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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/os-2017-5
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
24 Feb 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).
Recurrence intervals for the closure of the Dutch Maeslant surge barrier
Henk W. van den Brink1 and Sacha de Goederen2 1KNMI, Utrechtseweg 297, De Bilt, The Netherlands
2Rijkswaterstaat, Boompjes 200, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Abstract. The Dutch Maeslant barrier, a movable surge barrier in the mouth of river Rhine, closes when due to a surge in the North Sea the water level in the river in Rotterdam would exceed 3 m above mean sea level. An important aspect of the failure probability is that the barrier might get damaged during a closure and that, within the time needed for repair, as a second critical storm-surge occurs. With an estimated closure frequency of once in 10 years, the question arises how often the barrier has to be closed twice within a month.

Instead of tackling this problem by the application of statistical models on the (short) observational series, we solve the problem by combining the surge model WAQUA/DCSMv5 with the output of all seasonal forecasts of the European Centre of Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) in the period 1981–2015, whose combination cumulates in a pseudo-observational series of more than 6000 years. It is found that two closures occur on average once in 150 years within a month, and once in 330 years within a week.

Sea level rise has a significant impact on the recurrence time, both of single and double closures. The recurrence time of single closures reduplicate with every 18 cm mean sea level rise (assuming that other influences remain unchanged), and double closure reduplicate with every 10 cm rise. This implies a 3–14 times larger probability of a double closure for a 15–40 cm sea level rise in 2050 (according to the KNMI climate scenarios) than that is currently dealt with.


Citation: van den Brink, H. W. and de Goederen, S.: Recurrence intervals for the closure of the Dutch Maeslant surge barrier, Ocean Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/os-2017-5, in review, 2017.
Henk W. van den Brink and Sacha de Goederen
Henk W. van den Brink and Sacha de Goederen
Henk W. van den Brink and Sacha de Goederen

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Short summary
The movable Dutch Maeslant surge barrier closes when the city Rotterdam is threathened to be flooded due to a big storm on the North Sea. However, the barrier might get damaged and reparation is needed. The question is how big the probability is that a second closure is necessary during the reparation time. We solve the problem by using a huge data set of weather situations that cumulate in more than 6000 years. It is found that two closures occur on average once in 150 years within a month.
The movable Dutch Maeslant surge barrier closes when the city Rotterdam is threathened to be...
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