Advances in Maintenance of Ports and Waterways: Water Injection Dredging

Alex Kirichek, K Cronin, Lynyrd de Wit, Thijs van Kessel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

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The main objective of this chapter is to demonstrate developments in port maintenance techniques that have been intensively tested in major European ports. As regular port maintenance is highly expensive, port authorities are considering alternative strategies. Water Injection Dredging (WID) can be one of the most efficient alternatives. Using this dredging method, density currents near the bed are created by fluidizing fine-grained sediments. The fluidized sediment can leave the port channels and be transported away from the waterways via the natural force of gravity. WID actions can be successfully coupled with the tidal cycle for extra effectiveness. In addition, WID is combined with another strategy to reduce maintenance dredging: the nautical bottom approach, which enables the vessel to navigate through the WID-induced fluid mud layer. The nautical bottom approach uses the density or the yield stress of sediment to indicate the navigability after WID rather than the absolute depth to the sediment bed. Testing WID-based port maintenance requires thorough preparation. Over the years modeling and monitor-ing tools have been developed in order to test and optimize WID operations. In this chapter, the application of the recently developed tools is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSediment Transport - Recent Advances
EditorsAndrew Maning
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)978-1-83881-119-8
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • fluid mud
  • cohesive sediment
  • nautical depth
  • WID
  • sailing through mud
  • dredging


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