The Flume

Lehigh University Hydraulics Lab
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The Advanced Geomorphology class, in the Spring of 2000 with the cooperation with the CEE Dept constructed a flume in the upper tank of the Hydraulics Lab.


Here are some photos of the flume construction and channels that were established during the trial runs.  The first experiments were to observe the effects of tributary inputs of discharge and sediment on the hydraulic geometry of the trunk channel.


In the Spring of 2001, Kurt Frankel completed an independent study course in fluvial geomorphology.  Aided by Jordan Vaughn, the flume was re-designed and new exeperiments were run to observe the effects of base level fall on a stable meandering channel, with and without bedrock reaches.  These three photos above show the (l-r) the stable channel just before the base level fall, the incising channel about 20 seconds into the base level fall, and the incising channel 15 minutes into the base level fall.


A similar base level fall experiment was run with vertically-bedded varved sediments inserted as a simulated bedrock reach.  These photos show the base level fall knickpoint hung up on the "bedrock".  Eventually, an inner gorge is incised, leaving behind a strath terrace, clearly visible in the photo to the right.  Check out the thin mantle of sand as the terrace alluviam atop the strath!  The strath terrace dips upstream reflecting the interaction and relative rates of downwearing and knickpoint retreat processes.

some more flume stuff

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