Maarten G Kleinhans

Maarten G Kleinhans
Utrecht University | UU · Department of Physical Geography

PhD

About

396
Publications
118,205
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8,266
Citations
Citations since 2016
143 Research Items
5552 Citations
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Introduction
Rivers, deltas and coasts have dynamic patterns of sand, mud and vegetation. I aim to understand how these patterns form and change by replicating them in sand box experiments and computer models. Main research subjects (see projects): - River channel patterns - River bifurcations and avulsion - Bedforms and sediment sorting - Estuaries and tidal bars - Fluvio-deltaic morphology on planet Mars - Philosophy of earth/geoscience

Publications

Publications (396)
Article
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Estuaries and deltas worldwide are facing land loss and drowning due to sea‐level rise (SLR). Commonly home to ports, their channels are dredged and deepened for navigation. However, little is known about how such sediment management will interact with changing sediment transport patterns due to SLR. Using scale experiments, empirical relations and...
Article
The sedimentary-stratigraphic record is regularly considered only in the context of regional climate, tectonic configuration, and sea-level. In this study we provide examples of how biotically influenced autogenic processes may come to be overprinted on these extrinsic, allogenic controls. A sedimentological analysis is given for the Mississippian...
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Bifurcations are important geomorphological features in tide‐influenced deltas. At bifurcations, river flow and tides distribute sediment over the channel network and determine the morphodynamic evolution of the entire delta. Using a one‐dimensional numerical model, we study the effects of tides on the morphological evolution of bifurcations from r...
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Many delta systems worldwide are becoming increasingly urbanized following a variety of processes, including land reclamation, embanking, major engineering and port constructions, dredging and more. Here, we trace the development of one system, the Rhine-Meuse delta in the Netherlands (RMD) from two natural estuaries (the RME fed by the Rhine river...
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Mangrove forests are valuable coastal ecosystems that have been shown to persist on muddy intertidal flats through bio-morphodynamic feedbacks. However, the role of coastal conditions on mangrove behavior remains uncertain. This study conducts numerical experiments to systematically explore the effects of tidal range, small wind waves, sediment sup...
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Estuaries comprise channels vital for economic activity and bars as valuable habitats. They are increasingly under human‐induced pressures (e.g., sea‐level rise and dredging), resulting in morphological changes that affect navigability, flood safety and ecology. Antecedent geology may strongly steer how estuary channels will adapt to these pressure...
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Many Holocene estuaries were infilled to form convergent, single-channel systems, while others remained partially or wholly unfilled. This difference in the degree of infilling depends partly on the balance between fluvial and coastal sediment input and the hydrodynamics that can export sediment. However, it remains unclear to what degree this bala...
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The meandering of alluvial rivers may be forced by normal faulting due to tectonically altered topographic gradients of the river valley and channel at and near the fault zone. Normal faulting can affect river meandering by either instantaneous (e.g. surface-rupturing earthquakes) or gradual displacement. To enhance our understanding of river chann...
Preprint
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Rivers and estuaries are flanked by floodplains built by mud and vegetation. Floodplains affect channel dynamics and the overall system's pattern through apparent cohesion in the channel banks and through filling of accommodation space and hydraulic resistance. For rivers, effects of mud, vegetation and the combination are thought to stabilise the...
Article
Estuaries host channel networks that can range from meandering single‐thread channels to complex channel networks comprising looping, branching, and offshoot structures through which water, sediment, and nutrients are transported in both the flood and ebb directions. In this manuscript, we use graph theory to quantify the structural and dynamical c...
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Estuarine landscapes form through interactions between fluvio-coastal processes and ecological processes within the boundaries imposed by hard substrate layers and man-made dikes and dams. As estuaries are ecologically valuable areas, monitoring and quantification of trends in habitats is needed for objective comparison and management. However, dat...
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Channels in rivers and estuaries are the main paths of fluvial and tidal currents that transport sediment through the system. While network representations of multi-channel systems and their connectivity are quite useful for characterization of braiding patterns and dynamics, the recognition of channels and their properties is complicated because o...
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Abundant research has shown that macrobenthic species are able to increase sediment erodibility through bioturbation. So far, however, this has been at the level of individual species. Consequently, we lack understanding on how such species effects act on the level of bioturbator communities. We assessed the isolated and combined effects of three b...
