Water and Soil Flume

The water-soil flume comprises a large concrete research-flume and a motorised carriage, travelling on top of the flume, consisting of a multipurpose dredging installation complete with data-acquisition and data-processing systems.


The water-soil flume can be used for large scale model tests concerning, for example:

  • Cutting devices
  • Suction  devices
  • Trenching equipment
  • Anchors
  • Jets
  • Hydraulic sand fill
  • Beaching
  • Destabilisation of density stratification
  • Plume dispersion
  • Breaching; etc.
  • Beaching deposition of slurries and tailings
  • Sand/mud mixture flows and segregating behaviour
  • Physics of Non-Newtonian flows
  • Subaerial and subaqueous deposition of tailings and slurry

Furthermore, the flume  may be used for virtually any dredging research project where non-stationary conditions, fast data-acquisition and data-processing as well as realistic boundary conditions are of the essence.

Test media

Tests can be performed  on several types  of soil  like clay,  rock, silt  and sand. The soil  to  be used can be conditioned to the specifications required,  by means of a special conditioning carriage also travelling on top of the flume.  A special ‘clay-factory’ in the vicinity of the flume  allows the manufacturing of clays to strict specifications.

Measuring equipment

The dredging module is equipped with  measuring devices to measure  forces, torque,  mixture-densities, speed and positions. It is also possible  to install and activate measuring devices in the flume to monitor influences on the medium  during  testing.

Data-acquisition and -processing

A wide range of analog and digital data-acquisition instruments can be installed. Data-processing is performed on laptop’s and pc’s.

Visual studies

As an alternative to using the entire width  of the flume, a glass wall can be installed to form a flume that enables visualisation of  the  physical   processes.  Visualisation may instantly solve problems hitherto hidden from view and thus giving a headstart in mathematical modelling.

Flume  dimensions

  • Length: variable up to 50.0 metres.
  • Width: 9.0 metres. (5.5 m research-flume and 3.5 m settling basin.)
  • Depth: 2.5 metres.
  • Width of flume with glass wall installed: 0.5, 1.0 or 2.5 m.

Technical specifications:

results of test water soil flume

Front view of a slurry flow at the water and soil flume, as measured with our high definition 3D laser scanner. Length in x-direction 5.5 m. Length in y-direction 35 m

Travelling carriage

  • Carriage travelling speed adjustable from 0.02 up to 2.5 m/s.
  • Carriage pulling-force max. 30 kN.
  • Two adjustable mixture-pumps, 70 l/s and 250 l/s;
  • Discharge or production-controlled.
  • Choice of pump depends on pipe-system needed; 100 mm and 200 mm pipe-systems available.

Other features

For  your  specific  research  problems  we can  develop in-house:

  • Measuring-methods
  • Measuring-devices
  • Data-processing software
  • Add-on’s for carriage and flume


To ensure continuity and quality of research done in the water-soil flume  of Deltares  gives a thorough back-up concerning:

•  mechanical engineering

•  electronical engineering

•  hardware and software development

•  and audio-visual recording