Unite education, research and practice in innovative projects that stand out for interdisciplinary leadership

Northern European Enclosure Dam
NEED Northern European Enclosure Dam

To protect 15 northern European countries against sea level rise, a highly ambitious plan was put forward to build massive sea dams across the North Sea and English Channel, which will cut off the North Sea from the rest of the Atlantic Ocean. Although we desperately want this plan never to become a reality, future projections of high-end sea level rise and related uncertainty may warrant a solution of this proportion. Considering the high risks of such scenario’s and the long lead time for adaptative solutions, it is essential to plan for solutions if high-end scenario’s do become a reality. 

Join the NEED Northern European Enclosure Dam group

Here we propose a detailed study of the many aspects of this ambitious plan as one possible solution pathway. Research topics are not limited to technical challenges, but also include social-political and legal challenges, changes in ocean and atmosphere dynamics, ecosystems changes, marine industry, amongst other topics.

See agenda for upcoming meetings and events
Contact Jos Timmermans if you are interested in joining

Register for the Delta Futures Lab Lunch Lectures, every Friday from 12:30 - 13:30 and rewatch the lecture by Sjoerd Groeskamp on the Northern European Enclosure Dam.

Multi Disciplinary Group project

Carlijn Meijers
Laura de Vries
Charlotte van Strien
Irene van der Veer
Freek Kollaard



“We enjoyed working on this project while being part of the Delta Futures Lab team. It was nice to be able to present to such a broad audience during the lunch lecture. We like the fact that the Delta Futures Lab works on large out of the box innovations, and it was nice to be able to contribute to such an idea in a multidisciplinary team.”








An analysis on the effect of the Northern European Enclosure Dam

Some of you may have heard of it: the idea of closing off the entire North Sea with a gigantic dam in order to protect European countries from Sea Level rise. Sjoerd Groeskamp from NIOZ introduced the Northern European Enclosure Dam (NEED) that turns the North Sea into a massive basin (sjoerdgroeskamp.com/need). However, there is still a lack of (detailed) knowledge about the impact of this enormous and seemingly unrealistic proposal. Many questions are to be answered about the consequences and feasibility of the plan. For our MDP project, we investigated what the hydrological changes inside the North Sea basin will be if the NEED would really be built. How would the currents and sediment transport inside the basin alter if the tide disappears? How would the salinity and temperature of the water change if we are no longer connected to the Atlantic? By mapping these consequences we have contributed to gaining more insights into the unique idea of damming the North Sea.