Very interesting post in Linkedin about grass roots, which shows we still have a lt to learn on this topic : link
Near the town of Vlaardingen, remnants have been found of an ancient construction that probably served as a low levee. The construction was about 1 metre in height, at least 20 metres long, and consisted of a dual construction consisting of wooden piles and braided willow branches, that was subsequently filled with earth.
The levee was probably constructed over 2000 years ago, during the 2nd century BC. As such, it is probably the most ancient levee discovered so far in the Netherlands.
The FLOODrisk international conference on Food Risk management, postponed from 2020, is now scheduled from 21st to 25th June 2021 online. You can find all details here: https://floodrisk2020.net/news/floodrisk2020-virtual-conference-information/
Registration is open.
I received from a colleague this information that I wanted to share with you:
DO NOT FORGET THAT… Is that time of the year were we get crazy and excited about submitting abstracts for EGU ! Deadline for abstract submission is extended to the 20th of January 2021, 13:00 CET. This 2021 promises an even more exciting event as we started our session on “Advances in modelling, failure assessment and monitoring of levees and other flood defences”. We want to start this session as a tradition for dikes and other flood defences practioners and researchers to have the opportunity to meet in a yearly basis and share our findings and relate to other world known flood risk experts. Please submit your abstract and contribute to the start of this hopefully yearly tradition for flood risk and flood resilience enthusiasts. Please feel free to forward the invitation to any dike enthusiast who you think may be interested either in submitting something or attending to the session. Looking forward to your abstract submission !
POLDER2C’s has started with the execution of levee overflow tests near the Dutch-Belgian border. Besides well-maintained levee sections, we aim to test anomalies like presence of a cliff, animal burrows and a tree.
Flanders Hydraulics Research
The French association of levee managers France Digues organises a presentation of the French edition of the International Levee Handbook. Because of the COVID19 situation, this event, which was supposed to happen in Paris as a physical meeting, will beheld online so more people will potentially be able to attend. More details here : Programme de la matinée JT Guide ILH and inscriptions here : Formulaire d’inscription
The ICOLD Levees Technical Committee (LE TC) 2020 met over the last three days of September for our 2020 meeting. These are some of my personal reflections.
The current restrictions in response to COVID19 were overcome by having a teleconference on each of the days. I think the importance of Levees worldwide was seen by the range of countries that joined the meeting despite the large time differences for some. We were also pleased to Welcome Michael Rogers, the current President of ICOLD, to one of our meetings. Each day had a different theme.
Day 1: On the Monday we considered the Levees situation report. The report is well developed containing information, including a section with detailed information about levees within many countries. The version of the Levee Situation Report tabled at the meeting was approved.
Day 2: The focus for Tuesday was the dams-levees comparison report. Chapter include design, construction and inspections. Draft chapters were considered with feedback for the authors. The report is developing into a useful source and signpost for information and will help learning across dam and levee practitioners.
Day 3: The Wednesday meeting considered general topics. I particularly noted the importance of effective national backing groups to support TC members as the reports are nearing completion. It was also an opportunity for suggestions for future bulletins.
I was again impressed by the importance of levees across the world combined with the knowledge and enthusiasm of those managing them.
Last week TU Delft hosted a webinar on their International Levee Performance Database, as well as similar initiatives from France and the USA. The webinar also discussed the applications of such databases and the necessity for closer collaboration in developing them.
Over 150 participants joined online from around the world, representing private consultancies, academic and research institutes and local and national authorities.
A recording of the event can be found through the below link, as well as links to videos on the use of the ILPD;
ILPD in general: https://youtu.be/p4B6biRk0EM
Assessment and design (In Dutch,with English subtitles) https://youtu.be/3wQk77_vuiU
Crisis management: https://youtu.be/eecNYsiJh6k
Data Science: https://youtu.be/k2_IcEISeWA
We hope to continue this initiative, and welcome any comments or suggestions through our email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 4th International Conference IS. Rivers will take place from June 21 to 25, 2021.
I.S.Rivers is an international conference focused on research and action in the service of large rivers in Europe and the world, a meeting between scientists and practitioners.
