Abstract

The present paper, “Eb- en vloedschaarsystemen in de Nederlandse getijwateren” (Ebb- and Flood-Channel Systems in the Dutch Tidal Waters), which was published in 1950, should be considered as Van Veen's most important publication since his thesis. It summarizes the results of 20 years of intensive study of estuarine and tidal-basin mor-phodynamics in The Netherlands. Unfortunately, Van Veen's paper was published in Dutch, with only a brief summary in English. Luckily, the figure captions were given in both Dutch and English, allowing international researchers coming across the paper to read it as a kind of “cartoon.” Understandably though, the paper has received very limited recognition in the international literature. We have seized this occasion to publish an English version of Van Veen's paper. The paper is testimony to Van Veen's keen observational and artistic skills. His approach is nearly “Da Vincian,” in the sense that he is not only a fascinated observer of nature, but a sharp one as well, and he tries to capture the essentials of the dynamic behavior of complex coastal systems in apparently simple sketches. Many of the natural systems that Van Veen studied have been regulated since; thus, this paper contains a set of irreplaceable, high-quality observations on the natural dynamics of tidal systems. It forms an excellent introduction to the study of channel dynamics in estuaries, tidal inlets, and tidal basins.

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