1 m wave flume

Flume specifications

  • 0.9 m wide x 35 m long x 1.4 m deep
  • Site specific 2D bathymetric profiles can be modelled to accurately reproduce nearshore wave processes
  • Paddle type wave generator
  • Monochromatic and irregular wave spectrums, as well as producing user defined pre-recorded wave sequences
  • Can also be operated as a wind tunnel


1 m wave flumeThe Water Research Laboratory’s 1 m wave flume measures approximately 35 m in length, 0.9 m in width, and 1.4 m in depth. The flume walls are primarily constructed of rendered and painted brick, with the exception of a glass panelled section where models are constructed, which allows visual observations to be made throughout testing. The permanent floor of the flume is constructed of concrete, although site specific two dimensional bathymetric profiles can be reproduced in the flume using false timber flooring.

The wave generator in this flume is a paddle type, and is powered by a 30 kW hydraulic piston system. The system is capable of generating both monochromatic and irregular wave spectrums, as well as producing user defined pre-recorded wave sequences. Control signals for the wave paddle are produced and controlled using the Canadian Hydraulics Centre (CHC) GEDAP/NDAC software package. As well as paddle driven waves, this flume is also able to be operated as a wind tunnel, allowing analysis of wind/wave interactions. The wind field within the flume is generated by a 9 kW (1750 RPM) fan which is capable of producing winds up to a speed of approximately 10 m/s.

A range of data is able to be collected during experiments in the flume, including wave heights, wave runup, overtopping rates and depths, forces, and pressures. All electronic sensor units are typically logged using the GEDAP/NDAC software package. Wave height and water level measurements are made using capacitance wave probes, which are available in a range of lengths from 200 mm to 1500 mm. Overtopping analysis is typically undertaken by volumetric collection, or with the use of capacitance wave probes and/or ultrasonic sensors. Force measurements are taken using load cell units, available in a range of capacities. Pressures are measured using pressure transducer units, available in a range of capacities up to 125 kPa.