The French National Dams Committee CFBR is a partner of this event. More details here : http://www.graie.org/ISRivers/a_index.php
Over the last 5 years the SAFElevee project team at TU Delft has investigated levee failures and has set up an open-access database (the international levee performance database – ILPD) with over 1500 levee failure and performance cases.
You are warmly invited to attend a webinar on the SafeLevee project and ILPD database.
The event will be held on Friday 25th September from 13.30 – 15.30 CEST, and the program outline is as follows (further details will be made available at a later stage).
Block 1: SAFElevee, the international levee performance database and its use for levee managers
Block 2: International collaboration in collecting, sharing and analysing levee failures
Please confirm your attendance by emailing email@example.com, and feel free to share with others you think may be interested. More details will be provided to attendees prior to the event, including a detailed agenda and access details.
Under the title “The Flood Challenge to Resilience” ICFM will share the experience with (i) major flooding in China that affected/s millions of people and hundreds of river basins; (ii) flooding in Japan caused by truly extraordinary amounts of rain falling over the island of Kyushu; and (iii) flooding in Michigan (US) that interacted with aging infrastructure and resulted in failure of two dams.
Three highly regarded speakers – Professor Jun XIA, Professor Toshio KOIKE and Dr. Molly FINSTER – will introduce these topics and set the stage for the discussion by the audience. See the webinar invitation/registration page at www.icfm.world/Webinars.
On the left bank of the south of the Rhône river (in France), between the cities of Tarascon and Arles, a railway embankment has performed for many years as a flood protection structure although it was not a role falling under its owner (the French National Railway company) responsibility. In December 2003, because of breaches in appurtenant embankments, the north of the city of Arles was flooded for many weeks.
Fig. 1: breaches on appurtenant embankments in 2003
In the aftermath of this centennial flood, the State and local authorities have put in place a vast flood prevention plan at the scale of the catchment area, called Plan Rhône, which notably provides for the complete renovation of the levees of the Rhône Delta over 20 years. Among this ambitious program, was decided the creation of a levee resistant to overtopping up to the 100 year flood, parallel to the railway embankment, and the creation of 10 openings (concrete structures) in the railway in order for it to be “hydraulically transparent” (see Fig. 2). This segment of levee and the reinforcement of the rest of the system against all other deterioration and failure mechanisms allows the whole levee system to withstand floods up to the 1000 year with a 50 cm margin (the crest level of the levees not-resistant to overtopping). Floods above the protection level (100 year) will flood the protected area in a controlled way and with many times less water volume and speed than any previous scenario with the same probability (see Fig. 3). A second line levee will prevent the flood going over the new levee to reach the densely inhabited suburbs of Arles.
Fig. 2: schematics of. the future overtopping resistant levee and the railway embankment with the transparency structures
Fig. 3: compared modelled consequences of the historic flood (1856 – 250 years event) before and after the project (Source: SYMADREM)
References on the design of the system: Cheetham, M., Mallet, T., Chastel, E., Tourment R., Robustelli, P., Pelt, P., - - 2015. Building a resilient system of defence against flooding from the Rhône. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Water Management, vol. 168, n° 2, p. 74-84 Cheetham, M., Tourment, R., Pelt, P. - 2016. Risk assessment and economic appraisal of protection methods for the Tarascon-Arles railway embankment. 3rd European Conference on Flood Risk Management FLOODrisk 2016 17/10/2016-21/10/2016, Lyon, FRA. E3S Web Conf. Volume 7, 2016. 3rd European Conference on Flood Risk Management (FLOODrisk 2016). 8 p.
During the summer of 2019, over two periods of barely more than 48 hours, five out of the ten opening structures(like the one in figure 4) were put in place in the railway embankment. The planning of these operations started years in advance, as it involved the disruption of the rail traffic on a major line of train transport for both passengers and goods. The five other ones are being constructed now at a short distance along on the side of the railway embankment and will be put in place during the summer of 2020. During each of these sequences of non-stop operation, the following steps have to be successively completed:
The hazard of a flood happening during these crucial phases was considered and measures were taken to minimize the risks, including being able to close the embankment openings in case of a flood not foreseen when the operation started.
