In the test section, a closable pit of 130 m2 and a depth of 0,5 m is available which allows for modelling of a mobile bed. A sediment sieve is constructed at the downstream side for the collection of lightweight material in morphological tests. The wave generator is positioned at one of the short sides and consists of 20 wave paddles driven by a hydraulic system. The independently controlled wave paddles make it possible to generate oblique waves.

A current can be generated via a pumping system either following or opposing the waves. Depending on the project-specific needs, the basin layout can be modified e.g. by building wave damping beaches or sluice gates. Also, the Atlantic Basin is equiped with state-of-the-art instrumentation, a gantry crane and access bridges.

Application areas

The Atlantic Basin can be used for coastal, river, harbour and offshore projects. This basin is a wide flume for investigations related to flow forces, discharge coefficients, specific design details, bed protection and morphological impact of hydraulic structures.

The combination of wave generation with a pumping system allows for realistic simulation of sea waves interacting with a current. This is not only of interest for research on wave-current interaction but also essential for a number of situations, such as scour around offshore structures. In addition to that, water levels can be adjusted which allows for the simulation of tidal and non-tidal water level fluctuations.


Our experience with physical modelling studies is considerable. We are involved in a wide range of river, coastal, harbour and offshore structures. Typical studies are related to:

  • Stability of breakwaters: trunc sections and roundheads.
  • Scour around piles, jackets, jack-ups, GBS, pipelines.
  • Scour protection and pipeline covers.
  • Stability of groynes, sills, bed protections, intake and outfall structures.
  • Forces on structures.

A great outcome from this facility is our recently published journal paper "Predicting loose rock scour protection deformation around monopiles using the relative mobility number and the Keulegan–Carpenter number" and handbook of scour and cable protection methods, containing design guidelines for industry based on a large experimental dataset.

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Wave basin

  • Length: 75 m
  • Width: 8.7 m
  • Height: 1.3 m
  • Max. water depth : 1.0 m

Wave generation

  • Wave board type: cradle
  • Width of wave maker: 8.7 m
  • Height of wave board: 1.3 m
  • Frequency range: 0 to 2 Hz
    Max. sign. wave height: 0.25 m for Tp = 2 s
  • Max. wave height: 0.45 m
  • Directional spreading: yes
  • Wave damping: automatic reflection compensation

Pumping system

  • Max. pumping capacity: 3.0 m3/s
  • Current-wave-angle: 0º and 180º

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