Rotterdam, Netherlands
Rotterdam, Netherlands

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Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 4.73M | Year: 2011

National infrastructure (NI) systems (energy, transport, water, waste and ICT) in the UK and in advanced economies globally face serious challenges. The 2009 Council for Science and Technology (CST) report on NI in the UK identified significant vulnerabilities, capacity limitations and a number of NI components nearing the end of their useful life. It also highlighted serious fragmentation in the arrangements for infrastructure provision in the UK. There is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions from infrastructure, to respond to future demographic, social and lifestyle changes and to build resilience to intensifying impacts of climate change. If this process of transforming NI is to take place efficiently, whilst also minimising the associated risks, it will need to be underpinned by a long-term, cross-sectoral approach to understanding NI performance under a range of possible futures. The systems of systems analysis that must form the basis for such a strategic approach does not yet exist - this inter-disciplinary research programme will provide it.The aim of the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium is to develop and demonstrate a new generation of system simulation models and tools to inform analysis, planning and design of NI. The research will deal with energy, transport, water, waste and ICT systems at a national scale, developing new methods for analysing their performance, risks and interdependencies. It will provide a virtual environment in which we will test strategies for long term investment in NI and understand how alternative strategies perform with respect to policy constraints such as reliability and security of supply, cost, carbon emissions, and adaptability to demographic and climate change.The research programme is structured around four major challenges:1. How can infrastructure capacity and demand be balanced in an uncertain future? We will develop methods for modelling capacity, demand and interdependence in NI systems in a compatible way under a wide range of technological, socio-economic and climate futures. We will thereby provide the tools needed to identify robust strategies for sustainably balancing capacity and demand.2. What are the risks of infrastructure failure and how can we adapt NI to make it more resilient?We will analyse the risks of interdependent infrastructure failure by establishing network models of NI and analysing the consequences of failure for people and the economy. Information on key vulnerabilities and risks will be used to identify ways of adapting infrastructure systems to reduce risks in future.3. How do infrastructure systems evolve and interact with society and the economy? Starting with idealised simulations and working up to the national scale, we will develop new models of how infrastructure, society and the economy evolve in the long term. We will use the simulation models to demonstrate alternative long term futures for infrastructure provision and how they might be reached.4. What should the UKs strategy be for integrated provision of NI in the long term? Working with a remarkable group of project partners in government and industry, we will use our new methods to develop and test alternative strategies for Britains NI, building an evidence-based case for a transition to sustainability. We will analyse the governance arrangements necessary to ensure that this transition is realisable in practice.A Programme Grant provides the opportunity to work flexibly with key partners in government and industry to address research challenges of national importance in a sustained way over five years. Our ambition is that through development of a new generation of tools, in concert with our government and industry partners, we will enable a revolution in the strategic analysis of NI provision in the UK, whilst at the same time becoming an international landmark programme recognised for novelty, research excellence and impact.


Ashton A.D.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Walkden M.J.A.,Royal Haskoning | Dickson M.E.,University of Auckland
Marine Geology | Year: 2011

Basic formulae have long been used to predict the effects of sea-level rise on coastal recession; for instance, the geometric 'Bruun rule' (and its modifications) has often been applied to sandy coasts, both low-lying and steep. However, the behavior of rocky coasts, whether strongly or poorly lithified, should be significantly different than that of sandy coasts given that rocky coast evolution depends upon the irreversible breakdown of rock, whereas sandy and depositional systems are controlled by the transport (and related transport gradients) of mobile sediment. Here, we investigate the basis of a modeled relationship which suggests (with a number of caveats) that the equilibrium soft-rock cliff recession rate can be estimated by the square root of the relative change in sea-level rise rate. Although this relationship was derived using the numerical model SCAPE (Soft Cliff And Platform Erosion), which simulates a broad soft-rock cliffed coastal system driven by stochastic environmental forces, here we show that a simplified modeling approach also reproduces the relationship. We then extend this approach to develop a general theoretical framework within which it is possible to consider the potential responses of the different types of cliffed coasts to changes in the rate of sea level rise. Although a wide variety of processes affect different coastal settings, this framework demonstrates how the strength and the nature of feedbacks within cliffed system control their response to sea-level rise. This suggests that cliffed environments controlled by different processes can still respond in similar ways to changes in the rate of sea-level rise. Most rocky coasts would be expected to respond as a damped, or 'negative feedback' system between the extremes of a 'no feedback' system that is unresponsive to sea-level rise rate and an 'instant response' system characterized by a linear response similar to the Bruun rule. This framework suggests that a potential 'inverse feedback' case could also exist, in which increased rates of sea-level rise reduce the rate of coastal recession. In almost all cases, it is apparent that cliffed coast response to sea-level rise depends not only upon the total elevation change of sea level, but on the rate of the sea-level rise. These theoretical investigations and the classifications presented provide a framework to understand the behavior of systems affected by a wide array of processes, and provide expectations that can be tested using more complex models of cliffed coast evolution in a variety of environments, whether sandy or rocky, hard or soft. © 2011.


