Facilities and Instrumentation

Baker Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory (BEHL) is a 3100 square ft floor area facility, housing several research flumes, tanks, and a wide variety of advanced research instrumentation and hydraulic measurement systems. The laboratory is devoted to environmental hydraulics related research and is housed in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Virginia Tech.

Flumes and Tanks

Large Research Flume

  • Dimensions: 70 ft long x 4 ft wide x 2 ft deep
  • Tilting and water recirculating
  • Slope range: 0 to 10%
  • Discharge range: 0 to 7.35 cfs
  • Typical uses: General hydraulics and turbulence, sediment transport, hydraulic structures

The Environmental Flume

  • Dimension: 20 ft long x 1.5 ft wide x 2 ft deep
  • Tilting and water recirculating
  • Slope range: -1 to 10%
  • Discharge range: 0 to 3 cfs
  • Typical uses: instrument testing, initiation of motion, long term deposition of fine sediment.

The Shallow and Deep Water Delta Tank

  • Dimension: 16.5 ft long x 9.8 ft wide x 3.25 ft deep
  • Input controls: water, sediment, salt mass flow rates
  • Output controls: tailwater elevation
  • Automated topographic scanner with mm resolution accuracy
  • Typical uses: subaerial and submarine fan and delta studies, turbidity currents, density currents, laterally unbounded river mouth discharges

2D Stratification Flume

  • Dimension: 8 ft long x 4.5 in wide x 2 ft deep
  • Controls: initial stratification ratio, interface Richardson number, suspended sediment concentration
  • Allows for measurement of: velocity and salinity profiles, sediment mass removal rates, and floc sizes under steady and unsteady flow conditions
  • Typical uses: 2D shear layer instabilities, sedimentation from buoyant discharges

Flocculation Tanks

  • Several 10 to 20 liter flocculation tanks and floc settling columns
  • Controls: Turbulent shear rate, suspended sediment concentration, time varying salinity
  • Allows for measurement of: floc size population with time and floc settling velocity
  • Typical uses: Flocculation studies

Other Equipment and Major Instrumentation

  • A small scale water tunnel for research and demonstration.
  • A stratification tank for testing interactions between fluids of differing density.
  • LaVision FlowMaster time-resolved Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system.
  • Large-Scale Particle Image Velocimetry (LSPIV) system.
  • A Nortek Vectrino ADV Profiler.
  • Nortek Vectrino ADVs.
  • Teledyne (broad band) Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and the echosounder for field work.
  • 2 Floc Camera systems with 1.267 µm/pixel resolution and a field of view of 2.4 x 1.4 mm.
  • Campbell Scientific OBS 3+ sensors with data logger
  • A PME Microscale Conductivity Temperature Instrument (MSCTI)
  • Sediment feeders and mixers
  • Several cameras, LEDs, and lasers for imaging purposes