Beneficial use of dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development by applying a ‘Mud Motor’

Martin J. Baptist (Corresponding Author), T. Gerkema, B.C. van Prooijen, D.S. van Maren, M. van Regteren, K. Schulz, I. Colosimo, J. Vroom, T. van Kessel, B. Grasmeijer, P. Willemsen, K. Elschot, A.V. de Groot, J. Cleveringa, E.M.M. van Eekelen, F. Schuurman, H.J. de Lange, M.E.B. van Puijenbroek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

We test an innovative approach to beneficially re-use dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development. A
Mud Motor is a dredged sediment disposal in the form of a semi-continuous source of mud in a shallow tidal
channel allowing natural processes to disperse the sediment to nearby mudflats and salt marshes. We describe
the various steps in the design of a Mud Motor pilot: numerical simulations with a sediment transport model to
explore suitable disposal locations, a tracer experiment to measure the transport fate of disposed mud, assessment of the legal requirements, and detailing the planning and technical feasibility. An extensive monitoring and
research programme was designed to measure sediment transport rates and the response of intertidal mudflats
and salt marshes to an increased sediment load. Measurements include the sediment transport in the tidal
channel and on the shallow mudflats, the vertical accretion of intertidal mudflats and salt marsh, and the salt
marsh vegetation cover and composition. In the Mud Motor pilot a total of 470,516 m3 of fine grained sediment
(D50 of ∼10 μm) was disposed over two winter seasons, with an average of 22 sediment disposals per week of
operation. Ship-based measurements revealed a periodic vertical salinity stratification that is inverted compared
to a classical estuary and that is working against the asymmetric flood-dominated transport direction. Field
measurements on the intertidal mudflats showed that the functioning of the Mud Motor, i.e. the successful
increased mud transport toward the salt marsh, is significantly dependent on wind and wave forcing. Accretion
measurements showed relatively large changes in surface elevation due to deposition and erosion of layers of
watery mud with a thickness of up to 10 cm on a time scale of days. The measurements indicate notably higher
sediment dynamics during periods of Mud Motor disposal. The salt marsh demonstrated significant vertical
accretion though this has not yet led to horizontal expansion because there was more hydrodynamic stress than
foreseen. In carrying out the pilot we learned that the feasibility of a Mud Motor depends on an assessment of
additional travel time for the dredger, the effectiveness on salt marsh growth, reduced dredging volumes in a
port, and many other practical issues. Our improved understanding on the transport processes in the channel and
on the mudflats and salt marsh yields design lessons and guiding principles for future applications of sediment
management in salt marsh development that include a Mud Motor approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-323
Number of pages12
JournalEcological engineering
Volume127
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

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saltmarsh
Sediments
mud
Salts
mudflat
sediment
Sediment transport
sediment transport
Dredges
Dredging
Travel time
Estuaries
fine grained sediment
dredger
dredging
transport process
Erosion
travel time
vegetation cover
Ships

