Wave tank

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

In this 12 minute film, Daniel Rodger from Jeremy Benn Pacific uses the wave tank to demonstrate the effectiveness of different types and combinations of coastal defences on the potential for overtopping and flood risk.

The demonstration measures the rates of overtopping for the following defences and conditions:

  • beach during a storm surge
  • vertical and recurved sea walls (with and without a beach)
  • stepped and sloped revetments
  • rock armour
  • submerged near-shore breakwater

Factsheet:  Dimensions, demonstration requirements and other vital statistics for the wave tank are available here.

We have recently upgraded the paddle mechanism to good old fashioned hand power using a cam and wedge system (see photo below).  We find that this is a great way of encouraging audience participation, and is more reliable and robust than the electrically powered paddle system used in in the film.  It also reduces the risks associated with water and electricity being in close proximity.

Students practice their wave tank demonstration skills

Students practice their wave tank demonstration skills

The prototype 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.  We then continued to work with Hydrotec Ltd who used the prototype designs to fabricate the final wave tank.