Eric Deleersnijder
Recent publications

has a degree in electrical and mechanical engineering, and a doctorate in applied sciences (mechanics). His research interests focus on the development and use of unstructured-mesh models for simulating geophysical and environmental fluid flows, as well as the related ecological processes. His domains of interest comprise most of the hydrosphere, i.e. lakes, rivers, estuaries, coastal regions, shelf seas and the World Ocean.
He is coordinating the SLIM project (Second-generation Louvain-la-Neuve Ice-ocean Model, and he is the co-founder of the Constituent-oriented Age and Residence time Theory (CART,
He has held research or teaching positions in Belgium and abroad. He currently is a reader at the Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium), where he is lecturing on several aspects of mechanics. He is also an honorary researcher with the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS, On October 1st, 2014, he accepted a five-year, part-time professorship in applied mathematics at the Delft University of Technology (Delft, The Netherlands,
Additional pieces of information may be found on his website (

IMMC main research direction(s):
Civil and environmental engineering
Fluid mechanics

geophysical and environmental fluid dynamics
diagnostic timescales for reactive transport

Research group(s): MEMA


PhD and Post-doc researchers under my supervision:

Numerical modelling of estuaries and coastal seas
Valentin Vallaeys

The topic of the research is the numerical modelling of the river-to-sea continuum of major rivers (i.e. Congo River and Columbia River). The goal is to study the estuarine and coastal dynamics and their interactions with tides, river discharges and atmospheric/oceanic circulations. This thesis partly answers the following questions: What is the dynamics of the river-to-sea continuum ? How does the small scale influence the larger one (and vice-versa) ? Can Discontinuous Galerkin methods reduce the numerical dissipation in order to simulate sharp fronts of density and velocity fields ? This thesis is performed within the framework of the SLIM project (

Tidal response of Titan liquid bodies
David Vincent

Titan, a moon of Saturn, has various liquid bodies: surface lakes and seas filled with liquid hydrocarbons and a global subsurface ocean of water.
I numerically studied the tidal flow (see Fig. 1, the tidal ellipses of the first tidal component in Kraken and Ligeia Maria) and motion of the surface lakes and seas by means of SLIM ( The harmonics of the tidal motion (for instance, the tidal range and phase in Kraken and Ligeia Maria, see Fig. 2) and eigenmodes were also studied in order to assess the likelihood of resonance (local or global). Values predicted by the model such as the tidal range and flow of the surface lakes and seas are useful for designing some aspects of the future observation missions.
I am currently modeling the tidal response of Titan's global subsurface ocean by taking into account the solid-fluid interactions with Titan icy crust (see Fig. 3, the sea surface elevation of Titan's ocean with a free top boundary). The dissipation and resonance phenomena will then be studied. The originality of this work lies in the fact that the dynamic tides are taken into account.

Modelling and diagnosing transport processes in a tropical river-lake-delta-sea continuum Application to the Mahakam River (Borneo Island, Indonesia)
Insaf Draoui

The project aims to model and diagnose transport processes in the Mahakam delta using a coupled 1D-2D model. The model will be based on SLIM. Advanced diagnostic methods will be inspired by CART and pertain to both water and sediment. In addition, an attempt will be made to apply the newly-introduced concept of partial age to sediment.

Development of the 3D model of SLIM
Ange Ishimwe

SLIM is a simulation software which resolves the hydrodynamical equation with the use of finite elemnts. My goal is to developpe and improve the 3D model of SLIM. The two criteria are the precision of the results and the computation speed.

Recent publications

See complete list of publications

Journal Articles

1. Lucas, Lisa V.; Deleersnijder, Eric. Timescale Methods for Simplifying, Understanding and Modeling Biophysical and Water Quality Processes in Coastal Aquatic Ecosystems: A Review. In: Water, Vol. 12, no.10, p. 2717 (2020). doi:10.3390/w12102717.

2. Le, Hoang-Anh; Gratiot, Nicolas; Santini, William; Ribolzi, Olivier; Tran, Duc; Meriaux, Xavier; Deleersnijder, Eric; Soares Frazao, Sandra. Suspended sediment properties in the Lower Mekong River, from fluvial to estuarine environments. In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Vol. 233, p. 106522 (2019). doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2019.106522.

3. Pham Van, Chien; de Brye, Benjamin; de Brauwere, Anouk; Hoitink, A.J.F. (Ton); Soares Frazao, Sandra; Deleersnijder, Eric. Numerical Simulation of Water Renewal Timescales in the Mahakam Delta, Indonesia. In: Water, Vol. 12, no.4, p. 1017 (2020). doi:10.3390/w12041017.

4. Dewals, Benjamin; Archambeau, Pierre; Bruwier, Martin; Erpicum, Sebastien; Pirotton, Michel; Adam, Tom; Delhez, Eric; Deleersnijder, Eric. Age of Water Particles as a Diagnosis of Steady-State Flows in Shallow Rectangular Reservoirs. In: Water, Vol. 12, no.10, p. 2819 (2020). doi:10.3390/w12102819.

