• Modelling and studying hydrodynamic and morphological processes

  • Providing design solutions in dynamic environments

  • Research and development of computational tools

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

  • Metocean studies

  • Turbidity studies

  • River studies

Hydrodynamics and Morphology

Entire societies are built around places where land meets water. These areas are of high economic, social and environmental value. This asks for a smart, adaptive approach to use both water and land. We must ensure safety and study the effects of (the lack of) human intervention at these places. Therefore, the study of hydrodynamics and morphology is important. Hydrodynamics and morphology concerns the movement of water (hydrodynamics) and the associated changes in soil and landscape (morphology). In our projects, we assess, amongst others, water levels, wave action, currents, sediment transport patterns, turbidity plumes and changes in morphology.

Our work is often used for the development of optimal design solutions in dynamic environments. For example, to derive design conditions for hydraulic structures, to analyse the operational availability of ports and to design measures that mitigate unwanted erosion and/or sedimentation.  For offshore cables and pipelines we are involved in both the design (e.g. routing, burial depth, environmental impact) as well as asset management (analysis of sea bed survey data, environmental data).


We use mathematical methods and state-of-the-art numerical tools in our studies. The spatial scales in which these models are applied varies from detailed scales (tidal gates and locks) to global scales (parts of oceans) and covers many in between (ports, river sections, etc.). An example of a modelling exercise (XBeach) is presented in the video below. It shows a passing ship that causes a large wave that may effect the morphology and safety of the beach.

We also develop in-house tools to analyse specific hydrodynamic and morphological effects, such as wave penetration in ports (WIHA model) or sedimentation inside navigation channels and harbours (CoDeS). With these tools we aim to make quick and accurate assessments that are of high value in studying alternatives or during the preliminary phases of design projects.

Computational Fluid Dynamics

One of our specialities is Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Based on our knowledge and experience on the interaction between hydraulics and structures, we assess whether hydraulic designs fulfill all requirements. Based on these studies we assist in optimizing hydraulic designs.

CFD gives insight into detailed flow fields around objects, enables the possibility to study design alternatives and eases the collection of data at desired locations without the need for expensive measurement campaigns.

Depending on the type of structures we decide upon the methodology. The application of CFD varies from basic analytical equations to the implementation of complex numerical tools such as D-Hydro, COMSOL or OpenFOAM. We have gained experience in studying and designing amongst others locks, sluice gates, port layouts, fish passes, tidal turbines and sewage structures.

Metocean studies

Metocean studies are essential when designing both offshore and nearshore structures. We collect global data on wind, waves and tidal currents. This data originates from field observations, satellite data and numerical models. Based on statistical data analyses we derive wind- and offshore wave climates.

We use numerical models to compute onshore, detailed wave climates and flow patterns. We apply models such as SWAN (spectral wave analysis), WIHA (mild-slope models) and Delft3D or SWASH (hydrodynamic models).

We have implemented these studies in various projects, such as Prins Hendrikzanddijk, multiple land reclamations in Indonesia (Makassar, Bali, Jakarta), Sint Eustatius, Ghana and Belgium.

Turbidity studies

Dredging operations lead to an inscrease in turbidity. To ensure that turbidity plumes do not harm the natural environment it is key to study the impact of these dredging operations. By combining hydrodynamic models and turbidity modules we assist clients in finding a responsible dredging strategy. We deployed these studies in complex environments such as the Caspian Sea, the Waddensea and the Singapore Strait.

River studies

The Dutch rivers are constantly changing. The aim is to improve water safety, navigability and ecological value. For large scale changes it is essential to comply with acting laws and legislations. In the Netherlands this is established in the Waterwet. This law prescribes that a functional river design must meet the requirements from the Rivierkundig Beoordelingskader (RBK) in order to retrieve a permit.

Our river experts assist in optimizing a river design. Herefore, we analyze hydraulic and morphological effects using both analytical tools and numerical models such as Delft3D and WAQUA. Together with our clients we find solutions that meet the legal requirements and satisfy the needs of all stakeholders.

Over the past years we gained much experience in the field of river studies. We contributed amongst others to projects such as Room for the River, Maneswaard, Overnachtingshaven Giesbeek, Dike relocation in Paddenpol, Grensmaas, Wolferen-Sprok and Meanderende Maas.


Finally, we are involved in several research programmes and collaborations with universities to keep up with - and contribute to -  the latest scientific developments.

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