Land reclamation

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Land reclamation is the idea of getting new land. It is usually done in coastal areas. Sometimes it is also done with rivers and lakes. Usually, there is a natural process which fills such areas with sand, dirt and other materials. Land reclamation uses the same process, which is sped up. In many cases, this is done using dikes. An example where land reclamation is done is the IJsselmeer in the Netherlands.

Pioneer plants, such as Salicornia or Ammophila grow there. When the level of the land is as high as that of the high tide, new ditches are dug, and the process can repeat.

Sometimes, it is too time-comsuming to wait for the land to rise. In that case, it is possible to pump out the water in the enclosed area. This was done in the Netherlands, where many areas are below sea level. The problem with this approach is that it needs to be repeated, for example in the case of heavy rainfall.

The creation of large, artificial islands, such as Palm Islands in Dubai or Maasvlakte, whis is part of the port of Rotterdam is not known as Land reclamation.

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