The openings are temporarily closed until the new levee is completely built, in order to keep ensuring the current protection level (Fig. 10). Afterwards stilling basins can be added (Fig. 11)
During the Marseille 2021 ICOLD congress, one of the field trips will be organised in this area and the whole complex system will be presented: overtopping resistant levee, opening structures, second line of defence and flood water management.
Fig. 4: one of the opening structures and the equipment used to move it
Fig. 5: open railway embankment
Fig. 6: moving the structure and controlling its placement
Fig. 7a & 7b: additional prefabricated concrete structures for the bottom of the slopes of the embankment
Fig. 8a, 8b & 8c: placing and compacting the new material between the existing embankment and the concrete structure
Fig. 9: the specific engine in charge of placing the railway ballast in order to ensure performance of the rails
Fig. 10: concrete slabs to temporarily close the openings until the new levee is operational
Fig. 11: a stilling basin in construction
The identification of levees constitutive materials, as well as the detection of possible interfaces and anomalies, are crucial for site characterization. During investigation campaigns, complementary geophysical and geotechnical methods are usually used. These two sets of methods yield data with very different spatial scales and different levels of incompleteness, uncertainty and inaccuracy. On the one hand, geophysical methods are generally non-intrusive and provide physical information on large volumes of soils but with significant potential uncertainties. These uncertainties are due in particular to the integrative and indirect aspects (relative to the parameters related to failure modes limit state equations) of the methods as well as to the resolution of the inverse problems. On the other hand, geotechnical investigation methods are intrusive and provide more local information but also more accurate and very often directly related to parameters related to failure modes limit state equations. An important issue to improve the characterization of subsoils and existing levees is to be able to combine acquired geophysical and geotechnical data, while taking into account their respective uncertainties, inaccuracies and spatial distributions. The complementarity of these two sets of methods is often underused since the uncertainty and inaccuracy associated with each method are rarely considered. Furthermore, results are usually only graphically superimposed and considered with an expert opinion instead of being mathematically merged. These works propose a specific methodology in order to manage conflictual information and different levels of uncertainties and inaccuracies from different investigation methods, expanding geotechnical information between borehole positions. It presents a new way of mathematically combining data from these two types of information sources, taking into account the specificities of each kind of method. This new methodology considers the framework fixed by the theory of belief masses and improves the characterization of lithological sets within levees and their foundation. It provides information on the level of conflict between information sources while proposing a confidence index associated with the results.
By: Théo Dezert
Figure 1: Section of a levee with representation of lithological materials having the highest belief mass values after fusion process between electrical resistivity, granulometry and CPT data (left) and their associated belief mass values (right).
UPDATE (4 March) : the meeting has been postponed due to the Coronavirus epidemic. The new dates are: Sat. 26 Sept. – Th. 01 Oct. 2020.
The dates for the WG workshop and meeting are on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th respectively.
The 2020 ICOLD meeting will be in New Delhi, India, from 4 to 10 April. Registration is now open and the early bird rate ends at the end of January, so hurry if you want to benefit from this reduced rate. Information and registration here : https://www.icold2020.org The third bulletin is available on line on the same web site.
The Levees Technical Committee of ICOLD (ICOLD LE TC) will hold a workshop on Monday 6 and a meeting on Tuesday 7. During registration attendees have to indicate which TC workshop and meeting they plan to attend. We invite all our levees community members to register for these TC events, wether a member of the LE TC, of the EUCOLD LFD WG or simply interested in levees, and to encourage your colleagues and relations to do the same. It is important that we have a large attendance for a wide exchange of information and knowledge, and it is also important to register for logistic reasons (room size).
NB: LE TC members not able to attend are strongly advised to have a colleague from their national dam committee to attend the TC workshop and meeting on their behalf.
Rijkswaterstaat has launched new geotechnical software for slope stability on November 28th
This was developed together with Deltares and our dike reinforcement program HWBP (The Slope Stability Project / POV Macrostabiliteit).
