Svašek Hydraulics

Coastal, harbour and river engineering consultants



    the Netherlands


    Operational current forecast,
    FINEL2D current modelling

In the final realisation stage of the sea defence of the port extension of Rotterdam a difficult situation for navigation occurred with continuous changing current patterns and high velocities. An operational forecast system was used that accounted for ongoing bathymetric changes and the most recent weather forecasts.

The “Maasvlakte 2”, the extension of the port of Rotterdam, exists of a hard sea defense close to the port entrance and a soft sea defense. Before the future entrance via Maasvlakte 1 will be opened the sea defense will be closed creating a closed basin of 520 ha. The final closure stage is located at the transition from the hard to the soft sea defense.

The trailing hopper suction dredgers closing the sea defense experience a difficult current situation consisting of a strong cross current while approaching the closure gap and a jet coming out of the closure gap at outflow. Whilst the presence of the hard sea defense induced serious risk of damage to the ships. The combination of this difficult and

continuously changing situation for navigation and the presence of the hard sea defense created a serious risk of damage to the ships. As a mitigation measure it was felt that advanced current predictions were needed that accounted for the ongoing change in bathymetry and even included the daily weather forecast to account for wind driven currents and pressure fluctuations.

Every 24 hours a bathymetry update was received from the clients survey department. An automatic FINEL2D calculation was started using an updated bathymetry and an updated pressure and wind forecast. At the end of the calculation the forecast was visualised as shown below and automatically sent to the ships.

View animation of sand closure.