Location

New York, New York

Session Start Date

4-13-2004

Session End Date

4-17-2004

Abstract

In August 2003, after a very dry and warm summer, one of the dikes along a canal in The Netherlands failed at night. Because of this dike breach, the water in the canal started to run into a housing quarter of the village Wilnis, which is about 30 km Southeast of Amsterdam. A local contractor immediately started to close off the canal. By the time this was finished, 600 houses were already half a meter under water. The 2000 residents were evacuated in the early morning. Almost all residents could return to their homes the same evening after the water was pumped out of this area. Like many other small dikes in The Netherlands, the complete dike consists of peat. Since peat has a relatively low specific weight, a peat dike has a higher risk of being pushed aside by water pressure than sand or clay dikes. This horizontal sliding is a rare type of failure mechanism. Though, when the stability of this dike is checked with a simple one page computation, it becomes clear that the failure of the dike after a dry period was a realistic threat. For many years it was known that this part of dike was at risk. This was reported to the minister of Public Works in 1993, but the two involved provincial authorities, the provincial government and the water board, did not take steps until after the dike failure.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Fifth Conference

Publisher

University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

4-13-2004

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2004 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

Share

 
COinS
 
Apr 13th, 12:00 AM Apr 17th, 12:00 AM

Dutch Dike Breach, Wilnis 2003

New York, New York

In August 2003, after a very dry and warm summer, one of the dikes along a canal in The Netherlands failed at night. Because of this dike breach, the water in the canal started to run into a housing quarter of the village Wilnis, which is about 30 km Southeast of Amsterdam. A local contractor immediately started to close off the canal. By the time this was finished, 600 houses were already half a meter under water. The 2000 residents were evacuated in the early morning. Almost all residents could return to their homes the same evening after the water was pumped out of this area. Like many other small dikes in The Netherlands, the complete dike consists of peat. Since peat has a relatively low specific weight, a peat dike has a higher risk of being pushed aside by water pressure than sand or clay dikes. This horizontal sliding is a rare type of failure mechanism. Though, when the stability of this dike is checked with a simple one page computation, it becomes clear that the failure of the dike after a dry period was a realistic threat. For many years it was known that this part of dike was at risk. This was reported to the minister of Public Works in 1993, but the two involved provincial authorities, the provincial government and the water board, did not take steps until after the dike failure.