Raymond van der Meij from Deltares was the main driving force behind the development. Meindert Van was one of the initiators.
We have merged the knowledge from five different initiatives in the Netherlands on slope stability in the new software.
It will be available on the Deltares and on the Rijkswaterstaat website (Helpdeskwater.nl)
It will be in the English language. The software is available to everyone (free of charge). Support for users who assess or design flood defenses in the Netherlands is covered by Rijkswaterstaat. Support for user in other countries will go through Deltares (this is not free of charge).
The user manual is available on
During last month’s EURCOLD Symposium I presented a paper on drought effects on levees; see https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336641742_Mitigating_drought_risk_for_levees_Mitigating_drought_risk_for_levees . For the Sept2020 Floodrisk Symposium, I wish to extend this work and include some more experiences regarding drought effects on levees. However, it turned out to be quite hard to find publications and data (such as drought crack dimensions+position and other properties, drought crack development and recovery, best practices on remedial measures, etc.). Who can help me out, and send me some useful weblinks/publications and/or [summarized] data?
Thanks in advance!
The XVIIth ECSMGE conference, held in Reykjavik with the theme “Geotechnical Engineering, foundation of the future” on September 1-6, had a lot of content related to levees and also to dams.
ISSMGE TC201 on “Geotechnical aspects of Dykes and Levees” has some members in common with ICOLD LE TC and EUCOLD LFD WG. We will in the future continue to exchange information between our ICOLD groups and TC201, as well as encourage actual collaboration (see report).
With the help of Meindert Van for review and of Cor Zwanenburg for a list of levee papers, we produced a report on the conference with links to additional information, that we encourage you to read.
The report is available for download from our “Members only” menu in the web site.
Attention – 1 week left to end of abstract submission
We would like to remind you all that the call for abstracts for the 4th European Conference on Flood Risk Management, that will take place in Budapest will close on 16th September 2019.
FLOODrisk2020 is committed to attract, coach and listen to the next generation of scientists and practitioners who will future-proof our research methods and help to improve our flood risk management practice in order to better cope with deep uncertainty and therefore the 4th conference will focus on the issue of Science and practice for an uncertain future.
YOU NOW HAVE LESS THAN 1 WEEK LEFT TO SUBMIT YOUR ABSTRACT on https://floodrisk2020.net/authors-area/
We encourage all our members to attend the EUCOLD Symposium on October 2-4 (https://www.eurcold2019.com) and particularly the two days organized by our WG (https://www.eurcold2019.com/eucold-wg-lfd) on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1
Please also disseminate this information among your contacts interested in levees and flood defences.
The deadline for submitting abstracts to the next FLOODrisk conference has been extended to the 16th September : https://floodrisk2020.net/news/abstract-submission-deadline-extension/
Levees and Flood Defences are definitely a topic and I encourage every EUCOLD LFD WG and/or ICOLD LE TC to submit an abstract.
We are looking for articles relating to the engineering, operation, maintenance of Levees… and anything else Levee related that you think will be of interest, for the 4th edition of the Levee Working Group Newsletter.
Article length should be around 500 words or less, and include a photo, map or diagram.
The Newsletter will be published soon, so please can you send contributions by 5th of July,.
Please send any articles to the editor – Sam Leonard (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Issue 3 of the Newsletter has recently been published. The EUCOLD Levee Working Group Newsletter is now looking for article contributions for the 4th issue which will be published later in summer of 2019.
We will be looking for articles relating to the engineering, operation, maintenance of Levees… and anything else Levee related that you think will be of interest.
Please send any articles onto the editor – Sam Leonard (email@example.com)
A new issue of our LFD WG newsletter is available on the dedicated page of our web site : https://lfd-eurcold.inrae.fr/index.php/wg-newsletter/
to to all contributors.
The third French Conference on Levees (“Digues 2019”) was held in Aix en Provence on 20-21 March 2019 with technical visits on the Rhône levees on the 22.
It was a success with 100 abstracts submission, 300 participants, 77 final papers, 50 oral presentations and 26 posters.
