China: Dutch Sensor System in Yellow River Dikes

Dutch Sensor System in Yellow River Dikes

A pilot study to test Dutch surveillance sensors in a Yellow River dike in China went so well that the Chinese Government has decided to install the system on further stretches of dike along that river.

The Yellow River Conservancy Commission (YRCC), which is responsible for the river, requested the study. Deltares, asked by AGT International to participate in the project, guaranteed the dike technology and monitored dike stability using the data collected.

The Yellow River has a length of 5500 km, making it the second longest river in China. Millions of people live in the hinterland. Dike breach or overflow would have disastrous consequences, yet it is impossible to check dike security round-the-clock along all those kilometres. Hence the decision to investigate whether sensor technology could be used to monitor dike stability in real time.

At the beginning of this year, sensors were installed in a Yellow River dike in Dayulan near to Zhengzhou. Ten Cate fitted geotextiles containing sensors which could measure deformations. Alert Solutions placed GeoBeads in the dike in order to measure water tension, temperature and deformation. The various sensors are linked up to an incident room which in turn sends the data describing dike strength to a decision-support system at the heart of the real-time monitoring centre, supplied by AGT International. This company, who had ultimate responsibility together with TNO, is a global supplier of innovative surveillance and security solutions for public areas including infrastructure.

Deltares continuously calculated dike stability from the sensor input by means of the software applications DAM (Dike Analysis Module) and D-Geo Stability. The system was tested last June. Frans van den Berg, the specialist in real-time monitoring at Deltares: ‘In the test, the Xiaolangdi dam was opened to create a tidal wave measuring about 3 m. The sensors at the pilot study location accurately reflected the situation the whole time and the YRCC was kept informed of conditions on the dike.’

During the 5th International Yellow River Forum (IYRF) in Zhengzhou at the end of September, Van den Berg reported the results of the pilot study officially. The intention of YRCC to deploy the system on a larger scale along the river was also announced.


Press Release, November 5, 2012