explanation Morphological TriangleFounded in 2001 as a thematic subgroup of NCR, the Morphological Triangle provides the main forum for collaboration in research on river morphology in the Netherlands. Representatives of the participating institutes convene three times per year to discuss progress in research as well as new ideas and initiatives. The triangle links scientific research to the questions of Dutch river management authorities.

Chairman: Erik Mosselman
Secretary: Andrés Vargas Luna

Secretary: Andrés Vargas Luna: a.vargasluna (at) tudelft (dot) nl 


Objectives and focus areas of the Morphological Triangle
Institutes of the Morphological Triangle
Key members of the Morphological Triangle


Objectives and focus areas of the Morphological Triangle

The Morphological Triangle provides a forum for exchange and collaboration in research on river morphology in the Netherlands. Its objectives are to strengthen the position of Dutch scientific research on river morphology in the international arena and to link the scientific research to the questions of Dutch river management authorities. The members convene in plenary sessions three times per year and maintain frequent informal contacts. They write joint scientific publications, submit joint research proposals and jointly supervise PhD students.

The research of the triangle focused originally on river bifurcations, morphological changes during floods, and bio-geomorphology of floodplains. These areas required better knowledge and tools for assessing the morphological responses to interventions under the Room-for-the-River programme and the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. Subsequently, other challenges were taken up regarding safe and efficient fluvial navigation between the Port of Rotterdam and Germany, the ever deeper incision of the Dutch Rhine branches due to erosion, and the ecological restoration of streams throughout the country. All these river management issues continue to motivate the triangle’s applied research, closely intertwined with more fundamental research on meandering, braiding, underwater dunes, the behaviour of sediment mixtures, the functioning of groynes and longitudinal training dams, and fluvial interactions with riparian vegetation.


Institutes in the Morphological Triangle


The three angles of the Morphological Triangle represent three different categories of participating institutes. The universities of Delft, Twente, Utrecht and Wageningen, along with the Unesco-IHE Institute for Water Education, transfer knowledge to students and carry out fundamental scientific research. The knowledge institutes Deltares and Alterra develop applied knowledge and bridge the gap between science and application. The Waterdienst of Rijkswaterstaat, an agency of the Dutch government, represents the problem owner regarding issues in river management. It articulates research questions and acts as an end user of the scientific and applied knowledge developed in the Morphological Triangle.


Key members of the Morphological Triangle

Alessandra Crosato



Arjan Sieben

Astrid Blom

Bart Makaske

Erik Mosselman


Hans Middelkoop

Kees Sloff

Maarten Kleinhans

Ralph Schielen

Suzanne Hulscher

Ton Hoitink

Wim Uijttewaal