Case studies

Case studies are one element in Watermotion’s ∧ fourfold track record in • consultancy • marketing • outreach • research. This page lists activities with major or exclusive own contributions; knowledge support given to case studies carried out by third parties is listed under the research and development tag


  • flow motion : engineering, environmental and geophysical fluid dynamics
  • environments : shelf seas • estuaries • rivers • fishways • locks
  • processes : thermal discharges • turbulent mixing • saline intrusion • strong stratification • tides • storm surges • tropical cyclones • floods • aeolian transport


  • literature reviews : subject-retrieval searches • resources inventories
  • observational/experimental data : retrieval and interpretation
  • modelling and simulation : data production through computer-assisted reconstruction of relevant processes
  • verification and validation : quality assurance for implementations and results


  • grey literature : reports • briefings
  • infographic material : slideshows • posters • animations
  • communication : stakeholders’ meetings • talks

— see also the >market-related track record
— see also the >r&d track record

Case-studies track record

In the spotlight

The study Simulation studies for storm winds, flow fields and wave climate in the Wadden Sea of 2008 led to revising the official methods to calculate storm loads on flood defences in the Netherlands, in the context of the +Wettelijk Toetsinstrumentarium 2011. Read more below

2018| Numerical modelling of estuarine hydrodynamics

Currents and water levels in +estuaries are tightly determined by the shape and bed features of the estuary itself as well as by the local interaction of the flows originating at river and sea sides. Because of these defining features, the accurate study of estuaries by means of computer simulations requires the careful application of +numerical models for shallow flows. For this assignment Watermotion helped the client enhance the agreement between simulations and measurements. The interpretations and advice provided relate to computational hydrodynamics and its application environmental systems

— related ∧ testimonial of M. Reneerkens

2013 | ↓ Eddy formation and mitigation in a meandering estuary

At flood the +tidal currents and a +shoal can interact and create large, short-lived +eddies in the +Western Scheldt estuary. Intense transversal currents pose a serious +grounding hazard on vessels in the fairway to +Antwerp, which materialised itself with the grounding of the Foiwaret container ship in 2005. The process of eddy formation was investigated with combined flow simulations and analysis of bed depth data. Mitigating measures consisting of aimed alterations of the shoal were evaluated accordingly. Using WAQUA | A project conducted at IMDC, Belgium | The heading links to the report (in Dutch)

— related ∧ testimonial of J. Smits

2013 | Ocean and coastal currents along a rapidly eroding coast

Coastal currents were measured off a location in the +Gulf of Guinea where hard +coastal defences had been designed to protect a +rapidly-eroding coastline. +Upwelling was also present. A desk study of the scientific and grey literature on the regional oceanography associated the nearshore measurements with the expected intensity and seasonality of the large-scale +ocean currents offshore | A project conducted at IMDC, Belgium

— related ∧ testimonial of J. Smits

2011 | Computer simulations for the currents near a harbour jetty

The coastal currents at a berthing +jetty were simulated to assist +ship manoeuvring simulations for the approach of very large vessels. After a literature review of the local oceanographic conditions, the analysis of the current and temperature measurements at the location of interest led to the production of numerical data in order to estimate different scenarios for the current climate felt by the vessels. Using Delft-3D | A project conducted at Arcadis Netherlands

2010 | Simulations of three-dimensional currents in a fishway

The preliminary design of a number of +fishways was integrated with the computer simulations of the flow in typical arrangements of pools. The highest flow velocities occurring at the slots between the pools resulted to be low enough that the +fish migrating upstream could swim on to the next pool. The pools also offered large enough areas of calm water for the fish to rest. Using Delft-3D | A project conducted at Arcadis Netherlands

— related ∧ testimonial of M. Redeker

2009 | ↓ Flexible groins. Development of self-regulating groins

Reducing the hindrance to the transit of river +floods is a key concern in the Netherlands. The impact on the entire riverine delta caused by removing the +groynes in a stretch of the +Rhine during peak discharge was quantified with a WAQUA numerical flow model. This study was part of the evaluation of the technological readiness of the self-regulating flexible groynes, an innovative concept previously co-proposed by Alkyon. Using WAQUA | A project conducted at Alkyon Hydraulic Research & Consultancy, NL | The heading links to a draft report

2009 | Tidal predictions for an access channel in the North Sea

A calibrated computer model was used with the solver WAQUA to determine the vertical +tide at an off-shore location expected to serve as a waiting area for +container ships heading for the port of +Rotterdam. The resulting analysis of the tidal constituents was used as an input for the design of the access channel to the harbour. Using WAQUA | A project conducted at Alkyon Hydraulic Research & Consultancy, NL

2009 | Extreme tropical-cyclone wave conditions

Extreme wave conditions had to be predicted for an envisioned harbour. To this end the meteorological data of +tropical-cyclone tracks in the location of interest were analysed; an in-house software was adapted and used to calculate the wind fields using a parametric model; the +wind rose for extreme conditions was determined with a Weibull distribution; and, finally, general support was provided in the analysis of the wave climate determined with an unsteady SWAN model | A project conducted at Alkyon Hydraulic Research & Consultancy, NL

— related ∧ testimonial of D. Hurdle

2009 | Sea level measurements and the exposure to birds foraging of mussels on groynes

In the occasion of the massive beach replenishment at the +Hondsbossche sea defences (33M m³ sand), the existing +groynes had to be buried, thus depriving the local +avifauna of the opportunity to feed on the +mussels clinging on the groynes. In order to minimize the disturbance to the current +food chain and gauge compensative interventions, the task was to determine from long-term sea-level measurements how often, for how long and to which areal extent the groins stay above water, thus exposing mussel-rich surfaces for the birds to forage | A project conducted at Alkyon Hydraulic Research & Consultancy, NL

2008 | ↓ Simulation studies for storm winds, flow fields and wave climate in the Wadden Sea

+Storm surges in the +Wadden Sea were investigated through the analysis of the historical water-level records and through computer simulations of the flow during recent severe +storms (+hindcasts). The complex water exchange between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea through the +barrier islands made the surge propagate along the coast with a rapidly-varying spatial pattern. The +wind speed alone could not account for the surge severity | A project conducted at Alkyon Hydraulic Research & Consultancy, NL | The results were also condensed in a ↓ poster for the +2010 Storm Surges Congress | BibTex citation downlodable from ↓ here

— related ∧ testimonial of J. Groeneweg∨portfolio | research and development∨competencies | awards and publications

2008 | Wind-transported sand at a coastal location in the Netherlands

The envisioned extensive +beach replenishment at the +Hondsbossche sea defences (33M m³ sand) raised concerns about an undesired overhead of +wind-blown sand reaching the dwellings farther inland. Addressing this point of concern required the analysis of the local wind climate and the calculation of the sand transport with the +Bagnold formula. Since this formula applies to a sand supply unlimited in time and space (like in a desert, unlike on the shore), the results were treated as conservative | A project conducted at Alkyon Hydraulic Research & Consultancy, NL

More track records

∧ portfolio pathfinder — the overview of the track record
∨ marketing — promotion, intent and team building
∨ outreach — capacity building and knowledge transfer
∨ research and development — academic and contracted research, software development

where to go? you are in the portfolio — the factsheet on case studies
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last edited March 2019 · authored by Giordano Lipari


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