The book of abstracts is available, with English abstracts, in the “Levee related documents” page of our web site. Full text papers are available online on zenodo.org.
Last days to send an abstract for the 11th ICOLD European Club Symposium. Deadline is Monday 18th February 2019. All topics refer to all dams – large and small, reservoirs, levees and flood defenses.
|Abstracts Submission (300 words max)||Monday 18th February 2019|
|Abstracts Acceptance||Friday 15th March 2019|
|Full Paper Submission (10 pages max)||Monday 30th of April 2019|
|Full Paper Acceptance||Friday 31st of May 2019|
Now it is 2019 it is time to think of the next group newsletter. A lot is happening in the world of Levees and it will be good to share what you have been doing. As a guide articles between a quarter and a whole page work well. Photographs and pictures are useful to bring an article to life.
Workshop on “Assessing and managing the risks of transitions in flood defence infrastructure”
The Environment Agency has teamed up with international experts to help risk management authorities to consider the risks associated with transitions in flood defence structures. The international consortium, made up of HR Wallingford, Royal HaskoningDHV, Deltares, IRSTEA and USACE, integrates current international knowledge and practice on transitions combined with working UK knowledge and practice on risk based tools for asset inspection and management. The project aims to:
• consider the presence of transitions during flood defence condition assessment
• quantify the effects of transitions on flood defence performance and flood risk
• manage the risk of transitions with improved design and retrofit solutions.
Credit: Royal HaskoningDHV
Credit: Royal HaskoningDHV
On 9 October a stakeholder meeting was hold in London to provide the opportunity to influence the direction of the project and to benefit from stakeholder’s experience managing flood defences. The animated discussion focused on specific reliability methods for transitions and the approaches for inspecting them. The workshop also provided the opportunity to hear about the management strategies being employed in the US, France and the Netherland to mitigate the risks associated with transitions.
More information about the project here: http://www.hrwallingford.com/projects/assessing-and-managing-risks-with-transitions-in-flood-defence-infrastructure
Photo OwenTarrantPhoto Owen TarrantPhoto Owen Tarrant
photo by Ilze Plomp – van der Sar
This was my first ICOLD meeting and was the first formal ICOLD Technical Committee on Levees (TC LE) after it had been setup at the meeting in Prague. Here are a few of my thoughts.
Not only was this the first formal meeting of the LE TC the Congress was also important because Q103 for the congress was on the subject of small dams and levees. Rémy Tourment from France was the general reporter for this question who is also the chairman of the ICOLD TC LE. An interesting range of Reports were presented in four sessions with worthwhile discussion at the end of each session.
ICOLD TC LE also held a workshop on Monday 2 July. Other than providing an opportunity for presentations from new member countries, a significant amount of time was spent in gathering ideas for the dams and levees intercomparison report, using a facilitated brainstorming process. By the end we had a wall of Post It notes with very useful material. One point for the future is to use stickier notes as several did not stay on the wall. This material will be used by a small team from the Committee to further develop the report.
Adrian Rushworth (with thanks to Jonathan Simm for material)
While some countries like Japan and some Balkan countries have suffered from severe floods during the spring and early summer of 2018, The Netherlands and England are suffering from severe drought.
In both England and The Netherlands, June 2018 ranks along the 6 warmest and driest June months of the last century and has been record setting in places, with locally just a few millimeters of rain in six weeks’ time. In the Netherlands, the precipitation deficit (precipitation minus evaporation) since the 1st of April is now reaching 200 mm, twice the long-term average for mid-July.
The drought has led to a remarkable situation, which has not gone unnoticed amongst the news media: Some of the levee managing organizations in the Netherlands have now started to irrigate their levees. A remarkable situation indeed, because not only too much water turns out to pose a danger for levees, but also a shortage of water. This applies especially to levees consisting of peat. These are quite common for the peaty and low-lying Northwestern half of The Netherlands, and are especially used as embankments for the raised canals that are used to drain the polders in this area. After desiccation, the peat in such levees becomes a very light material which might practically float away (or experience uplift) if too much pressure is exerted on such a levee. This was by and large the reason for a peat levee breach after a similar drought in the hot summer of 2003, near the Dutch village of Wilnis.
