Floodplain mud – The soil is growing

Drawing of a flood measurement level

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High water brings mud to the Rhine floodplains

Whenever there is a flood, the water from the Rhine overflows the floodplain, transporting material through what is also called the alluvial plain. The flow of water slows down between trees and roots, and particles carried along in the water settle to the bottom. This is called sedimentation.

The soil of the Rhine floodplains grows

Plants benefit from the nutrient-rich new soil, but wet habitats slowly dry out. That is why preserving all kinds of floodplain habitats is an enormous, long-term challenge for nature conservancies.

Too much mud harms the Rhine floodplains

While plant growth benefits from the nutrient-rich new soil, wet habitats increasingly dry out. It is therefore an enormous challenge for nature conservation to ensure the preservation of all floodplain habitats in the long term.

Look how much mud has accumulated in the sluices.

Gorges in the Rastatt floodplains

Sloughs are small water channels within floodplains.

Water in a gorge in the floodplains of the Rhine

Intact sloughs improve the flow of Rhine water through the floodplain.

Dry soil and water-filled gorges in the floodplains of the Rhine in Rastatt

The sediment-rich water is removed more quickly, which counteracts the increasing siltation of the floodplain.

Accumulated mud in the floodplains of the Rhine

Currently, two sluices in Rastatt-Plittersdorf have been deepened.

An excavator continues to dig a gully in the Rhine floodplains

This is a first step in restoring the ecological functions of the floodplain.

How does the mud get into the floodplain?

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Drawing of a flood measurement level