Harbors, whenever possible, are established in estuaries to take advantage of the existing natural safety and protection conditions. To keep harbors in a safe and usable way, periodic dredging works are carried out. The expansion of harbor’s activities and the growth of maritime traffic may lead to changes in the harbor’s layout or to improvements of navigation channels and basin depths. Such design adjustments entail changes in estuarine hydrodynamics, and therefore the usual dredging rates are subject to alteration, namely, tending to increase. It is then important to assess the influence of the harbor’s new layout on the solid transport pattern and how its effects can be minimized, aiming the reduction of economic and environmental impacts. Within this context, in this chapter estuary hydrodynamics and sedimentation-erosion patterns are summarized. Also, the modeling methodology for planning and management of dredging works which uses geo-processing automatic GIS environment, developed by the Portuguese harbor authority, is presented. Finally, the case study of harbor of Portimão is also described showing the implementation of the referred methodology.
Part of the book: Sedimentation Engineering