Subsidence of dredged organic sediments in cultivated peatlands

Leon A. Van Paassen, Bruna R.F. Oliveira, Nor H.M. Zain, Cristina Jommi

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Many low-lying peatlands in delta areas undergo significant subsidence due to drainage for agricultural purposes. Subsidence may be attributed to shrinkage, consolidation or oxidation. At the same time the canals and ditches are regularly dredged to maintain water quality and drainage capacity. Often these dredged sediments are placed on land, which may help to slow down subsidence. In this study subsidence of organic sediments was monitored for a period of three years. The sediments were dredged from lakes and canals in the peatlands of Wormer- en Jisperveld, in the Netherlands and placed in an on-land constructed depot. Samples were collected at regular time intervals to measure water content and organic content. Additionally, laboratory tests were performed to characterize the organic sediments and determine the compression, consolidation, shrinkage and water retention characteristics under various oxidizing conditions. The laboratory tests showed that oxidation can significantly affect the compression, consolidation, water retention and shrinkage characteristics of organic soils. However, monitoring results in the field showed that the major part of the subsidence, which occurred within the three years of this study, could be attributed to shrinkage of the dredged sediments and the remainder to consolidation of the underlying peat layers, while the organic matter content did not change significantly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number01020
JournalE3S Web of Conferences
StatePublished - Oct 16 2020
Event4th European Conference on Unsaturated Soils, E-UNSAT 2020 - Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: Oct 19 2020Oct 21 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Energy
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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