Royal HaskoningDHV has a wide range of expertise in the analysis of coastal systems. We work on various themes ranging from wave transformation, penetration and overtopping, (3D) flow patterns, sea level rise, water quality and morphological development to nature-based solutions. These themes play an important role in coastal and estuarine systems around the world, where local conditions make each situation unique. Our approach to providing our clients with the best advise and solutions is founded in i) good understanding of the client’s challenge; ii) deep knowledge of the relevant physics; and iii) familiarity with numerous modelling and analysis tools. Together with our clients, we strive for sustainable solutions for coastal issues.
One of our core expertises is the assessment of offshore wave conditions, nearshore wave conditions, and wave penetration within port basins. We provide valuable input for the design of structures such as breakwaters, flood protection, and offshore structures, by predicting daily wave conditions, extreme wave conditions, and hurricane conditions. For this we use a combination of statistical data analysis and wave modelling. Also, we provide our clients with wave propagation predictions within their ports for downtime predictions, (dynamic) mooring analysis, and navigation assessments. Using CoastalFOAM, our numerical wave flume, we play an important role in the design optimization of coastal structures and can reduce the need for physical tests significantly.
Local flow conditions can be highly variable and depend on bathymetry, presence of structures, the tide, wind, ocean currents, temperature or salinity differences and storm events. Accurate prediction of current velocities and water level variation is important for the design of marine structures, navigation assessments, in the analysis of morphological evolution and for gaining insight in the spreading of substances in the water. One of our core expertises is the prediction of these flow patterns, often using numerical models such as Delft3D or MIKE.
As a result of wave and current conditions along the coast, sediment is mobilised and transported along and across the shore. This sediment transport is relevant for various questions in the coastal area: for example, coastal erosion, sedimentation in ports and waterways, (large-scale) beach nourishments or other nature-based solutions, (maintenance) dredging or coastline changes due to structures. Our morphological expertise helps clients optimise their nature-based solutions and can aid in optimizing dredging and disposal activities to reduce maintenance dredging or to reduce the impact of their structure on the coastline. The little brother of the Sand Motor (Bacton sand engine in the UK) was designed by our experts and we actively aim to include a nature-based approach in our projects. We do not only have expertise in the physical processes, but also have experts in the social, economic and environmental aspects of coastal morphology and management. This enables us to assist our clients in the full scope of their project.
Finally, an important focus area is water quality in the coastal area, where activities such as dredging or disposal of wastewater can (locally) affect the water quality. Water quality assessments for surface water is one of our daily activities and we are well familiar with regulations such as the E.U. Water Framework Directive. In our assessments we use a range of modelling tools, from initial dilution tools to complicated 3D models that combine hydrodynamics, waves and water quality. Our water quality experts understand all aspects of water quality, including suspended sediment, dissolved substances and algae growth. Our water quality assessments often are an important part of Environmental Impact Assessments, where we strongly collaborate with our ecological experts, or we advise our clients on for example optimization of outfall structures.
High-quality survey data is key in our assessments. Our experts often assist in marine surveys for collecting meteorological, metocean, bathymetric and environmental data. We define survey specifications, process the survey data and use the data for construction, calibration and validation of our models.
A wide range of questions asks for a unique approach. Our experts are well familiar with the benefits, limitations and uncertainties related to statistics, data analysis and numerical modelling and we advise our clients on the best approach for their specific situation: from high-level assessments based on limited data availability to providing input for detailed design and executing detailed modelling.