Awarded Teacher Talent of the Year 2014 of the Faculty of Geosciences

Strategic themes / Focus areas
Involved in the following study programme(s)
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Curriculum vitae

Lecturer Earth Sciences (2012-2014) at Utrecht University.



MSc Physical Geography (2009-2011)(Cum Laude/GPA: 4):  Historical soil erosion in the West Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. A study based on hillslope deposits. Utrecht University.

BSc Earth Scienses (2005-2008)(with distrinction) Thesis on: 5000 years Rhine flooding as recorded in a paleochannel near Rheinberg, Germany. Utrecht University.

College Lyceum Augustinianum 2005 (VWO profiel N&G, Cum Laude), Eindhoven, NL.


Awarded Teacher Talent of the Year 2014 of the Faculty of Geosciences

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Key publications

Minderhoud, P.S.J., Erkens, G., van Pham, H., Bui, Vuong Tran, Erban, Laura, Kooi, Henk & Stouthamer, E. (01.06.2017). Impacts of 25 years of groundwater extraction on subsidence in the Mekong delta, Vietnam. Environmental Research Letters, 12 (064006).

All publications
  2017 - Scholarly publications
Minderhoud, P.S.J., Erkens, G., van Pham, H., Bui, Vuong Tran, Erban, Laura, Kooi, Henk & Stouthamer, E. (01.06.2017). Impacts of 25 years of groundwater extraction on subsidence in the Mekong delta, Vietnam. Environmental Research Letters, 12 (064006).
  2016 - Scholarly publications
Minderhoud, P.S.J., Cohen, K.M., Toonen, W.H.J., Erkens, G. & Hoek, W.Z. (2016). Improving age-depth models of fluvio-lacustrine deposits using sedimentary proxies for accumulation rates. Quaternary Geochronology, 33, (pp. 35-45).
  2016 - Other output
P.S.J. Minderhoud (30.05.2016) 2nd International Workshop on Coastal Subsidence (CoastSub2), May 30 - June 1 - 2016 Venice (Italy). Invited.
P.S.J. Minderhoud (31.03.2016) Mekong delta: Atlantis van de 21e eeuw?
  2015 - Other output
Minderhoud, P.S.J. 06.01.2015 Recipient Docent talent van het Jaar 2014 / Teacher talent of the year 2014 - Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University External unknown
Minderhoud, P.S.J., Erkens, G., van Pham, H., Vuong, & Stouthamer, E. (12.11.2015). Assessing the potential of the multi-aquifer subsurface of the Mekong Delta (Vietnam) for land subsidence due to groundwater extraction. (4 p.).
P.S.J. Minderhoud (01.08.2015) ‘Delta subsidence, an imminent threat to coastal populations’ – Charles W. Schmidt – Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 123, nr 8, August 2015‘
P.S.J. Minderhoud (11.11.2015) Towards sustainable Future Deltas. Keynote lecture. Opening ceremony Victor J. Koningsberger building of Utrecht University. Nov 11 – 2015 – Utrecht (The Netherlands). Invited.
P.S.J. Minderhoud (16.04.2015) VVFG-cafe invited talk
  2014 - Scholarly publications
Minderhoud, P.S.J., Stouthamer, E., van Asselen, S. & Erkens, G. (2014). Recommendations for monitoring and analyzing land subsidence for the Mekong delta and the Ho Chi Min city area, Vietnam. (5 p.).
  2011 - Scholarly publications
Cunningham, A.C., Wallinga, J. & Minderhoud, Philip (31.08.2011). Expectations of scatter in equivalent-dose distributions when using multi-grain aliquots for OSL dating. Geochronometria, 38 (4).
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Gegenereerd op 2018-03-19 15:18:59

In my research I focus on the subsidence issues in the Mekong delta in South Vietnam. Like other deltas in the world, the Mekong Delta is sinking by natural processes such as autocompaction and tectonics. Human activities such as lowering of the groundwater table and excessive groundwater extraction also cause subsidence. For the Mekong delta the exact drivers and their contribution to  subsidence are not well known. The goal of my research is to determine the drivers creating current subsidence rates and to predict future subsidence under different management scenario’s. To gain insight, we will create a coupled geohydrological 3D model of the delta subsurface, which incorporates geogenetic knowledge of delta evolution. This integrated approach allows to model current and future subsidence of the Mekong delta. The overarching goal is to create a (public) toolbox which allows local governments and stakeholders in Vietnam to evaluate the future impact of different management scenarios. It will enable them to create effective management strategies to secure a sustainable future for the Mekong delta and its inhabitants and prevent it from sinking in the sea.

This PhD research is part of the project: ‘Rise and Fall: strategies for the subsiding and urbanising Mekong Delta (Vietnam) facing increasing salt water intrusion’(Project number: W07.69.105) within the NWO Urbanizing Deltas of the World call. It is carried out by a consortium of Utrecht University, Deltares, TNO and various Vietnamese partners, such as the universities of Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City and the Division of Water ResourcePlanning and Investigation of South Vietnam (DWRPIS).