Cite this

Baptist, M. J., Gerkema, T., van Prooijen, B. C., van Maren, D. S., van Regteren, M., Schulz, K., ... van Puijenbroek, M. E. B. (2019). Beneficial use of dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development by applying a ‘Mud Motor’. Ecological engineering, 127, 312-323. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2018.11.019
Baptist, Martin J. ; Gerkema, T. ; van Prooijen, B.C. ; van Maren, D.S. ; van Regteren, M. ; Schulz, K. ; Colosimo, I. ; Vroom, J. ; van Kessel, T. ; Grasmeijer, B. ; Willemsen, P. ; Elschot, K. ; de Groot, A.V. ; Cleveringa, J. ; van Eekelen, E.M.M. ; Schuurman, F. ; de Lange, H.J. ; van Puijenbroek, M.E.B. / Beneficial use of dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development by applying a ‘Mud Motor’. In: Ecological engineering. 2019 ; Vol. 127. pp. 312-323.
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abstract = "We test an innovative approach to beneficially re-use dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development. AMud Motor is a dredged sediment disposal in the form of a semi-continuous source of mud in a shallow tidalchannel allowing natural processes to disperse the sediment to nearby mudflats and salt marshes. We describethe various steps in the design of a Mud Motor pilot: numerical simulations with a sediment transport model toexplore suitable disposal locations, a tracer experiment to measure the transport fate of disposed mud, assessment of the legal requirements, and detailing the planning and technical feasibility. An extensive monitoring andresearch programme was designed to measure sediment transport rates and the response of intertidal mudflatsand salt marshes to an increased sediment load. Measurements include the sediment transport in the tidalchannel and on the shallow mudflats, the vertical accretion of intertidal mudflats and salt marsh, and the saltmarsh vegetation cover and composition. In the Mud Motor pilot a total of 470,516 m3 of fine grained sediment(D50 of ∼10 μm) was disposed over two winter seasons, with an average of 22 sediment disposals per week ofoperation. Ship-based measurements revealed a periodic vertical salinity stratification that is inverted comparedto a classical estuary and that is working against the asymmetric flood-dominated transport direction. Fieldmeasurements on the intertidal mudflats showed that the functioning of the Mud Motor, i.e. the successfulincreased mud transport toward the salt marsh, is significantly dependent on wind and wave forcing. Accretionmeasurements showed relatively large changes in surface elevation due to deposition and erosion of layers ofwatery mud with a thickness of up to 10 cm on a time scale of days. The measurements indicate notably highersediment dynamics during periods of Mud Motor disposal. The salt marsh demonstrated significant verticalaccretion though this has not yet led to horizontal expansion because there was more hydrodynamic stress thanforeseen. In carrying out the pilot we learned that the feasibility of a Mud Motor depends on an assessment ofadditional travel time for the dredger, the effectiveness on salt marsh growth, reduced dredging volumes in aport, and many other practical issues. Our improved understanding on the transport processes in the channel andon the mudflats and salt marsh yields design lessons and guiding principles for future applications of sedimentmanagement in salt marsh development that include a Mud Motor approach.",
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Baptist, MJ, Gerkema, T, van Prooijen, BC, van Maren, DS, van Regteren, M, Schulz, K, Colosimo, I, Vroom, J, van Kessel, T, Grasmeijer, B, Willemsen, P, Elschot, K, de Groot, AV, Cleveringa, J, van Eekelen, EMM, Schuurman, F, de Lange, HJ & van Puijenbroek, MEB 2019, 'Beneficial use of dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development by applying a ‘Mud Motor’' Ecological engineering, vol. 127, pp. 312-323. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2018.11.019

Beneficial use of dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development by applying a ‘Mud Motor’. / Baptist, Martin J. (Corresponding Author); Gerkema, T.; van Prooijen, B.C.; van Maren, D.S.; van Regteren, M.; Schulz, K.; Colosimo, I.; Vroom, J.; van Kessel, T.; Grasmeijer, B.; Willemsen, P.; Elschot, K.; de Groot, A.V.; Cleveringa, J.; van Eekelen, E.M.M.; Schuurman, F.; de Lange, H.J.; van Puijenbroek, M.E.B.

In: Ecological engineering, Vol. 127, 01.02.2019, p. 312-323.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Beneficial use of dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development by applying a ‘Mud Motor’

AU - Baptist, Martin J.

AU - Gerkema, T.

AU - van Prooijen, B.C.

AU - van Maren, D.S.

AU - van Regteren, M.

AU - Schulz, K.

AU - Colosimo, I.

AU - Vroom, J.

AU - van Kessel, T.

AU - Grasmeijer, B.

AU - Willemsen, P.

AU - Elschot, K.

AU - de Groot, A.V.

AU - Cleveringa, J.

AU - van Eekelen, E.M.M.

AU - Schuurman, F.

AU - de Lange, H.J.

AU - van Puijenbroek, M.E.B.

