Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Holland Land Reclamation

Holland Land Reclamation
The Netherlands has a rich history of land reclamation. As early as the 14th century, the first land areas were made dry and ready to inhabit.

Over the following centuries, about 10 percent of what is currently Dutch territory was taken from the sea.

Land reclamation protects villages and towns from the sea and enables agriculture and urban expansion.

The Netherlands has a coastline that is constantly being changed and eroded by wind and water.

From its earliest colonization, the Dutch people have built primitive dikes around their settlements to keep out the sea.

With development of windmills for water pumping in the 15th century, water could be drained effectively from fairly large areas, marking the beginning of the polder.

Polder are formed by surrounding an area or lake with an earthen dike and then pumping the water out of the enclosed area into adjacent water bodies.

In the 20th century the process of land reclamation was boosted by technology. The Dutch Ijsselmeer polders were reclaimed from the Ijsselmeer, a lake that used to be part of the former Zuider Zee (Southern Sea).

The Zuider Zee was originally an estuary of the Rhine that had by natural erosion become a shallow inland sea, encroaching deep inland.

Eventually it was eroded into an almost circular shape by wind and tide.
Holland Land Reclamation
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