Research project available for Utrecht University studenten

Within this research project, several student research projects (small and larger ones) are available in the Netherlands (a.o. data analysis, GIS analysis, laboratory analysis and computer modeling) and projects including a fieldwork component in Vietnam.

As a teacher at I am involved in education in the study of Earth Sciences at the University of Utrecht.

Rise and Fall: strategies for the subsiding and urbanising Mekong Delta (Vietnam) facing increasing salt water intrusion
01.09.2014 to 31.08.2018
General project description 

This project aims to enhance the capabilities of individuals and organisations to develop sustainable strategies for dealing with groundwater extraction, land subsidence and salt water intrusion in the increasingly urbanising Mekong Delta (Vietnam). We will enlarge the knowledge base of stakeholders (including policy makers, water managers and scientists) and work with them to develop and implement innovative tools and technologies in practice and policy. A new integrated delta model will be developed, linking surface water, groundwater and geo-mechanical models, to analyse the interrelated character of groundwater extraction, subsidence levels and salt water intrusion. Together with stakeholders the new and comprehensive model will be constructed and applied to quantify the effects of water management strategies in the Mekong Delta. Stakeholders will analyse and develop adequate strategies by simulating and demonstrating the effects of development scenarios and policy recommendations, such as expressed in the Mekong Delta Plan (2013).

Role PhD Candidate
Individual project description

Subsurface characterization and subsidence Mekong Delta, Vietnam

1. Introduction

The Mekong Delta is under pressure due to ongoing urbanization, land use change, and increased risk of flooding as a result of climate change and land subsidence. Subsidence in deltas is caused by natural background subsidence (e.g. tectonic basin subsidence, compaction of soft sediments in the subsurface) and by human activities (e.g. extraction of hydrocarbons and groundwater, loading by infrastructure and buildings). Subsidence in near coastal areas may be enhanced by salt water intrusion, potentially causing geochemical compaction of clayey sediments. The cumulative effects of the different components contributing to total subsidence are strongly dependent on the lithological composition of the subsurface, weight of overburden and mineralogical composition of clay.

2. Objective and main activities

Main objective of this PhD-research is to understand, quantify and predict subsidence in the Mekong Delta and to determine the impact of subsidence on current and future saltwater intrusion under different delta management scenarios.

Main activities within this project are:

- Developing a (hydro)geological framework of the subsurface, based on existing and new field data;

- Calculating subsidence of the saturated subsurface using an existing coupled groundwater-subsidence model;

- Evaluation of the subsidence model by comparison to observational data of subsidence;

- Assessing the contribution of shallow subsurface subsidence to the total subsidence during the past decennia;

- Integrating results of the 3D geological subsurface model and subsidence calculations into an integrated tool box that links surface water, groundwater and geomechanical models, to analyze the interactions between groundwater extraction, subsidence rates and salt water intrusion;

- Contributing to workshops and capacity building initiatives in Vietnam and The Netherlands.

3. Supervisors:

Dr. Esther Stouthamer (UU) / Dr. Gilles Erkens (Deltares).

NWO grant: Urbanizing Deltas of the World programme
Project members UU

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Currently involved in the following courses (2014-2015)

Geologie van Nederland (GEO2-4201)
Veldwerk 1 Frankrijk (GEO2-4117)
Veldwerk 2 Italië (GEO3-4207)
BSc. & MSc. thesis
Guided research & Traineeships

Previously involved in the following courses (2011-2012 / 2012-2013 / 2013-2014)

Systeem Aarde 1 Ardennen excursie (GEO1-1101)
Systeem Aarde 2 (GEO1-4102)(GEO1-4192)
Systeem Aarde 2 Honourscomponent (GEO1-4102)
Veldwerk 1 Frankrijk (GEO2-4117)
Aardobservatie en data analyse (GEO2-4208)
Terrestrische systemen (GEO2-4204)
Natural Hazards (GEO2-4211)
Geologie van Nederland (GEO2-4201)
Mens en Landschap (GEO2-4210)
Hands on GIS (GEO3-4308)
Fluvial Systems (GEO4-4436)
MSc excursie Denemarken (GEO4-4418)
Climate Systems and Adaptation (GEO4-2327)
Advanced GIS for geoscientists (GEO4-4433)

Coördinator AW Honoursprogramma & seminar docent (2012-2013)

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Full name
P.S.J. Minderhoud MSc Contact details
Willem C. van Unnikgebouw

Heidelberglaan 2
Room K006 ZONVV
The Netherlands

Phone number (direct) +31 30 253 4014
Phone number (department) +31 30 253 2749
Mobile phone +31 6 19 676 737

Other affiliations: Deltares (guest researcher)

Gegenereerd op 2018-03-19 15:18:59
Last updated 14.06.2017