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Time Series Monitoring of Full Scale Agitation Dredging Experiments in the Port of Rotterdam

The frequency of maintenance dredging work is determined by the net difference between inflow and outflow of suspended sediment particles. Port and waterway authorities are looking for methods to increase the accessibility of navigation channels and reduce dredging effort. One of the options to improve both aspects is navigation through loose mud layers. To allow ships to enter in loose mud layers the characteristics of the mud layers need to be well known and monitored. Another option is to actively change the balance between inflow and outflow of sediments by selectively reducing or increasing the resistance against bottom sediment erosion or by deviating water currents. This paper covers some basic sediment agitation techniques and practical field test data demonstrating the long and short term effects on sediment strength in the Port of Rotterdam. The paper also proposes measurement and evaluation tools to follow up the agitated sediment zones in time and space enabling the prediction of sediment consolidation and related strength.

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