The Masterplan 'Vlaamse Baaien' outlines the need to develop an integrated vision for the Belgian coast. One of the Masterplan’s goals is to achieve a win-win situation between coastal protection and the maintenance and improvement of the maritime access to the port of Zeebrugge.
The hinterland connection of the port of Zeebrugge by means of inland vessels is a major issue. Therefore, a specific type of inland vessels is conditionally allowed to make use of the 16 nautical miles long sea trajectory between Zeebrugge and the mouth of the Western Scheldt estuary to connect the port with the inland waterway network.
Detailed information about the wave climate in the area between the eastern dam of the port of Zeebrugge, Pas van het Zand, Scheur-Oost/Wielingen, Vlissingen, Breskens and the coastline is essential to maximize the efficiency of the sea-river traffic in the present situation, and to decrease the requirements of inland vessels for safe navigation on a coastal route between the port of Zeebrugge and the mouth of the Western Scheldt.
The existing project focuses on the model set-up and calculation of the detailed wave climate between Zeebrugge and the mouth of the Western Scheldt estuary in the present situation and also a future configuration for wind, wave and water level conditions throughout the year 2013 by means of the validated numerical model. The result of the simulation are delivered to the client for the further analysis (e.g. shading effects of new islands scenarios for the ship navigation). Research results can be used for the further analysis of the navigation of all vessels which are making use of the present route and future alternative routes. Besides, it can serve as a basis to evaluate the impact of measures on the response of inland vessels.