5. Deleersnijder, Eric; Draoui, Insaf; Lambrechts, Jonathan; Legat, Vincent; Mouchet Anne. Consistent boundary conditions for age calculations. In: Water, Vol. 12, p. 1274 (2020). doi:10.3390/w12051274.

6. Le, Hoang-Anh; Lambrechts, Jonathan; Ortleb, Sigrun; Gratiot, Nicolas; Deleersnijder, Eric; Soares Frazao, Sandra. An implicit wetting–drying algorithm for the discontinuous Galerkin method: application to the Tonle Sap, Mekong River Basin. In: Environmental Fluid Mechanics, (2020). doi:10.1007/s10652-019-09732-7.

7. Vincent, David; Lambrechts, Jonathan; Karatekin, Ozgur; Van Hoolst, Tim; Tyler, Robert H.; Dehant, Véronique; Deleersnijder, Eric. Normal modes and resonance in Ontario Lacus, a hydrocarbon lake of Titan. In: Ocean Dynamics, Vol. 69, p. 1121-1132 (2019). doi:10.1007/s10236-019-01290-2.

8. Kästner, K.; Hoitink, A. J. F.; Torfs, P. J. J. F.; Deleersnijder, Eric; Ningsih, N. S. Propagation of tides along a river with a sloping bed. In: Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 872, no., p. 39-73 (2019). doi:10.1017/jfm.2019.331.

9. Cushman-Roisin, Benoît; Deleersnijder, Eric. To-to-bottom Ekman Layer and its implications for shallow rotating flows. In: Environmental Fluid Mechanics (Dordrecht, 1982), Vol. 19, p. 1105-1119 (2019). doi:10.1007/s10652-018-9611-y.

10. Delandmeter, Philippe; Lambrechts, Jonathan; Legat, Vincent; Vallaeys, Valentin; Naithani, Jaya; Thiery, Wim; Remacle, Jean-François; Deleersnijder, Eric. A fully consistent and conservative vertically adaptive coordinate system for SLIM 3D v0.4 with an application to the thermocline oscillations of Lake Tanganyika. In: Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 11, no.3, p. 1161-1179 (2018). doi:10.5194/gmd-11-1161-2018.

Conference Papers

1. Draoui, Insaf; Lambrechts, Jonathan; Legat, Vincent; Soares Frazao, Sandra; Hoitink, Ton (A.J.F.); Deleersnijder, Eric. Discontinuous Galerkin method for 1D river flows. In: River Flow 2020, Taylor & Francis Group: London, 2020, 978-0-367-62773-7, p. 1-8.

2. Le, Hoang Anh; Lambrechts, Jonathan; Deleersnijder, Eric; Soares Frazao, Sandra; Gratiot, Nicolas; Ortleb, Sigrun. Numerical modelling of flow dynamics in the Tonle Sap by means of a discontinuous Galerkin finite-element model. In: River Flow 2020, Taylor & Francis Group: London, 2020, 978-0-367-62773-7, p. 1-7.

3. Kaestner Karl; Hoitink Ton; Torfs Paul; Deleersnijder, Eric; Nining Sari Ningsih. Bed slope effects on river tides. In: Geophysical Research Abstracts. Vol. 21, p. EGU2019-14229 (2019). Copernicus GmbH: Goettingen, 2019.

4. Vallaeys, Valentin; Lambrechts, Jonathan; Hanert, Emmanuel; Deleersnijder, Eric. A numerical study of the estuarine plume in the Congo River.

5. Le, Hoang Anh; Vu Xuan Huyen Dang; Lambrechts, Jonathan; Sigrun Ortleb; Vallaeys, Valentin; Vincent, David; Nicolas Gratiot; Soares Frazao, Sandra; Deleersnijder, Eric. A new wetting – drying algorithm integrated in SLIM, with an application to the Tonle Sap lake, Mekong.

6. Hanert, Emmanuel; Vallaeys, Valentin; Lane, W.D.; Tyson, Rebecca; Deleersnijder, Eric. A fractional-order diffusion model to predict transgenic pollen dispersal.

7. Le, Hoang Anh; Gratiot, N.; Santini, W.; Ribolzi, O.; Soares Frazao, Sandra; Deleersnijder, Eric. Sediment properties in the fluvial and estuarine environments of the Mekong River. In: E3S Web of Conferences. Vol. 40, no.05063, p. 8. E D P Sciences: Les Ulis, 2018. doi:10.1051/e3sconf/20184005063.

8. Mouchet, Anne; Mikolajewicz, Uwe; Deleersnijder, Eric. How well does radiocarbon record deep-ocean ventilation changes? A coupled climate model study of the last termination.

