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The evolution of the Lower Scheldt river in Belgium and the south-western Netherlands after the last ice age = De evolutie van de Beneden-Schelde in België en zuidwest-Nederland na de laatste ijstijd

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Author: Kiden, P.
Institution: TNO Bouw en Ondergrond
Source:BELGEO, 3, 279-294
Identifier: 239763
Keywords: Geosciences · Belgium · Holocene · Lateglacial · Marine influence · River evolution · River gradient · Scheldt · Sea-level rise · The Netherlands · Holocene · late glacial · river evolution · sea level change · Belgium · Benelux · Eurasia · Europe · Netherlands · Scheldt River · Western Europe


This paper gives an overview of the evolution of the Lower River schelde in Belgium and the southwestern Netherlands, with special reference to recent research results. During the Lateglacial the Scheldt in The Netherlands occupies a deeply incised palaeovalley which runs in a northerly direction. In the course of the Holocene sea-level rise, the sea gradually invades this valley, resulting in a strong reduction in river gradient. Around 6000 years ago the marine influence in Zeeland reaches a first maximum and is even felt on Belgian territory. Subsequently marine influence wanes and in the area behind the coastal barrier extensive peat growth takes place. Around the beginning of our era marine influence intensifies again, causing a slow increase of the tides in the Scheldt River and the end of the peat growth. Since ca. 1100 AD tidal amplitude has grown considerably as a result of the development of the Westerschelde and human interference (embankments and 20th-century dredging).