Understanding flow velocities to keep navigation channels open

WaterProof Marine Consultancy & Services B.V. has used Nortek’s Signature VM system to measure sedimentation levels in order to assess the possible impact of dredging a short-cut in the navigation channel between Holwerd and the island of Ameland in the Netherlands.


Due to the constant erosion and sedimentation process, the channel to Ameland had meandered considerably from its original route, increasing the journey distance and time, and adding to fuel costs and CO2 emissions in the process.

However, dredging the shortcut for the ferry channel would change the hydromorphological conditions, so the operation needed to be carefully monitored to assess its efficiency and any wider long-term impact.

WaterProof needed to measure existing sedimentation levels and water currents in and around the channels as part of its analysis. The consultancy firm turned to Nortek, selecting the company’s Signature acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) to carry out the task, including the vessel-mounted Signature VM.

Data gathered by the Signature VM provided accurate insight into flow velocities over the water column at the channel transects. It also showed sediment concentrations in the water over the tidal cycle. These continuously varied with depth.

This knowledge has helped provide better understanding of the morphological system and will improve the efficiency of future mitigation measures to keep the navigation channel open.

Click here to learn more about this interesting project.