9. Yang Yun; Lambrechts, Jonathan; Deleersnijder, Eric; Guan Weibing; Wolanski Eric. Modelling fine-grained sediment transport in the Yangtze River Estuary and coastal zone.

10. Vallaeys, Valentin; Lambrechts, Jonathan; Hanert, Emmanuel; Deleersnijder, Eric. Discontinuous Galerkin modelling of the Congo River's coupled estuary-shelf dynamics.

Book Chapters

1. Naithani, Jaya; Plisnier, Pierre-Denis; Deleersnijder, Eric. Tanganyika Lake, modeling the eco-hydrodynamics. In: Encyclopedia of Lakes and Reservoirs: Geography, Geology, Hydrology and Paleolimnology (Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Serie; xxx), Springer: New-York, 2012. 978-1-4020-5616-1.

2. Gourgue, Olivier; Deleersnijder, Eric; Legat, Vincent; Marchal, Emmanuel; White, Laurent. Free and forced thermocline oscillations in Lake Tanganyika. In: The Factor Separation Method in the Atmosphere: Applications and Future Prospects , xxx, 2011. 978-0-521-19173-9. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511921414.011.

3. Griffies, S.M.; Deleersnijder, Eric; Hanert, Emmanuel. Problems and prospects in large-scale ocean circulation models. In: OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society , ESA Publication WPP-306, 2009, 1-23.

4. Burchard, Hans; Deleersnijder, Eric; Stoyan, Gisbert. Some numerical aspects of turbulence-closure models. In: Marine Turbulence: Theories, Observations and Models - Results of the CARTUM Project , Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 197-206.

5. Deleersnijder, Eric. Some mathematical problems in marine modelling. In: Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations and their Applications (Collège de France Seminars; xxx), Longman, 1998, p. 101-116. 978-0-5823-6926-9.

6. Deleersnijder, Eric; Beckers, Jean-Marie; Campin, Jean-Michel; El Mohajir, Mohamed; Luyten, Patrick. Some Mathematical problems associated with the development and use of marine models. In: The Mathematics of Models for Climatology and Environment (NATO SAI Series; xxx), xxx, 1997, p. 39-86. 000-0-000-000.

7. Deleersnijder, Eric; Beckers, J.-M.; Fichefet, Thierry. Some mathematical problems associated with the development and use of marine models. In: The Mathematics of Models for Climatology and Environment (NATO ASI Series; xxx), Springer-Verlag: Berlin, 1996, p. 39-86.

Working Papers

1. Deleersnijder, Eric. A conjecture about age inequalities (xxx), 2020. 7 p.

2. Deleersnijder, Eric; Dewals, Benjamin. Mathematical properties of the position-dependent, steady-state water age in a shallow reservoir (xxx), 2020. 18 p.

3. Deleersnijder, Eric; Vincent, David. On a simplified mechanical energy budget of Titan's subsurface ocean: a fluid-structure interaction problem (xxx), 2020. 9 p.

4. Deleersnijder, Eric. The uneasy collaboration of Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) and Joseph Louis de Lagrange (1736-1813) in environmental fluid mechanics (xxx), 2020. 5 p.

5. Deleersnijder, Eric. Le temps caractéristique "volume/flux" n'est pas toujours pertinent... (xxx), 2020. 3 p.

6. Deleersnijder, Eric. An attempt at defining a position-dependent flushing time (xxx), 2020. 14 p.

7. Deleersnijder, Eric. A quick refresher on exposure and residence times in a well-mixed domain (xxx), 2020. 4 p.

8. Deleersnijder, Eric. On diffusive timescales (xxx), 2020. 9 p.

9. Deleersnijder, Eric. Pitfalls in calculating the age in a one-dimensional, semi-infinite domain (xxx), 2019. 12 p.

10. Deleersnijder, Eric. On the mean age of the population of preys in a prey-predator model (xxx), 2019. 3 p.


1. Plisnier, Pierre-Denis; Poncelet , Nadia; Cocquyt, Christine; De Boeck, Hilde; Bompangue, Didier; Naithani, Jaya; Jacobs, Jan; Piarroux, Renaud; Moore, Sandy; Giraudoux, Patrick; Batumbo, Doudou; Mushagalusa, Déo; Makasa, Lawrence; Deleersnijder, Eric; Tomazic, Igor; Cornet, Yves. Cholera outbreaks at Lake Tanganyika induced by climate change?, 2015. 119 p.

2. van Ypersele de Strihou, Jean-Pascal; Fichefet, Thierry; Campin, Jean- Michel; Deleersnijder, Eric; de Montety, Anne; Goosse, Hugues. Modelling the climate and its evolution at the global and regional scales : final report for the special project from the member state Belgium, 2003. 120 p.


1. Deleersnijder, Eric. Modélisation hydrodynamique tridimensionnelle de la circulation générale estivale de la région du détroit de Bering, prom. : Nihoul, Jacques ; Deville, Michel, 1992.