What is it about?

Observations of shoal margin collapse in the Western Scheldt, their occurrence interval and the predictability of these collapses. Collapses occur at relatively steep slopes, by the processes of flow slides (liquefaction and breaching). We used a method to predict the occurrence and show that it is quiet accurate considering only the slope of tidal flats in the system. Improvement could be made when more is known about sediment characteristics, but also the process that leads to these collapses.

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Why is it important?

The predictability is important as it affects the navigability through the estuary. Also important is to know where they occur for cable at the seafloor. Also, it gives insight into the conditions where collapses occur.


This work gives an overview of where and how many times shoal collapses occurs in the Western Scheldt estuary. The western Scheldt is a sandy system, and because of steep slopes of the shoals, but also the banks, these tends to collapse distributing sediment volumes up to 3 million cubic metres into the channel. This has a major implication on the navigability of the channel, but also on the morphology. In this study we showed that multiple collapses occurred over time, which are not always visible because they occur under water. This phenomena is therefore relatively unknown, but significant.

Dr Wout M van Dijk
Arcadis NV

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Location and probability of shoal margin collapses in a sandy estuary, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, April 2018, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/esp.4395.
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