After the above levee breach, the Dutch Foundation STOWA (www.stowa.nl) has initiated a fair amount of research on peat levees and other small levees, and has come up with guidance for their management during drought. As a result, there is now a protocol, which recommends that from a certain drought level on, levee managers start spraying or irrigating their peat levees, together with intensified inspections. In this way, the risk of cracks and setting of peat (and clay) levees is significantly reduced, as is the risk of sudden failure like in the 2003 case of Wilnis.
Further information can be found on:
May, 24th, 2018
Robert Slomp, Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org
In the newsletter we have given an abstract of the relevant research for Flood Defenses. The present overview covers the research in somewhat more detail. First some general principles are highlighted:
The itemized list below highlights some key research activities of The Netherlands on Flood Defenses, even though it is not necessarily complete. The scope is limited to levee-related issues, which implies that research on hydraulic structures is not mentioned.
International Levee Performance Database (http://leveefailures.tudelft.nl) to facilitate sharing of data on breach formation and breach initiation, to facilitate three work packages with the following objectives
See also: https://ncr-web.org/projects/all-risk/
It wants to be flexible and adaptive program. A lot of data is being generated from the monitoring, making this available for researchers essential.publications are on the website: https://waterenklimaat.nl/research-tracks/coastal-genesis/?lang=en
Kust Genese is part of the Interreg project Building with Nature http://www.northsearegion.eu/building-with-nature
2.1 Hydraulic Boundary Conditions
Research commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat(the national water authority) with the meteorological office KNMI and Deltares being the main research institutes involved
2.1.1 Research on the wind climate on the North Sea and in the Netherlands,
2.1.2 Research on sea level scenario’s which influence the North Sea Area
2.1.3 Research on discharge scenario’s for the Rhine, Meuse and its tributaries, The GRADE project. A resampling technique (GRADE) of rainfall data to construct large artificial time series, e.g. 50 000 years.
This is a long term project, with deliverables every year
All documentation will be published n English, on the KNMI (see above), the Rijkswaterstaat and Deltares websites.
2.1.4 Research on wave action on rivers
2.1.5 Wind, Wave and Run-up measurements on large lakes, between barrier islands in the Waddenzee
(the last project is formally more a project of TU delft, Rijkswaterstaat is involved in the measurement strategy.
2.2 Research of Geotechnics
Piping (internal erosion) and slope instability
These are long term projects, with deliverables every year. All documentation will be published on the Rijkswaterstaat and Deltares website in English.
2.3 Revetment failure
2.4 Failure path research
3.0 Applied research initiated by STOWA, for regional flood defenses
Research for regional flood defenses have little or no risk for life loss. There are about 15000 km of regional flood defenses in the Netherlands, mainly managed by regional Water Boards. STOWA is the research institute for the regional managers of flood defenses in the Netherlands.
Projects with the Delta program: e.g. multifunctional use of levees, professionalizing inspection of flood defenses,
4.0 Applied research initiated by the national program for the reinforcement of flood defenses “HWBP”.
Some projects of interest are listed below.
4.1 Influence of sandy and vegetated foreshores on Hydraulic Boundary conditions,
4.2 a review of the method for calculating Hydraulic Boundary conditions
4.3 Piping / internal erosion
4.4 Slope stability
Real life experiments with and without reinforcement using sheet piling
– see the article by Meindert Van, in the mid-2018 Newsletter
4.5 stone revetments
4.6 Asphalt revetments
Many asphalt revetments were constructed in the seventies and are approaching the end of their technical lifetime.
Research funded by HWBP, the national reinforcement program
4.7 Managing cables, pipelines crossing levees or near levees A failure of pipeline in or near a levee can cause failure of the levee.Safety assessment rules for cables and especially pipelines near and within levees need a risk-based update.
On the 3rd of January 2018, all Dutch storm surge barriers had to close.
For details, see the news item https://www.i-storm.org/news.html on the site of I-storm, the International Network for Storm Surge Barriers.
The closed Maeslant storm surge barrier (archive photo)