation a shallow sediment trap is advised. This leads to a reduction of accumulation in the harbour basins for both erosion and fluid mud scenarios.