ERDC Wave Flumes

Published Nov. 21, 2012
Updated: July 5, 2023
Two glass-walled wave flumes are used to support research and site-specific studies. The flumes are both 63 m (208 ft) long and 1.5 m (5 ft) deep. One flume is 1.5 m (5 ft) wide while the other is 3 m (10 ft) wide. Both two-dimensional glass-walled flumes are equipped with computer-controlled electro-hydraulic wave generators. The wave generators are capable of creating irregular waves with a maximum wave height of 0.46 m (1.5 ft), and wave periods of 0.75-10.0 secs. A steady flow system is also an integral part of the flumes. The facility includes an automated data acquisition and control system, extensive fluid measurement instruments and a laser profiling system.

3.0-m and 1.5-m flumes located in the Hudson Integrated Coastal Engineering Research Facility (HICERF)


The Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) houses three state-of-the-art wave flumes that address research, design and development, and site-specific needs in coastal engineering.  Projects range from fundamental research such as water wave physics, wave interaction with natural and nature-based features, and sediment transport to applications such as designing and testing military assets and coastal infrastructure to include armor stability, wave runup, reflection, transmission, forces, and overtopping. These flumes support the needs of government organizations and non-government organizations, including academia and the private sector.


The variation in flume size allows for exploration across a wide range of geometric scales. The smaller flume is 0.91 m (3 ft) wide, 0.91 m deep, and 45.7 m (150 ft) long, with glass walls along its entire length. The larger flumes are both 63 m (208 ft) long and 1.5 m (5 ft) deep, with the testing section viewable through glass. One flume is 1.5 m wide while the neighboring flume is 3 m (10 ft) wide. Each wave flume is equipped with modern piston-type wave generators capable of generating regular waves, random waves, and solitary waves.


An extensive variety of instrumentation complements the state-of-the-art capability of the flumes. The instrumentation includes capacitance wave gauges, acoustic Doppler velocimeters (ADVs), particle image velocimetry systems (PIV), underwater and surface motion tracking systems, terrestrial LiDAR, and mass property instruments. On-site shop capability includes custom model bathymetry; 5-axis CNC machining for plastics, wood, and metal; 3D printing; acrylic molding; and skilled trades like carpentry, welding, and plumbing.

Work With Us

Please contact us for more information on how the capabilities of the Hudson Integrated Coastal Engineering Research Facility (HICERF) can assist you in addressing and solving a variety of coastal science and engineering challenges.

Dr. Duncan Bryant