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Undergraduate geoscience students are rarely exposed to history and philosophy of science (HPS). I will describe the experiences with a short course unfavourably placed in the first year of a bachelor of earth science. Arguments how HPS could enrich their education in many ways are sketched. One useful didactic approach is to develop a broader inte...
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Erosion of tidal flats is to a large degree determined by the erosion threshold of their cohesive sediments, i.e., the critical bottom shear stress identifying the onset of erosion. Given that the erodibility of tidal flats can vary strongly over both space and time, rapid in situ measuring methods for quantifying the critical bottom shear stress a...
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Deltas and estuaries worldwide face the challenge of capturing sufficient sediment to keep up with relative sea‐level rise. Knowledge about sediment pathways and fluxes is crucial to combat adverse effects on channel morphology, for example, erosion which enhances bank collapse and increasing tidal penetration. Here, we construct sediment budgets w...
Preprint
Fast and fascinating changes in views on nature and systems occurred around 1800, for example in the works of Alexander von Humboldt. While Humboldt rarely used the word system, he searched for the pattern-forming forces of nature by gruesome experiments on animals, including himself, and then drew a map of a mountain that became the basis of bioge...
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Use of mangrove ecosystems for coastal flood protection requires reliable predictions of mangrove wave attenuation, especially if this capacity lessens due to storm‐induced forest damage. Quantifying and understanding the variation in drag forces and mechanical properties of mangrove vegetation can improve assessment of mangrove protective capacity...
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The Paleozoic evolution of vegetation transformed terrestrial landscapes, facilitating novel sedimentary processes and creating new habitats. This transformation left a permanent mark on the sedimentary record, perhaps most strikingly via an upsurge in preserved terrestrial mudrock. Whereas feedbacks between evolving vegetation and river structure...
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Shipping fairways in estuaries are continuously dredged to maintain access for large vessels to major ports. However, several estuaries worldwide show adverse side effects to dredging activities, in particular affecting morphology and ecologically valuable habitats. We used physical scale experiments, field assessments of the Western Scheldt estuar...
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Channel bifurcations can be found in river network systems from high gradient gravel‐bed rivers to fine‐grained low gradient deltas. In these systems, bifurcations often evolve asymmetrically such that one downstream channel silts up and the other deepens and, in most cases, they eventually avulse. Past analytical and numerical studies showed that...
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The tectonic andfluvial setting of the Rhine-Meuse river system in the Lower Rhine Embayment rift system is ex-ceptionally well known. The 19th century, pre-regulation river courses of three rivers are used to study a postu-lated sinuosity response to faulting. The fault-perpendicular Meuse River shows patterns of sinuosity changes atdifferent spat...
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Sediment‐stabilizing and ‐destabilizing organisms, i.e. microphytobenthos (biofilms) and macrozoobenthos (bioturbators), affect the erodibility of muddy sediments, potentially altering large‐scale estuarine morphology. Using a novel eco‐morphodynamic model of an idealized estuary, we investigate eco‐engineering effects of microphytobenthos and two...
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Deltas require sufficient sediment to maintain their land area and elevation in the face of relative sea-level rise. Understanding sediment budgets can help in managing and assessing delta resilience under future conditions. Here, we make a sediment budget for the distributary channel network of the Rhine–Meuse delta (RMD), the Netherlands, home to...
Article
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p>Physical scale experiments enhance our understanding of fluvial, tidal and coastal processes. However, it has proven challenging to acquire accurate and continuous data on water depth and flow velocity due to limitations of the measuring equipment and necessary simplifications during post-processing. A novel means to augment measurements is to nu...
Article
Full-text available
Mangrove forests are valuable ecosystems, but their extent and diversity are increasingly threatened by sea-level rise and anthropogenic pressures. Here we develop a bio-morphodynamic model that captures the interaction between multiple mangrove species and hydro-sedimentary processes across a dynamic coastal profile. Numerical experiments are cond...
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Many river systems in Europe have altered morphology and dete- riorated ecosystems due to human interference. We demonstrate how conflicting interests of nature, society and economics in the Dutch–German Ems-Dollard system complicate achieving the nat- ure restoration targeted by the EU Water Framework Directive. This article provides a multidiscip...
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Rivers exhibit a wide variety of channel patterns, and predicting changes in channel pattern is important in order to foresee river responses to climate change and river restoration. Many discriminators have been developed to define approximate boundary conditions for different channel patterns, based on channel-pattern-controlling parameters such...
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Abstract Fluid retention and flow resistance due to natural vegetation remain poorly understood despite the importance of understanding these for flow routing and floodplain revegetation projects. Experiments were undertaken in a shallow earthen channel containing a natural cover of small trees, herbaceous plants and leaf-litter which were sequenti...
