Erosion of Sediments between Groynes in the River Waal as a Result of Navigation Traffic

  1. N. D. Smith3 and
  2. J. Rogers4
  1. W. B. M. Ten Brinke1,
  2. N. M. Kruyt2,
  3. A. Kroon2 and
  4. J. H. Van Den Berg2

Published Online: 17 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304213.ch11

Fluvial Sedimentology VI

Fluvial Sedimentology VI

How to Cite

Ten Brinke, W. B. M., Kruyt, N. M., Kroon, A. and Van Den Berg, J. H. (1999) Erosion of Sediments between Groynes in the River Waal as a Result of Navigation Traffic, in Fluvial Sedimentology VI (eds N. D. Smith and J. Rogers), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304213.ch11

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Department of Geosciences, 214 Bessey Hall, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588-0340, USA

  2. 4

    Cape Town, South Africa

Author Information

  1. 1

    National Institute for Inland Water Management and Waste Water Treatment (RIZA), P.O. Box 9072, 6800 ED Arnhem, The Netherlands

  2. 2

    Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 7 OCT 1999

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632053544

Online ISBN: 9781444304213



  • erosion of sediments between Groynes in River Waal and navigation traffic;
  • Netherlands - sediments deposited by rivers and sea;
  • sediment erosion resulting from navigation traffic;
  • Rhine River system and its tributaries in Netherlands;
  • flow pattern in Groyne fields;
  • calculation procedures;
  • sediment fluxes;
  • return flow induced by vessels;
  • understanding impact of navigation traffic on sediment budget of sandy Groyne fields


The River Waal is the largest river in The Netherlands, and its shipping density is among the highest of all the inland waterways of the world. The river bed sediments of the Waal are mainly sandy. To protect the river banks from erosion, groynes have been built all along the river. The groynes are submerged at high discharges only, and it is hypothesized that the sandy beaches between the groynes are the result of a balance between sand deposition at high discharges and sand erosion by currents induced by navigation traffic at moderate and low discharges.

In the summer of 1996, currents and sediment resuspension resulting from navigation traffic were measured between the groynes. The largest vessels had the strongest impact, typically creating a water-level depression of 15–20 cm and currents of 30–40 cm s−1 at 10 cm above the bed. Scaling sand transport from groyne fields up to the entire river and a time-scale of 1 yr results in overestimates of sand losses from the groyne fields, suggesting that more measurements in groyne fields with different orientations and at different discharge conditions have to be carried out. Models in the literature that relate vessel characteristics to currents induced near the bank do not seem to serve for the conditions of the navigation traffic in the River Waal.