Eelke Folmer, Ecospace Lemmer: Sea level rise and land subsidence forces us to rethink the way we plan and shape our coastal landscapes. While the Dutch are praised for their infrastructure providing protection against floods, the high dikes have removed natural dynamics from the coastal system, blocked natural sedimentation and have broken connections between people and the sea. Before the dikes were built, terps (mounds built from sediment) made it possible for people and livestock to survive floods in dynamic tidal landscapes. Moreover, in the Netherlands there was a tight interrelationship with the sea and coastal processes which provided possibilities for agriculture and fisheries.
With the project “Terp fan e takomst”, or “Mound of the future”, a new mound is built on the saltmarsh near Blije in the north of Friesland. It will revive the relationship between man and coastal landscape and it will be a source of inspiration and creativity for a vision for future coastal living. Here is an interesting paper by Mans Scheepers and colleagues who provide a unified perspective on the interplay of physical geography, biology and cultural history.
We are excited and proud that we can support this project by monitoring the morphological and vegetation development using the Marlyn VTOL in collaboration with Atmos and Ecospace. In March this year, we mapped ~350 ha of the saltmarsh area where the “Terp fan e takomst” is built with a ground resolution of 1.28 cm/pixel during a single low tide period. The combination of highly accurate digital elevation models and detailed vegetation maps allows for analysis of the interactions between morphology and vegetation. We are convinced that this project and our research with Bas Borsje will help the development of a vision and management plans for our coastal landscapes and prepare us for the upcoming sea level rise.