1
2


Dikes

Dikes in inland waterways are usually part of a flood protection system. They do also allow the construction of canals regardless of unfavourable topography.

Rivers follow a natural path, which depends on ground conditions, natural slopes and water flows, whereas canals can be executed with quite simple geometries (mostly straight lines and a few curves to by-pass natural or man-made obstacles). In the latter case, similarly to other infrastructures, backfilling may be required to compensate for the lack of natural slopes. Dikes are used to shape the canal.

Dikes may be designed solely with soil and stones, but the most cost-effective solution nowadays is to reinforce dikes with steel sheet piles for several reasons, for instance to increase the stability of the dike, to reduce the footprint of a dike,…. Steel sheet piles can also be used to reinforce existing dikes in a flood protection system, for instance due to new design rules, or to take into account new actions such as higher water levels.

Steel sheet piles in dikes can also protect the dikes from erosion, be it from water flow through the dike, or from animals, such as rodents that might build holes in the dike. A reduction of the imperviousness of the dike may lead to local instability and in the long term, may reduce its overall stability.
Last modified: March 27, 2018