Physical models

We believe that the best way to learn about how water behaves in rivers and at the coast is by seeing it in front of you. That’s why we’ve created a suite of physical models to demonstrate the key principles of flood and coastal risk management.

Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox

Elisa 'makes it rain' in the AR Sandbox

Elisa ‘makes it rain’ in the AR Sandbox

The AR Sandbox is a very interactive visualisation tool that shows how topography affects water moving through a catchment.  We encourage people to shape real sand to create their own catchments which are then ‘augmented’ in real time by a projector which shows a coloured elevation map and contour lines.

Participants can ‘make it rain’ and then watch how the virtual water flows through the catchment in real time and explore how changes in land use affect flooding.

Our first prototype was developed with students at the Lancaster Environment Centre as part of their MSc project and was based on the specifications shared by the University of California, Davis who have created an excellent library of online resources.

We are now exploring how we can develop new functionality in the software to enable us to better show concepts like natural flood management, including the impact of permeability, roughness and storage on flood risk.

Resources: The resources provided by UC Davis for the AR Sandbox community are available here.

Demonstration flume (free standing)

The JBA Trust stunt duck navigates the culvert

The JBA Trust stunt duck navigates the culvert

Our largest hydraulic flume shows the flow of water in a simple channel, driven by a system of re-circulating pumps, and features scale models of typical engineered structures.

We have built a variety of structures that can be introduced to the channel, including weirs, bridges, culverts, debris screens, a fish pass and a hydrobrake.

Observers can see in real time how these different structures interact with the flow and what happens under flood conditions.

The flume is approximately 3 metres long and is housed and transported in our custom built van along with our other river and coastal demonstration models. The van now comes complete with an awning to avoid to worst of the British weather!

Our van houses and transports the physical models

Demonstration flume (trailer mounted)

Jeremy Benn explains flood risk at the Flood Awareness Roadshow in Rochdale

This flume is the first mobile demonstration model built by JBA Trust. It shows the flow of water in a simple channel, driven by a system of re-circulating pumps.

It also features scale models of typical engineered structures such as weirs, bridges, culverts and debris screens to show how different structures interact with the flow and affect flood risk.

Video: See a short video of the flume in action here.

Factsheet:  Dimensions, demonstration requirements and other vital statistics are available here.

'Mini' demonstration flume

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service using the mini-flume

The ‘mini’ flume also demonstrates the interaction of engineered structures with flow in a channel but is more portable than the trailer flume and can be set up inside, for example in a classroom or office.

Factsheet: Dimensions, demonstration requirements and other vital statistics are available here

Wave tank

Alex Scott testing different coastal defences in the wave tank

Our portable wave tank demonstrates the performance of coastal defences under different wave conditions.

The wave tank was developed in 2015 with a team of PhD students from the Fluid Dynamics Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) at the University of Leeds, the Coastal Risk Management team at JBA Consulting and Hydrotec Ltd.

Video: See a short video of the wave tank in action here

Factsheet: Dimensions, demonstration requirements and other vital statistics are available here

News

Subscribe

Enter your email to receive
updates from the JBA Trust.

Get involved!

We are always looking for opportunities to share these training resources. If you think the models could be useful for your work with students, professional groups or communities then please contact us to discuss how we could share our models or come to you to deliver a demonstration. Alternatively, if you would like to use these physical models to support training that you deliver, they are available to hire.

We are grateful to Hydrotec Ltd for their input to the design and build of all our physical models.

Top