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The Oceans Engineering LaboratoryThe Ocean Engineering Laboratory, a two-story 30 m x 38 m facility, is dedicated to laboratory experiments in coastal and ocean processes. This laboratory has high bay experimental space and eleven offices, used for faculty and graduate students in the Ocean Engineering Program. It was dedicated in 1981.

The major experimental facilities are located in the Ocean Engineering Laboratory and P.S. Du Pont Hall. The laboratory contains the following:

  • Directional Wave Basin (20 m x 20 m x 1.1 m deep) for the study of wave environments on coastal processes. For example, rip currents, flowing through channels in sand bars, have been studied in the basin. The basin has 34 individually programmable flap wave paddles along one wall that combine to create a directional sea state.
  • Precision Wave Tank (33 m long with a 0.6 m (w) x 0.76 m (d) cross section). Sixty percent of the tank has glass side walls that are aligned with an accuracy of plus/minus 0.5 mm to ensure that no tank irregularities affect the experiments. The tank has a (1m stroke) hydraulically actuated piston wavemaker designed to create the largest non-breaking wave conditions in the tank. The programmable wavemaker is capable of creating sinusoidal, cnoidal and solitary waves, as well as a random sea state. A moveable instrument carriage mounted on rails facilitates measuring waves along the length of the tank. An impermeable adjustable slope can be installed at the far end of the tank. The tank also has recirculating capability. A current of 30 cm/sec can be generated in 50 cm of water.
  • The Sand Beach Wave Tank -- a large towing tank/wave tank, with a cross-section of 2m x 1.5m, which is equipped with PCs for wave maker control and data acquisition and three automatically calibrating wave gages. The wavemaker is a hydraulically actuated piston wavemaker.
  • • Recirculating Armstrong flume that is 0.4 m wide and 0.6 m deep to generate hydraulic jumps.


The laboratory has a fiber-optic link to the university's ATM backbone. The university currently provides T1 access to the internet as well as considerable centralized computing facilities.

CACR operates two Linux clusters which are housed in the university's computer center and which presently support work in tsunami modeling, nearshore wave-driven circulation, atmospheric modeling, groundwater contamination and remediation, coastal circulation and water quality modeling, and quantum chemistry. The older cluster consists of 12 dual processor nodes for a total of 24 processors, while the newer cluster (supported by an ONR grant) provides a total of 76 processors (most on 8 processor nodes with 32 gB of RAM) and a total of 12 TB of disk storage. The systems provide a range of compiler choices and support for parallelization and networking.

Other equipment: The center has a large assortment of equipment for field and laboratory studies including current meters, acoustic Doppler profilers, turbidity sensors, pressure sensors, remote sensing imagers, surveying equipment, a portable imaging tower, field trailers, field research vehicles and a 4.9 meter portable wave flume for educational outreach.


  • UD Center for Applied Coastal Research   •   Newark, DE 19716   •   Phone: 302-831-6531