Water Level Uncertainties Due to Uncertain Bedform Dynamics in the Dutch Rhine System

  • Matthijs R. A. GensenEmail author
  • Jord J. Warmink
  • Suzanne J. M. H. Hulscher
Conference paper
Part of the GeoPlanet: Earth and Planetary Sciences book series (GEPS)


Quantitative estimations of water level uncertainties are essential for the design and assessment of flood protection systems. This work aims to quantify the water level uncertainties in the bifurcating Dutch river Rhine system as a result of main channel roughness uncertainty. An one-dimensional hydraulic model of the Rhine branches is used to estimate the water levels in the system for several roughness scenarios. Model results show that the roughness effect has a large influence on the modelled water levels. However, for the larger Waal branch, the changing discharge distribution counteracts the roughness effect, thereby decreasing the range of possible water levels. For the smaller Nederrijn and IJssel branch it is possible that the discharge in the respective branch increases even though the branch has a high roughness. Thereby, for these branches the discharge distribution effect increases the range in modelled water levels. The large and varying effects on water levels by roughness uncertainty and changing discharge distributions in a bifurcating river system indicate the importance to consider the system as a whole instead of as separate branches in the design and assessment of river engineering works.


River bifurcation Uncertainty Hydraulic modelling Rhine Bedforms 



This work is part of the Perspectief research programme All-Risk with project number P15-21, which is (partly) financed by NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences, in collaboration with the following private and public partners: the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (RWS), Deltares, STOWA, HKV consultants, Natuurmonumenten and the regional water authorities Noorderzijlvest, Vechtstromen, it Fryske Gea, HHNK. Dr. F. Huthoff is thanked for his input during the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthijs R. A. Gensen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jord J. Warmink
    • 1
  • Suzanne J. M. H. Hulscher
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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