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Effect of climate change on bedforms in the Rhine and consequences for navigation

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  • Economics


Navigation on the river Rhine is of great economic importance for the Netherlands. Low river discharges or the presence of river dunes on the bed may restrict the water depth available for navigation. River dunes are bedforms that develop at high discharges, as a result of the interaction between flow and sediment transport. Dunes might hinder navigation as their development shows a delayed response to changing flow conditions, because it takes time for a dune to form or to degrade. This means that the maximum dune height is reached when the water depth is already decreasing. Therefore, it is important to know if river dunes will restrict the water depth significantly and whether climate change influences the development of river dunes in the Rhine. From the research it can be concluded that dunes do not significantly influence the hindrance of navigation, neither now, nor in the future.

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