Case studies: Ameland tidal inlet

New intervention method to prevent erosion

Within the Coastal Genesis 2.0 programme the aim is to collect knowledge that enables to optimise the maintenance and management of our sandy coast after 2020. This not only concerns the safety of people protected by the coast but also focuses on coastal ecology, monitoring and data management. The collected knowledge will be used in a policy advice for the Ministry. This advice gives answers to the questions how much sand is needed in the near future, where to put it, when to change policy and how we need to nourish. Coastal Genesis 2.0 arose from the Decision Sand of the Delta Programme in 2015. The infographic presents the main choices for long-term coastal policy.



Methods used among three research lines:

  1. Long term coastal research:
    This research line concerns additional monitoring and model development to gain more insight into tidal inlet behaviour and sediment transport in deeper water.
  2. Pilot sand nourishment at the outer delta of the Ameland Inlet:
    Rijkswaterstaat is investigating a new coastal intervention method to prevent coastal erosion. Approximately 5 million cubic metres of sand was deposited at the Ameland ebb-tidal inlet seabed.The currents will ensure a natural distribution of the sand along the coast and the Waddenzee.
  3. Ecological monitoring
    Coastal Genesis 2.0. also Investigated the impact on ecology of the pilot nourishment and the ecological dynamics in and around a morphodynamic tidal Inlet.

Data management plays an important role in the development of these research lines.


Coastal Genesis delivered a lot of knowledge of the deeper shoreface. Former insights that are used nowadays, have changed. Also a lot of knowledge of the tidal inlet and its behaviour is gained. This is also due to the monitoring campagne and pilot nourishment in the Ameland Tidal Inlet. We know now that we are able to nourish in an inlet (with a dredger and also according to legislation). A so called inlet nourishment might be a proven technology that can be used within our Coastline management policy.

Despite of all the research, there still remain a lot of uncertainties, especially in the behaviour of morfodynamics. Therefore, Coastal Genesis will continue long term coastal research and specific continue monitoring of the Ameland Inlet.

Local context

The research mainly focussed on tidal inlets and the ecology in such systems.

Future research directions

Use of the knowledge of the pilot Ameland in other inlet reseaches (NL and international):

  • More knowledge of morfodynamics and the effect on ecology regarding sealevelrise
  • Study on sedimenttransport in the Eems Dollard and Westerschelde


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