Harris Hydraulics Laboratory

Triaxus deployment

Research in the Environmental Fluid Mechanics group is based primarily in the Harris Hydraulics Laboratory, which is located on the waterfront on the south side of the University of Washington campus. Harris Hydraulics was built in 1920. At that time, experiments in the lab received water and water pressure from what is now the pond surrounding Drumheller fountain in the center of campus. Harris is now used for fluid mechanics research by researchers from across campus, including Civil and Environmental Engineering, Applied Physics Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering and Oceanography.

Plume Basin

Triaxus deployment

This 2.5m by 4.0m basin is designed to test the how lateral spreading modifies the mixing process and propagation speed of river plume. The basin is filled with saltwater and plume is generated by discharging freshwater from the source tank through an estuary-like opening. We use various instruments (such as, acoustic Doppler velocimeter (ADV), microscale conductivity/temperature probe, fluorescent dye with blacklight, and planar laser included fluorescence (PLIF)) for laboratory experiments in this plume basin.

Sediment/ wave flume

Triaxus deployment

The experimental wave facility was built expressly for sedimentation transport experiments. It consists of a sealed channel with a 4.9 m long by 0.2 m wide by 1.2 m tall test section in which wave amplitude, period, bottom slope, and sediment supply can all be varied. .

Rotating table

Triaxus deployment

We have an annular rotating tank that is used for geophysical fluid dynamics experiments, such as the investigation of transport mechanisms within buoyant river plumes. The rotating tank is annular with 92cm and 22cm outer and inner radii and has a depth of 25cm deep. Experiments use an edge-lit light panel under the floor of the tank to illuminate the flow. In this configuration we use the Optical Thickness Method to understand the structure of the flow and transport within it. The tank can also be configured to make coupled velocity and density measurements with our PIV/PLIF system.

15 m wave tank

Triaxus deployment


Teaching Lab

Triaxus deployment


Wind tunnel/ jet tank

Triaxus deployment


Measurement equipment

We use a wide variety of field and lab equipment to carry out our experiments. A partial list of our equipment includes:

- Two Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters (ADVs)

- Fiber Optic Backscatter Sensor (FOBS)

- Optic Backscatter Sensor (OBS)

- RD Instruments 1200 kHz ADCP

- Sea-Bird Electronics SBE 19plus CTD

- BioSconics echosounder.

- PIV system (200mJ New Wave Research Nd:YAG laser, Dalsa CCD camera, Berkeley Neucleonics delay generator)

Additional equipment is available at from the UW Applied Physics Lab, including:

- Two Aquadopp HR 2 MHz velocity profilers

- additional ADVs

- Two Datawell Waverider buoys

- acoustic releases and deployment gear

- infrared cameras