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Mud accretion and establishment of biostabilizers, such as microphytobenthos and saltmarsh vegetation, govern the development of estuarine morphology. Mud facilitates saltmarsh survival and microphytobenthos growth, which in turn promotes sedimentation and reduces mud erosion. Consequently, an increasing extent and thickness of mud cover might lead...
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Natural levees are common features in river, delta and tidal landscapes. They are elevated near‐channel morphological features that determine the connection between channel and floodbasin, and consequently affect long‐term evolution up to delta‐scales. Despite their relevance in shaping fluvial‐tidal systems, research on levees is sparse and often...
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A debate has called into question as to which fluvial channel patterns are most widely represented in the stratigraphic record, with some advocating that distributive fluvial systems predominate and others that a broad diversity of fluvial styles may become preserved. Critical to both sides is the adequate recognition of original channel planform f...
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Coastal ecosystems are increasingly threatened by global change. Insight in their resilience against increased storminess is needed for their application in nature‐based coastal defense schemes. This is often gained from flume experiments. Laboratory flumes provide excellent hydrodynamic control, but are restrictive in that it is extremely difficul...
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Vessel‐induced waves affect the morphology and ecology of banks and shorelines around the world. In rivers used as waterways, ship passages contribute to the erosion of unprotected banks, but their short‐ and long‐term impacts remain unclear. This work investigates the effects of navigation on bank erosion along a reach of the regulated Meuse River...
Article
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In river-dominated deltas, bifurcations often develop an asymmetrical morphology; i.e. one of the downstream channels silts up, while the other becomes the dominant one. In tide-influenced systems, bifurcations are thought to be less asymmetric and both downstream channels of the bifurcation remain open. The main aim of this study is to understand...
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Jezero crater has been selected as the landing site for the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, because it contains a paleolake with two fan-deltas, inlet and outlet valleys. Using the data from the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) and the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), we conducted a quantitative geomorphological study of the i...
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The paleo-lake floor at the edge of the Jezero delta has been selected as the NASA 2020 rover landing site. In this article, we demonstrate the sequences of lake filling and delta formation and constrain the minimum life span of the Jezero paleo-lake from sedimentological and hydrological analyses. Two main phases of delta evolution can be recogniz...
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Orbital observation has revealed a rich record of fluvial landforms on Mars, with much of this record dating 3.6-3.0 Ga. Despite widespread geomorphic evidence, few analyses of Mars' alluvial sedimentary-stratigraphic record exist, with detailed studies of alluvium largely limited to smaller sand-bodies amenable to study in-situ by rovers. These ty...
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Meandering rivers are abundant on Earth, from the largest rivers to the smallest tributaries. The classical view of meandering rivers is a sinuous planform with rounded bends, which grow and migrate until they are cut off. However, many low‐energy meandering rivers have planforms that are much more complex than this classical view due to the hetero...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Physical scale experiments enhance our understanding of fluvial, tidal and coastal processes. However, it has proven challenging to acquire accurate and continuous data on water depth and flow velocity due to limitations of the measuring equipment and necessary simplifications during post-processing. A novel means to augment measurements...
Article
Full-text available
Tidal marshes play an important role in climate change mitigation through natural coastal protection. The effectiveness of the natural coastal defense by tidal marshes is closely related to their channel network which is in turn greatly influenced by their vegetation cover and shape. Previous research suggests a dual effect of vegetation on marsh t...
Article
The role of three-dimensionality (3D) in modulating both flow and sediment transport remains poorly understood. 3D bed elevation measurements are difficult to obtain due to irregular dune shapes and submergence. Using photogrammetric tools for topographic reconstruction has become popular in surface studies, yet water refraction makes through-water...
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The Rawnsley Quartzite of South Australia hosts some of the world's most diverse Ediacaran macrofossil assemblages, with many of the constituent taxa interpreted as early representatives of metazoan clades. Globally, a link has been recognized between the taxonomic composition of individual Ediacaran bedding-plane assemblages and specific sedimenta...
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Automatic extraction of channel networks from topography in systems with multiple interconnected channels, like braided rivers and estuaries, remains a major challenge in hydrology and geomorphology. Representing channelized systems as networks provides a mathematical framework for analyzing transport and geomorphology. In this paper, we introduce...