Walkden M.J.,Royal Haskoning | Hall J.W.,Newcastle University
Journal of Coastal Research | Year: 2011

This paper describes the development, behaviour, and application of a mesoscale numerical geomorphological model of eroding soft rock and beach shores. The model, SCAPE (Soft-Cliff and Platform Erosion), describes coastal processes and engineering interventions and is a suitable tool for testing management strategies. The mesoscale capability of SCAPE arises because it includes a broad system: its principal modules describe wave transformation, platform erosion, and a (one-line) beach. Feedback within and between the modules regulates their behaviour, brings long-term (dynamic) stability, and allows quantified representation of qualitatively different shore behaviours. SCAPE is demonstrated through the construction of a model of more than 30 km of the North Norfolk coast. A precalibration initialisation phase is required to allow dynamic equilibrium to emerge. Once initialised, calibrated, and validated against an 87-year record, the model is used to explore the development of the North Norfolk coast from 2003 to 2053 under six management scenarios. The model is also used to demonstrate the losses and benefits of erosion under these scenarios and to reveal two qualitatively different modes of behaviour, termed rock strength limited erosion and sediment transport limited erosion. Some generic implications of these different modes are discussed. © 2011, the Coastal Education & Research Foundation (CERF).


Daelman M.R.J.,Technical University of Delft | Daelman M.R.J.,Ghent University | van Voorthuizen E.M.,Royal Haskoning | van Dongen U.G.J.M.,Technical University of Delft | And 3 more authors.
Water Research | Year: 2012

Municipal wastewater treatment plants emit methane. Since methane is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, the abatement of the emission is necessary to achieve a more sustainable urban water management. This requires thorough knowledge of the amount of methane that is emitted from a plant, but also of the possible sources and sinks of methane on the plant. In this study, the methane emission from a full-scale municipal wastewater facility with sludge digestion was evaluated during one year. At this plant the contribution of methane emissions to the greenhouse gas footprint were slightly higher than the CO 2 emissions related to direct and indirect fossil fuel consumption for energy requirements. By setting up mass balances over the different unit processes, it could be established that three quarters of the total methane emission originated from the anaerobic digestion of primary and secondary sludge. This amount exceeded the carbon dioxide emission that was avoided by utilizing the biogas. About 80% of the methane entering the activated sludge reactor was biologically oxidized. This knowledge led to the identification of possible measures for the abatement of the methane emission. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Schuurman F.,University Utrecht | Schuurman F.,Royal Haskoning | Marra W.A.,University Utrecht | Kleinhans M.G.,University Utrecht
Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface | Year: 2013

Braided rivers have complicated and dynamic bar patterns, which are challenging to fully understand and to predict both qualitatively and quantitatively. Linear theory ignores nonlinear processes that dominate fully developed bars, whereas natural river patterns are determined by the combined effects of boundary conditions, initial conditions such as planimetric forcing by fixed banks and the physical processes. Here we determine the capability of a state-of-the-art physics-based morphological model to reproduce morphology and dynamics characteristic of braided rivers and determine the model sensitivity to generally used constitutive relations for flow and sediment transport. We use the 2-D depth-averaged morphodynamic model Delft3D, which includes the necessary spiral flow and bed slope effects on morphology. We present idealized scenarios with the smallest possible number of enforced details in the planform and boundary conditions in order to allow free development of bars driven by the physical processes in the model. We analyze bar and channel shapes and dynamics quantified by a number of complementary metrics and compare these with imagery, field data captured in empirical relations, flume experiments, and predictions by linear analyses. The results show that the chosen set of boundary conditions and physics in the numerical model is sufficient to produce many morphological characteristics and dynamics of a braided river but insufficient for long-term modeling. Initially, braiding intensity with low-amplitude bars is high in agreement with linear analysis. In a second stage when bars merge, split, and increase amplitude up to the water surface, the shape, size, and dynamics of individual bars compare well to those in natural rivers. However, long-term modeling results in a reduction of bar and channel dynamics and formation of exaggerated bar height and length. This suggests that additional processes, such as physics-based bank erosion, or enforced fluctuations in boundary conditions, such as spatial-temporal discharge variation, are necessary for the simulation of a dynamic equilibrium river. The most important outcome is that the modeled pattern of bars and channels is highly sensitive to the constitutive relation for bed slope effects that is used in many morphological models. Regardless of this sensitivity and present model limitations of many models, this study shows that physics-based modeling of sand-bed braided improves our understanding and prediction of morphological patterns and dynamics in sand-bed braided rivers. Key Points Physics-based model produced braided topography + realistic short-term dynamics Large uncertainty in physics-based modeling due to constitutive relations Modeled processes and constant Q insufficient for realistic long-term braiding ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Weltje G.J.,Technical University of Delft | Brommer M.B.,Technical University of Delft | Brommer M.B.,Royal Haskoning
Basin Research | Year: 2011

