A knowledge gap exists between river restoration demands and current understanding on the morphodynamic functioning of low-energy rivers. In many restoration projects in lowlands, single-thread, sinuous rivers are often seen as “natural” and used as a reference. However, it is often unknown when and how the sinuous planform formed and whether low-energy rivers laterally migrated in the past. Because morphodynamic processes in lowland rivers are slow, we study these processes on a longer time scale in order to make predictions for future morphological river behavior. This knowledge contributes to the development of sustainable and cost-effective restoration. The alignment of restoration approaches with natural morphodynamic processes is expected to increase robustness and reduce maintenance efforts.
Management phase: Problem identification |
Management goals: Flood safety | Morphological understanding |
The aim of this project is to identify the leading mechanisms for the formation of highly sinuous planforms in low-energy rivers during the Holocene. We focus on:
- low-energy streams in peat-filled valley systems such the one analysed in the Drentsche Aa area
- low-energy meandering rivers in self-formed heterogeneous floodplains
- a channel pattern change from laterally stable to meandering such the one analysed in the Overijsselse Vecht
- improving the stability diagram (Kleinhans & Van den Berg, 2011) in order to predict the lateral activity of rivers
- the relation between hydraulic processes, channel planform and floodplain formation in low-energy rivers.
Temporal scale: Paleo evolution (periods of Earth history) |
- Coring and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to map the valley-fills of low-energy rivers
- Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) to determine the time of deposition of fluvial sediments,
- Radiocarbon (14C) dating to determine the age of organic material.
Data-collection methods: Field survey measurements |
Main progress and next steps
This projects contributes to the development of sustainable and cost-effective low-energy river restoration approaches. These should be aiming at restoring the natural morphodynamic processes, as alignment with these processes is expected to increase robustness and reduce maintenance efforts.
Key study areas: Drentsche Aa stream (The Netherlands) | Overijsselse Vecht stream (The Netherlands) | Dommel stream (The Netherlands)
Last modified: 17/06/2018
dr. Bart Makaske
prof. dr. Jakob Wallinga
- Candel, J.H.J., Makaske, B., Kijm, N., Storms, J.E.A., Wallinga, J. (2018). Decreasing lateral migration and increasing planform complexity of the Dommel River during the Holocene. In: Huismans, Y., Berends, K.D., Niesten, I., Mosselman, E (Eds.). The future river: NCR DAYS 2018 Proceedings. Netherland Centre for River Studies publication 42-2018, 8-9 February 2018, Deltares, Delft, pp. 32.
- Candel, J.H.J., Makaske, B., Wallinga, J., Storms, J.E.A. (2017). Low-energy stream morphodynamics. In: S. Lanzoni, M. Redolfi, G. Zolezzi (Eds.), RCEM 2017 – Back to Italy, 15-22 September, 2017, Padova, Italy, p 188.
- Candel, J.H.J., Kleinhans, M.G., Makaske, B., Hoek, W.Z., Quik, C., Wallinga, J. (2017). Meander initiation of a laterally stable river during the Late Holocene. International Conference Fluvial Sedimentology, July 2017, Calgary, Canada.
- Candel, J.H.J., Makaske, B., Wallinga, J., Storms, J.E.A. (2017). Stream planform formation in peat-filled valleys. International Conference Fluvial Sedimentology, July 2017, Calgary, Canada.
- Candel, J.H.J., Kleinhans, M.G., Makaske, B., Hoek, W.Z., Quik, C., Wallinga, J. (2017). A palaeohydrological study of a river pattern change in the Overijsselse Vecht. In A.J.F. Hoitink, T.V. de Ruijsscher, T.J. Geertsema, B. Makaske, J. Wallinga, J.H.J. Candel & J. Poelman (Eds.), Book of abstracts NCR days 2017, NCR Publication 41-2017, 1-3 February 2017, Wageningen University & Research, pp. 104-105.
- Candel, J.H.J., Makaske, B., Wallinga, J., Storms, J. (2015). Holocene lowland stream morphodynamics in a peat-filled valley system. In: H.J.R. Lenders, F.P.L. Collas, G.W. Geerling, R.S.E.W. Leuven (Eds.). Bridging gaps between river science, governance and management. Book of abstracts NCR-days 2015, NCR Publication 39-2015, 1-2 October 2015, Radboud University, Nijmegen, pp. 93-96.
- Kamstra, R. (2018). The morphodynamic functioning of the Dommel prior to channelization, southern Netherlands. Master Programme Earth & Environment: Soil Geography & Earth Surface Dynamics. Wageningen University. Supervisors/Examinors: Candel, J.H.J., Makaske, B., Wallinga, J. (student project)
- Quik, C. (2016). Historical morphodynamics of the Overijsselse Vecht: Extreme lateral migration of meander bends caused by drift-sand activity? Master Programme Earth & Environment: Soil Geography & Earth Surface Dynamics. Wageningen University. Supervisors/Examinors: Makaske, B., Wallinga, J. (student project awarded as best thesis by the Dutch Soil Science Association)