Case studies: Houtribdijk

Connect and seperate

The Houtribdijk connects Lelystad to Enkhuizen and separates Lake Marken from Lake IJssel. Initially, the levee was constructed to create new agricultural land, the ‘Markerwaard’ polder. However, politics decided to not build the polder. As a result of that, the levee became a dam. The Houtribdijk acts as a wave breaker and prevents a water level increase due to storm surges and wind fetch in the lakes. Besides that, it functions in flood risk protection and has several water management, water quality, ecological and transport functions.

In 2006, the levee failed the safety assessment and reinforcement on mainly the revetment was needed. The reinforcement approach between Trintelhaven and Enkhuizen was a proven coastal approach in the Netherlands: by means of sand.This type and scale of sandy levee reinforcement in a non-tidal fresh water lake system is new, and therefore the effectiveness and applicability of sandy foreshores in fresh water lake systems is under research.


And extensive research and monitoring programme has been set up. It concerns high-resolution measurements of hydrodynamics and morphodynamics. Interactions of these disciplines are being studied by Delft University of Technology.


The monitoring campaign has successfully been set up. The system has been installed in an unique way. The  data is being processed and checked real-time. When unexpected quality issues of the data arise, immediate action is taken to diagnose and solve equipment, data transport or data process issues. This process works very well and increases the data quality significantly.

Local context

The research into the Houtribdijk hydro- and morphodynamics is only valid for non-tidal or micro-tidal systems, though not limited to only the Houtribdijk.

Future research directions

The research will continue for two to three more years.  Therefore no future directions have been determined yet.


All documents of the BwN project can be found at publications,  below you find the documents belonging to this specific case study:

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