PY - 2019/2/1

Y1 - 2019/2/1

N2 - We test an innovative approach to beneficially re-use dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development. AMud Motor is a dredged sediment disposal in the form of a semi-continuous source of mud in a shallow tidalchannel allowing natural processes to disperse the sediment to nearby mudflats and salt marshes. We describethe various steps in the design of a Mud Motor pilot: numerical simulations with a sediment transport model toexplore suitable disposal locations, a tracer experiment to measure the transport fate of disposed mud, assessment of the legal requirements, and detailing the planning and technical feasibility. An extensive monitoring andresearch programme was designed to measure sediment transport rates and the response of intertidal mudflatsand salt marshes to an increased sediment load. Measurements include the sediment transport in the tidalchannel and on the shallow mudflats, the vertical accretion of intertidal mudflats and salt marsh, and the saltmarsh vegetation cover and composition. In the Mud Motor pilot a total of 470,516 m3 of fine grained sediment(D50 of ∼10 μm) was disposed over two winter seasons, with an average of 22 sediment disposals per week ofoperation. Ship-based measurements revealed a periodic vertical salinity stratification that is inverted comparedto a classical estuary and that is working against the asymmetric flood-dominated transport direction. Fieldmeasurements on the intertidal mudflats showed that the functioning of the Mud Motor, i.e. the successfulincreased mud transport toward the salt marsh, is significantly dependent on wind and wave forcing. Accretionmeasurements showed relatively large changes in surface elevation due to deposition and erosion of layers ofwatery mud with a thickness of up to 10 cm on a time scale of days. The measurements indicate notably highersediment dynamics during periods of Mud Motor disposal. The salt marsh demonstrated significant verticalaccretion though this has not yet led to horizontal expansion because there was more hydrodynamic stress thanforeseen. In carrying out the pilot we learned that the feasibility of a Mud Motor depends on an assessment ofadditional travel time for the dredger, the effectiveness on salt marsh growth, reduced dredging volumes in aport, and many other practical issues. Our improved understanding on the transport processes in the channel andon the mudflats and salt marsh yields design lessons and guiding principles for future applications of sedimentmanagement in salt marsh development that include a Mud Motor approach.

AB - We test an innovative approach to beneficially re-use dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development. AMud Motor is a dredged sediment disposal in the form of a semi-continuous source of mud in a shallow tidalchannel allowing natural processes to disperse the sediment to nearby mudflats and salt marshes. We describethe various steps in the design of a Mud Motor pilot: numerical simulations with a sediment transport model toexplore suitable disposal locations, a tracer experiment to measure the transport fate of disposed mud, assessment of the legal requirements, and detailing the planning and technical feasibility. An extensive monitoring andresearch programme was designed to measure sediment transport rates and the response of intertidal mudflatsand salt marshes to an increased sediment load. Measurements include the sediment transport in the tidalchannel and on the shallow mudflats, the vertical accretion of intertidal mudflats and salt marsh, and the saltmarsh vegetation cover and composition. In the Mud Motor pilot a total of 470,516 m3 of fine grained sediment(D50 of ∼10 μm) was disposed over two winter seasons, with an average of 22 sediment disposals per week ofoperation. Ship-based measurements revealed a periodic vertical salinity stratification that is inverted comparedto a classical estuary and that is working against the asymmetric flood-dominated transport direction. Fieldmeasurements on the intertidal mudflats showed that the functioning of the Mud Motor, i.e. the successfulincreased mud transport toward the salt marsh, is significantly dependent on wind and wave forcing. Accretionmeasurements showed relatively large changes in surface elevation due to deposition and erosion of layers ofwatery mud with a thickness of up to 10 cm on a time scale of days. The measurements indicate notably highersediment dynamics during periods of Mud Motor disposal. The salt marsh demonstrated significant verticalaccretion though this has not yet led to horizontal expansion because there was more hydrodynamic stress thanforeseen. In carrying out the pilot we learned that the feasibility of a Mud Motor depends on an assessment ofadditional travel time for the dredger, the effectiveness on salt marsh growth, reduced dredging volumes in aport, and many other practical issues. Our improved understanding on the transport processes in the channel andon the mudflats and salt marsh yields design lessons and guiding principles for future applications of sedimentmanagement in salt marsh development that include a Mud Motor approach.

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DO - 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2018.11.019

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JO - Ecological engineering

JF - Ecological engineering

SN - 0925-8574

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Baptist MJ, Gerkema T, van Prooijen BC, van Maren DS, van Regteren M, Schulz K et al. Beneficial use of dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development by applying a ‘Mud Motor’. Ecological engineering. 2019 Feb 1;127:312-323. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2018.11.019