Sea-Level Rise and the Response of the Dutch People: Adaptive Strategies Based on Geomorphologic Principles Give Sustainable Solutions

  • Pieter D. JungeriusEmail author

Introducing the Challenge

The Roots of Our Conflict with the Sea

Sea-level rise due to global warming will hit the Netherlands harder than any other country in Europe. It comes on top of the sea-level rise that began at the end of the Pleistocene with 70 cm/century and gradually slowed down to the present 15–20 cm/century. This sea-level rise has a number of natural and, more recently, man-induced causes (Van Koningsveld et al. 2008). Some of these causes resulted in an increase in absolute sea-level height, others in relative height due to subsidence of the land. It means that the North Sea has inundated, or threatened to inundate, the Netherlands for more than 10,000 years. For a long time it was a barren, uninhabited coast, bordering a land of infertile sands such as we still find in the eastern part of the country. Settlers came when sandy beach ridges emerged about 5000 years ago, offering firm ground for housing and living. A wide lagoon with shallow water gradually changing...


Storm Surge Tidal Marsh Twelfth Century Water Board Dutch Coast 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stichting Geomorfologie en LandschapLM EdeThe Netherlands

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