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The relative contribution of peat compaction and oxidation to subsidence in built-up areas in the Rhine-Meuse delta, The Netherlands.
Sci Total Environ 2018; 636:177-191ST

Abstract

An increasing number of people lives in coastal zones with a subsurface consisting of heterogenic soft-soil sequences. Many of these sequences contain substantial amounts of peat. While population growth and urbanization continues in coastal zones, they are threatened by global sea-level rise and land subsidence. Peat compaction and oxidation, caused by loading and drainage, are important contributors to land subsidence, and hence relative sea-level rise, in peat-rich coastal zones. Especially built-up areas, having densely-spaced urban assets, are heavily impacted by land subsidence, in terms of livelihoods and damage-related costs. Yet, built-up areas have been largely avoided in peat compaction and oxidation field studies. Consequently, essential information on the relative contributions of both processes to total subsidence and underlying mechanisms, which is required for developing effective land use planning strategies, is lacking. Therefore, we quantified subsidence due to peat compaction and oxidation in built-up areas in the Rhine-Meuse delta, The Netherlands, using lithological borehole data and measurements of dry bulk density, organic matter, and CO2 respiration. We reconstructed subsidence over the last 1000 years of up to ~4 m, and recent subsidence rates of up to ~140 mm·yr-1 averaged over an 11-year time span. The amount and rate of subsidence due to peat compaction and oxidation is variable in time and space, depending on the Holocene sequence composition, overburden thickness, loading time, organic-matter content, and groundwater-table depth. In our study area, the potential for future subsidence due to peat compaction and oxidation is substantial, especially where the peat layer occurs at shallow depth and is relatively uncompacted. We expect this is the case for many peat-rich coastal zones worldwide. We propose to use subsurface-based spatial planning, using specific subsurface information mentioned above, to inform land use planners about the most optimal building sites in organo-clastic coastal zones.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands. Electronic address: s.vanasselen@uu.nl.Deltares Research Institute, Daltonlaan 600, 3584 BK Utrecht, The Netherlands; Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands.Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands.Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands.Institute of Environmental Biology, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.084, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands.Institute of Environmental Biology, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.084, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29704713

Citation

van Asselen, Sanneke, et al. "The Relative Contribution of Peat Compaction and Oxidation to Subsidence in Built-up Areas in the Rhine-Meuse Delta, the Netherlands." The Science of the Total Environment, vol. 636, 2018, pp. 177-191.
van Asselen S, Erkens G, Stouthamer E, et al. The relative contribution of peat compaction and oxidation to subsidence in built-up areas in the Rhine-Meuse delta, The Netherlands. Sci Total Environ. 2018;636:177-191.
van Asselen, S., Erkens, G., Stouthamer, E., Woolderink, H. A. G., Geeraert, R. E. E., & Hefting, M. M. (2018). The relative contribution of peat compaction and oxidation to subsidence in built-up areas in the Rhine-Meuse delta, The Netherlands. The Science of the Total Environment, 636, pp. 177-191. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.141.
van Asselen S, et al. The Relative Contribution of Peat Compaction and Oxidation to Subsidence in Built-up Areas in the Rhine-Meuse Delta, the Netherlands. Sci Total Environ. 2018 Sep 15;636:177-191. PubMed PMID: 29704713.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The relative contribution of peat compaction and oxidation to subsidence in built-up areas in the Rhine-Meuse delta, The Netherlands. AU - van Asselen,Sanneke, AU - Erkens,Gilles, AU - Stouthamer,Esther, AU - Woolderink,Hessel A G, AU - Geeraert,Rebecca E E, AU - Hefting,Mariet M, Y1 - 2018/04/25/ PY - 2018/02/13/received PY - 2018/04/09/revised PY - 2018/04/09/accepted PY - 2018/4/29/pubmed PY - 2018/4/29/medline PY - 2018/4/29/entrez KW - Coastal zone KW - Land subsidence KW - Peat compaction KW - Peat oxidation SP - 177 EP - 191 JF - The Science of the total environment JO - Sci. Total Environ. VL - 636 N2 - An increasing number of people lives in coastal zones with a subsurface consisting of heterogenic soft-soil sequences. Many of these sequences contain substantial amounts of peat. While population growth and urbanization continues in coastal zones, they are threatened by global sea-level rise and land subsidence. Peat compaction and oxidation, caused by loading and drainage, are important contributors to land subsidence, and hence relative sea-level rise, in peat-rich coastal zones. Especially built-up areas, having densely-spaced urban assets, are heavily impacted by land subsidence, in terms of livelihoods and damage-related costs. Yet, built-up areas have been largely avoided in peat compaction and oxidation field studies. Consequently, essential information on the relative contributions of both processes to total subsidence and underlying mechanisms, which is required for developing effective land use planning strategies, is lacking. Therefore, we quantified subsidence due to peat compaction and oxidation in built-up areas in the Rhine-Meuse delta, The Netherlands, using lithological borehole data and measurements of dry bulk density, organic matter, and CO2 respiration. We reconstructed subsidence over the last 1000 years of up to ~4 m, and recent subsidence rates of up to ~140 mm·yr-1 averaged over an 11-year time span. The amount and rate of subsidence due to peat compaction and oxidation is variable in time and space, depending on the Holocene sequence composition, overburden thickness, loading time, organic-matter content, and groundwater-table depth. In our study area, the potential for future subsidence due to peat compaction and oxidation is substantial, especially where the peat layer occurs at shallow depth and is relatively uncompacted. We expect this is the case for many peat-rich coastal zones worldwide. We propose to use subsurface-based spatial planning, using specific subsurface information mentioned above, to inform land use planners about the most optimal building sites in organo-clastic coastal zones. SN - 1879-1026 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29704713/The_relative_contribution_of_peat_compaction_and_oxidation_to_subsidence_in_built_up_areas_in_the_Rhine_Meuse_delta_The_Netherlands_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0048-9697(18)31301-9 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -