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Exploring the D-RATIN tool. Studying inland navigation potential using a rapid assessment tool

Beltman, M.R. (2016) Exploring the D-RATIN tool. Studying inland navigation potential using a rapid assessment tool.

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Abstract:The economic viability and competitiveness of (sea) ports have an intimate relation with the quality of the inland waterway network that connects the ports to the hinterland. Rivers form the main arteries of this network, but their natural behaviour may create local navigability bottlenecks such as shoals and sharp bends. Traditionally, engineering interventions to maintain and improve river navigability involved relatively complex, time consuming studies. Recent data developments however, have brought rapid assessments within reach. In line with this data development, the knowledge institution Deltares has developed the D-RATIN tool (Deltares - Rapid Assessment Tool for Inland Navigation). This tool provides quantitative river information regarding geometrical, hydrological and geographical river aspects as well as navigational bottlenecks and the costs of required interventions, based on open source data, which can be used for consultation purposes. The tool allows policymakers to evaluate a river’s navigation potential in the planning phase more quickly, due to the reduction of the required input data. This research aimed to achieve two goals. The main goal was to study whether the tool is able to generate the intended quantitative river and bottleneck data. To achieve this goal the tool has been applied to a case study. This case study tried to determine the economically optimal shipping lane dimensions for the Tocantins River in Brazil. However, the success of the tool is not only determined by the functioning of the tool itself. The role that the tool is able to fulfil within the total framework of an inland navigation study is almost equally important. Therefore, the second goal was to study what role the D-RATIN tool might fulfil within such a study. The performed study showed that the D-RATIN tool is able to produce quantitative river data that can be used for consultation purposes. Yet, the tool’s output results contain significant uncertainties that limit the usability. Therefore, the tool is only able to roughly locate bottleneck locations. However, a proper cost indication is not yet possible, partly because some bugs are found in the cost calculation algorithm. Furthermore, the tool seems to deliver river data to which many elements of a full river study depend on. The earlier availability of this important river data might cause the full river study process to be smoothed and allows for more intensive stakeholder involvement in the planning phase of a river study. Even though the tool only delivers quite specific output results that are highly uncertain.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/70575
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