Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund)

The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme

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Current direction control at Bunthaus


Numeric modeling was used to investigate how sedimentation processes in the harbor – especially within the area ‘Köhlbrand’ and the connected parts of the ‘Norderelbe’ – can be influenced by a river engineering measure at ‘Bunthäuser Spitze’.

The hydrodynamic numerical model considered the area between the City of Geesthacht (upstream end) and the island ‘Stadersand’ (downstream end) having a length of 69 km. In order to model the bathymetry of the Elbe estuary, soundings of HPA-surveys were used.

Several scenarios with different loads of suspended matter from upstream and downstream were analyzed, in order to calibrate and validate the model with results from nature. In the model the impact of changes in water flow through the ‘Norderelbe’ and the ‘Süderelbe’ was studied by processing it in four different cases:
  1. Current and sediment transport without structural alteration.
  2. Reduction of the water amount (40%) in the ‘Norderelbe’ by a piling wall.
  3. Reduction of the water amount (40%) in the ‘Süderelbe’ by a piling wall.
  4. Variable gates were set in the Norderelbe and the ‘Süderelbe’ in order to influence the freshwater discharge. The gate in the ‘Süderelbe’ was closed during the period from low tide to high tide. The gate in the ‘Norderelbe’ was closed in the period from high tide to low tide.

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Report: Management measures analysis and comparison