Polder

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Polder
A polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments (barriers) known as dikes, that forms an artificial hydrological entity, meaning it has no connection with outside water other than through manually-operated devices. There are three types of polder: • Land reclaimed from a body of water, such as a lake or the sea bed. • Flood plains separated from the sea or river by a dike. • Marshes separated from the surrounding water by a dike and consequently drained.
Satellite image of Noordoostpolder, Netherlands (595.41 km²)

The ground level in drained marshes subsides over time and thus all polders will eventually be below the surrounding water level some or all of the time. Water enters the low-lying polder through ground swell due to water pressure on ground water or rain fall and transportation of water by rivers and canals. This usually means that the polder has an excess of water that needs to be pumped out or drained by opening sluices at low tide. However, care must be taken in not setting the internal water level too low. Polder land made up of peat (former marshland) will show accelerated compression due to the peat decomposing in dry conditions. Polders are at risk from flooding at all times and care must be taken to protect the surrounding dikes. Dikes are mostly built using locally available materials and each has its own risk factor: sand is prone to collapse due to oversaturation by water while dry peat is lighter than water, making the barrier potentially unstable in very dry seasons. Some animals dig tunnels in the barrier, undermining the structure; the muskrat is notorious for this behavior. For this reason in the Netherlands it is actively hunted to extinction. No such care is taken in neighboring Germany though, causing the stock to be constantly resupplied across the border. Polders are most commonly found, though not exclusively so, in river deltas, former fen lands and coastal areas.

Polders and the Netherlands
The Netherlands is frequently associated with polders. This is illustrated by the English saying: God created the world, but the Dutch created Holland. The Dutch have a long history of reclamation of marshes and fenland, resulting in some 3,000 polders[1] nationwide. About half of all polder surface within northwest Europe is located within the Netherlands. The first embankments in Europe were constructed in Roman times. The first polders were constructed in the 11th century. Due to flooding disasters, water boards called waterschap Pumping station in Zoetermeer, Netherlands. The (when situated more inland) or hoogheemraadschap (near the sea, polder lies lower than the surrounding water on the other side of the dike. mainly used in Holland)[2] were set up to maintain the integrity of the water defences around polders, maintain the waterways inside a polder and control the various water levels inside and outside the polder. Water bodies hold separate elections, levy taxes and function independently from other government bodies. Their function is basically unchanged even currently. As such, they are the oldest democratic institution in the country. The necessary co-operation between all ranks in maintaining polder integrity also gave its name to the Dutch version of third way politics - the Polder

near Blankenberge in West Flanders Canada • Holland Marsh France • Marais Poitevin • Les Moëres. in Ekeren and Hoevenen Polder of Stabroek. based on an acceptable probability of overflowing. Berbice Italy • Delta of the river Po such as Bonifica Valle del Mezzano Japan • Hachirogata in Akita Prefecture • Isahaya Bay in Kyushu • Kojima Bay in Okayama Prefecture . in Stabroek Kabeljauwpolder. The established policy forces the Dutch government to improve flood defences as new data on threat levels becomes available. The 1953 flood disaster prompted a new approach to the design of dikes and other water-retaining structures. Corentyne. Germany Bormerkoog and Meggerkoog near Friedrichstadt Guyana Black Bush Polder. Germany • • • • Altes Land near Hamburg Blockland & Hollerland near Bremen Nordstrand.Polder Model.500 years for a river flood. near Veurne in West Flanders Polders of Muisbroek and Ettenhoven. property and rebuilding costs is offset against the cost of water defences. From these calculations follow an acceptable flood risk from the sea at 1 in 4. Risk is defined as the product of probability and consequences. adjacent to the Flemish polder De Moeren in Belgium. while it is 1 in 100–2.000–10. 2 Examples of polders Belgium • • • • • • De Moeren. in Zandvliet Scheldepolders on the left bank of the Scheldt Uitkerkse polders. The damage in lives.000 years.

respectively. by the River Witham outside the conventional area of the fens but connected to them. on the north shore of the Humber east of Hull • Parts of The Fens • Branston Island. reclaimed as a side-effect of building a railway embankment • The Somerset Levels and North Somerset Levels • Romney marsh . containing the windmills of Kinderdijk.Polder 3 Korea. containing the cities of Lelystad and Almere. a World Heritage Site Bijlmermeer Haarlemmermeer. adjacent to the river Han in Incheon • Delta of the river Nakdong in Busan • Saemangeum in Jeollabuk-do Netherlands • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Alblasserwaard.en Hazepolder Zuidplaspolder Eastern and Southern Flevoland polders. Together these polders are also known as the Flevopolder. • Parts of the coast of Essex • Some land along the River Plym in Plymouth • Some land around Meathop east of Grange-over-Sands. a World Heritage Site Andijk Anna Paulownapolder Beemster. Poland • Vistula delta near Elbląg and Nowy Dwor Gdanski • Warta delta near Kostrzyn nad Odra United Kingdom • Traeth Mawr • Sunk Island. Republic of • Parts of the coast of Ganghwa Island. containing Schiphol airport Krimpenerwaard Lauwersmeer Mastenbroek Noordoostpolder Ooijpolder Prins Alexanderpolder Purmer Schermer Rosandepolder Watergraafsmeer Wieringermeer Wieringerwaard Wijdewormer Zijpe.

Polderlands. Dirkx. • Ven.nederlandleeftmetwater. Lammers. Koomen.html) • http://watercanon.nl/polders/e/hoe_e.nl/Webdocs/PDFFiles/Alterrarapporten/AlterraRapport358.Polder 4 United States • New Orleans • Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta References [1] "TKijk naar de geschiedenis" (https:/ / www. London : Methuen. alterra. 2001. nl/ mijn-waterschap.nai. J.En historisk geografi. Rapport 358 (http://www2. nl/ rws/ waterinnovatiebron/ cgi-bin/ toonlijst.) 1993. Matrijs. External links • Polder landscapes in the Netherlands within a northwest European and is also a landmark context (http://home. Landbohistorik Selskab. Wageningen. waterschappen.wur.nl/~farjo001/internat_uk. html • Farjon. Retrieved 2008-01-21.htm) • How to make a polder . G. A. Leefbaar laagland: geschiedenis van waterbeheersing en landaanwinning in Nederland. Rijkswaterstaat. 2005. 1972. Alterra. J.P. J. • Morten Stenak. • Wagret.. Utrecht. pl?config=config& var=volgnr& val=1& layout=index-forceframe& confignr=1& menu=1067260347& menuitem=1120115781).J.online film (http://static. planet. Vervloet & W.M. [2] http:/ / www.pdf). Neder-landschap Internationaal: bouwstenen voor een selectie van gebieden landschapsbehoud. van de (red.nl/view/canon/professionalisation . rijkswaterstaat. P. De inddæmmede Landskaber . .

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