Hydraulic and Stratigraphic Basins

Delta Basins
The SAFL delta basins are premier research facilities dedicated to studying delta morphodynamics at a range of spatial and temporal time scales. The basins incorporate leading-edge technologies for ocean-level control, wave generation, tidal cycles as well as data acquisition systems that allow description of sediment and water input, topography, and visual changes in the surface and subsurface.

Size: 16.4 L x 16.4 W x 2.1 D ft (5 x 5x 0.64m)

Experimental EarthScape (XES) Basin
This specialized basin, known as the “Jurassic Tank,” is used to study delta and basin morphodynamics on geologic time scales. The basin is unique because of its special SAFL-created design: it can incorporate the effects of tectonism on surface processes by simulating subsidence in the basin floor.

The basin is equipped with:

  • Computer-controlled basin floor topography and water surface level (sea level)
  • High resolution photography (200 megapixels) to scan cut sections
  • A laser topographical scanner for the sub-aerial surface of deposits
  • An ultrasonic sonar scanner for sub-aqueous regions

Size: 19.7 L x 9.8-29.5 W x 3.3 D ft (6 x 3-9 x 1 m)

SAFL Model Basin
The Model Basin occupies an entire floor of SAFL and is dedicated to research on surface water and storm water systems. The basin is adaptable to modeling a wide variety of river planforms, hydraulic structures, and sediment transport. Space in the floor of the Model Basin allows for passage of a large pipe and structures between this basin and the shop level below. This allows for capability to study problems with large vertical drops such as pump lift stations and drop shafts. The Model Basin features carriages for transporting personnel and instrumentation.

Size: 155 L x23.0 W x2.0 D ft (47 x7 x 0.6 m)
Discharge capacity: 16 cfs (450 l/s)

Unconfined Debris Flow Basin
Also known as the "Subaqueous & Subaerial Fan Basins," these special basins are suited for studying fan deposition from sediment-water flows with sediment feed facility.

Size: 13 Lx 6 W x 2 D ft (4 x 0.1.8 x 0.6 m)
Discharge capacity: 42 l/s

EM River Basin
This basin, manufactured by Little River Research, is a perfect teaching flume for students of all ages. This basin allows sediment feed and continuous flow of tap water. Slopes are easily adjusted, the flume has a range of hydraulic structures, and model vegetation can be placed in the model river. The basin is used by students and instructors to demonstrate the fundamentals of river process and river restoration.

Custom Model Basins
The SAFL machine shop can construct new basins or modify existing ones to meet special needs. Often the basins are actual scale models, such as approach channels and intakes, and include transparent sections for flow and measurement visualization and measurement during testing.