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Polders are low-lying areas of land which are surrounded by physical barriers such as dikes or berms so that the groundwater level can be artificially controlled.
Drainage systems such as ditches and canals take water to the perimeter of the polder. Polders are commonly used in the Netherlands where the land is beneath the mean sea level. Historically, polders were maintained by windmills, which pumped out excess water. Pumping stations can be also used to drain water. Polders can be created near a river or sea for easier drainage.
Ground conditions can have an effect on what types of structures are built. In the Netherlands soils are generally clays, sandy clays, peaty layers and mineral soils. In coastal areas, groundwater is saline because of sea water intrusion. (Struyfuz and Stuurman, 1994).
 External references
- Upward Groundwater Flow and salinization in Deep Polders. (2009). Journal of Hydrology, 494-507.
- A Brief History of Dutch Dikes and Polders . (2011, October).
- Dutch Polder System 2010. (2011, October). Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/giahs/PDF/Dutch-Polder-System_2010.pdf
- The Polders in Netherlands . (2011, November).
- Chapter 2 Soil and Water. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2011, from http://www.fao.org/docrep/R4082E/r4082e03.htm
- eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/library/data/eionet/.../Netherlands.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved October, 2011, from Soil Remedation in the Netherlands : eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/library/data/eionet/.../Netherlands.pdf
- Geotechnology 101. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2011, from http://kshitija.wordpress.com/
- Hoeksema, R. (05/2006). Designed for dry fleet: Flood Protection and Land Reclamation in the Netherlands . 1-4.
- Impact of Water Management . (n.d.). Retrieved November 2011, from Levees And Polders.
- Smith, I. (2006). Smith's Elements of Soil Mechanics . Blackwell Publishing.
- Soil Testing . (n.d.). Retrieved November, 2011, from http://www.geotechnique.info/SI/SI%20Book%20Chapter%208.pdf
- The remarkable history of polder systems in the netherlands . (n.d.). Retrieved October 2011, from http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/giahs/PDF/Dutch-Polder-System_2010.pdf.
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