Subsidence of organic dredged sediments in an upland deposit in Wormer- en Jisperveld: North Holland, the Netherlands

Bruna R F Oliveira, Martijn P J Smit, Harry Veld, Leon A. van Paassen, Huub H M Rijnaarts, Tim C. Grotenhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Land subsidence in low-lying peatlands can be caused by shrinkage and organic matter oxidation. When these areas have networks of ditches and canals for drainage purposes, the sediments that accumulate in the waterways can be used to reverse the process of land subsidence. The objective of this study is to understand how dredged sediments can be used to reverse the process of land subsidence by analysing the contribution of shrinkage and organic matter mineralization to the subsidence observed in an upland deposit. A deposit of dredged sediments in the Wormer- en Jisperveld—North Holland, the Netherlands—was characterized during 17 months in terms of subsidence of the sediments, subsidence of the soil underlying the deposit, geotechnical water content, organic matter content, type of organic matter and nutrients. The deposit was filled to a height of 195 cm, and after 17 months, the subsidence of the sediments was 88 cm. In addition, a subsidence of 19.5 cm of the underlying soil was observed. Subsidence could be attributed to shrinkage since no significant changes in the organic matter content and total organic carbon were observed. The type of organic matter changed in the direction of humification until winter 2014, stabilized from winter 2014 to spring 2015 and changed in the direction of mineralization after the spring of 2015. Subsidence of dredged sediments in upland deposits is caused by shrinkage during the first 17 months. The solution of spreading thinner layers of sediments over the land to decrease the subsidence rates should be explored since the pressure of the deposit on the underlying soil caused an extra subsidence of 19.5 cm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Dredged sediments
  • Lowlands
  • Organic matter oxidation
  • Peatlands
  • Shrinkage
  • Subsidence
  • Upland deposit


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