We analysed modern mass-accumulation patterns on the western Adriatic mud wedge (Italy), an elongated belt of shelf mud formed by coalesced prodeltas of the Adige, Po, and Apennine rivers, as part of an integrated strategy aimed at producing a quantitative sediment budget model for muddy continental shelves sourced by multiple compositionally distinct fluvial systems. Sediment provenance and source-specific accumulation rates of surface sediments were quantified by combining results of grain-size analysis and geochemical analysis of specific size fractions with bulk mass accumulation rates. Statistical classification algorithms adapted to compositional data were used to partition the total (geochemical) variation of sediment properties into size-related and provenance-specific factors. We identified geochemically distinct fluvial end-member sediment types in two different grain-size fractions, which were grouped into sediments derived from the Apennine rivers, and sediments derived from the Po and Adige rivers. Compositional fingerprints (end-member compositions) of each source area were estimated by taking into account relative rates of fluvial sediment supply from rivers as predicted by numerical modelling. The end members allow us to explain geochemical compositional variation of mud-wedge surface sediments in terms of provenance and size-selective dispersal, and map mass accumulation rates of sediments from individual source areas (grain size<63μm), as well as bulk sand accumulation rates (grain size>63μm) across the western Adriatic mud wedge. The source-specific rates of fine-grained sediment supply derived from geostatistical estimates of mass-accumulation rates were used to calibrate the numerical model of sediment supply to present-day conditions. © 2010 The Authors. Journal Compilation © Blackwell Publishing Ltd, European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers and International Association of Sedimentologists.


Besseunk H.,Royal Haskoning
ASHRAE Journal | Year: 2016

Hybrid ventilation combines natural ventilation with a mechanical exhaust system. In the Netherlands, hybrid systems have become common since the early 2000s. Its popularity is due to its ability to ventilate offices with fresh outdoor air without using a mechanical supply system. This column discusses the evolution of hybrid ventilation.


The current Dutch policy concerning landfills is based on isolation of the waste from its environment. Infiltration of rain water is limited by means of an impermeable top liner to such an extent that emissions to groundwater are reduced to acceptable levels. This approach however is not a sustainable solution. The pollution potential stays in place and will be imminent, whenever the isolation measures fail. Therefore the isolation requires eternal aftercare. A group of Dutch landfill owners consider isolation and eternal aftercare not a real and sustainable solution for the mitigation of unacceptable emissions due to landfills. So they initiated a project 'Sustainable emission reduction at present landfills' to evaluate the possibilities and effects of sustainable landfill-methodologies at present landfills. Three landfills have been selected (Vlagheide, Kragge and Wieringermeer) for full scale demonstration projects. The present paper reports on the approach and methodologies to be applied. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Langeveld J.G.,Technical University of Delft | Langeveld J.G.,Royal Haskoning | Liefting H.J.,Royal Haskoning | Boogaard F.C.,Technical University of Delft
Water Research | Year: 2012

Stormwater runoff is a major contributor to the pollution of receiving waters. This study focuses at characterising stormwater in order to be able to determine the impact of stormwater on receiving waters and to be able to select the most appropriate stormwater handling strategy. The stormwater characterisation is based on determining site mean concentrations (SMCs) and their uncertainties as well as the treatability of stormwater by monitoring specific pollutants concentration levels (TSS, COD, BOD, TKN, TP, Pb, Cu, Zn, E.coli) at three full scale stormwater treatment facilities in Arnhem, the Netherlands. This has resulted in 106 storm events being monitored at the lamella settler, 59 at the high rate sand filter and 132 at the soil filter during the 2 year monitoring period.The stormwater characteristics in Arnhem in terms of SMCs for main pollutants TSS and COD and settling velocities differ from international data. This implies that decisions for stormwater handling made on international literature data will very likely be wrong due to assuming too high concentrations of pollutants and misjudgement of the treatability of stormwater. The removal rates monitored at the full scale treatment facilities are within the expected range, with the soil filter and the sand filter having higher removal rates than the lamella settler. The full scale pilots revealed the importance of incorporating gross solids removal in the design of stormwater treatment facilities, as the gross solids determine operation and maintenance requirements. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Pistrika A.K.,National Technical University of Athens | Jonkman S.N.,Royal Haskoning
Natural Hazards | Year: 2010

This article analyzes the direct damage to residential buildings caused by the flooding of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina in the year 2005. A public dataset has been analyzed that contains information on the economic damage levels for approximately 95,000 residential buildings in the flooded area. The relationship between the flood characteristics and economic damage to residential buildings has been investigated. Results of hydrodynamic flood simulations have been used that give insight in water depths and flow velocities in the study area. In general, differences between the three polders in the observed distributions of damage estimates are related to differences in flood conditions. The highest damage percentages and structural damage mainly occurred in areas where higher flow velocities occurred, especially near the breaches in the Lower 9th Ward neighborhood. Further statistical analysis indicated that there is not any strong one-to-one relationship between the damage percentage and the water depth or the depth-velocity product. This suggests that there is considerable uncertainty associated with stage-damage functions, especially when they are applied to individual structures or smaller clusters of buildings. Based on the data, a more general approach has been proposed that could be used to distinguish different damage zones based on water depth and flow velocity for an area that is affected by flooding due to breaching of flood defenses. Further validation of existing damage models with the dataset and further inclusion of information on building type in the analysis of damage levels is recommended. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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