Earthquake-resistant design of Eemskanaaldijk, Groningen, the Netherlands

Earthquake-resistant design of Eemskanaaldijk, Groningen, the Netherlands

The Eemskanaaldijk, situated in the north of the Netherlands, is located in an area prone to earthquakes. At the request of the Noorderzijlvest Water Board, Antea Group has developed a solution to strengthen the 5.5km stretch of dike between the Bronssluis and the village of Woltersum in the province of Groningen. The end result will be a robust, sustainable protection system which ensures that the area behind the dike remains safe.

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Designing a dike which is able to withstand earthquakes is a considerable challenge. As the earth shakes, sand layers under the quay may weaken and lose their rigidity. What made it even more difficult was that the stretch of dike has been built on different types of soil, from peat to various types of clay. The central idea to the Definitief Ontwerp or final design was to use heavy-duty sheet piling, install it at a greater depth and anchor it to keep it in place. The solution also involves increasing the height of the crest, with additional sheet piling for increased stability and an inner berm in places. The design is based on the Leidraad Toetsing Regionale Waterkeringen or Regional Dike Assessment Guideline. 

In this project, Antea Group carried out the engineering work and we developed, assessed and refined the design. We also drew up the contract documents. Finally, we were responsible for the tender procedure as well as its execution.