About the Sand Motor

The Sand Motor was constructed off the coast of Ter Heijde and Kijkduin in 2011. It is a large artificial sandbank in the shape of a peninsula. Ocean currents, wind and waves have been given free rein to spread the sand along the Delfland coast between Hoek van Holland and Scheveningen. The Sand Motor is important as a driver for innovative coastal maintenance. Dozens of researchers from various universities and knowledge institutes have been closely following the development of the Sand Motor since its construction.

Research and development

We are investigating whether nature can spread sand along the coast for us, and if so, how. The influence of wind, waves and currents have gradually spread the sand northwards and southwards. The resulting area bears an increasing resemblance to the dynamic coastal of the Wadden Islands. Various plants, birds and other animals have taken up home in this new, attractive coastal landscape. The area also has great recreational value as an area of natural beauty and for outdoor activities.

This is how the Sand Motor works

The Sand Motor works with water, instead of against it. The animation below explains how we do this.


International innovation icon

The Sand Motor is a unique experiment, because it works with water instead of against it. Depositing a large amount of sand in one go prevents the repeated disturbance of the seabed. Nature then distributes the sand to the right places for us. The Sand Motor creates an area of peace and quiet for both humans and animals, and this has generated a lot of international attention. This icon for innovation has proven its worth: it actually creates a wider coastal zone.

The Sand Motor will be 10 years old in 2021. In honour of this special anniversary, we will combine the final conference with the Coastal Dynamic conference.

In light of this international attention, the final conference, marking 10 years of the Sand Motor, will be combined with the Coastal Dynamics conference in 2021.