Articles | Volume 372
Proc. IAHS, 372, 173–178, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-372-173-2015
Proc. IAHS, 372, 173–178, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-372-173-2015

  12 Nov 2015

12 Nov 2015

Potential of Holocene deltaic sequences for subsidence due to peat compaction

E. Stouthamer and S. van Asselen E. Stouthamer and S. van Asselen
  • Dept. of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Abstract. Land subsidence is a major threat for the livability of deltas worldwide. Mitigation of the negative impacts of subsidence, like increasing flooding risk, requires an assessment of the potential of the deltas' subsurfaces for subsidence. This enables the prediction of current and future subsidence and optimization of sustainable management strategies. In this paper we present a method to determine the amount of compaction within different Holocene deltaic peat sequences based on a case study from the Rhine-Meuse delta, the Netherlands, showing the potential of these sequences for subsidence due to peat compaction.

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Short summary
The potential for subsidence of Holocene deltas due to peat compaction is mainly determined by the 3D distribution of different lithologies, and associated geotechnical properties, in the subsurface. Our study shows that sequences containing thick high-organic peat layers with no or a thin clastic overburden have the highest potential for high amounts of subsidence due to compaction. In addition, peat layers above groundwater level have high potential for subsidence due oxidation and compaction.