Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory

The only facility of its kind in North America, the Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory (LHE) simulates waves, tides, and strong currents to help researchers develop sustainable coastal management strategies for controlling erosion caused by climate change.

The lab boasts a large-scale multipurpose wave flume (120 m long, 5 m wide, and 5 m deep) to simulate high-amplitude waves and tsunamis caused by landslides and earthquakes.

Located in the Québec Metro High Tech Park, the wave flume is 120 m long, 5 m wide, and 5 m deep. It extends 4 m underground and 1 m above ground. Waves generated can reach the top of the flume walls and be produced in depths ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 m and wave periods of 3 to 10 seconds.

In addition to a mobile walkway, a gantry crane, and a series of equipment decks, the wave flume is also equipped with:

  • a wavemaker
  • a draining and filling system connected to a 3500 m3 reservoir
  • a two-way water flow system
  • measuring equipment (current, turbidity, water level, topography, etc.)

 

Scale-down wave flume

Data acquisition systems 

14 National Instrument CompactRIO systems, each with 256 analog inputs and 8 modules with sampling rates of 250 kHz. The modules also have 32 channels each. They are spaced 5 m apart along the flume, with the first one 45 m from the wave generator.  

 

Current measurement

  • 2 Sontek 3 MHz Mini-ADPs
  • 2 Nortek 2 MHz Aquadopp HRs
  • 10 Nortek Vectrino ADVs
  • 3 Nortek Vectrino II ADVs

 

Turbidity measurement

  • 24 OBS 3+

 

Water level sensors

  • 18 RBR-Global WG-55s

 

Topography and bathymetry 

  • 1 Imagenex 675 kHz multibeam profiling sonar (model Delta T 837B)
  • 1 Imagenex 260 kHz digital multibeam imaging sonar (model 965)

 

Cameras

  • 1 DeepSea Multi SeaCam (underwater)
  • 2 DeepSea Seasnake SS-30C (underwater)
  • 1 DeepSea Multi SeaLite (underwater)
  • 2 mobile HD security cameras
  • 1 wireless security camera
  • 1 fixed HD security camera

 

70 strain gauges

  • Barometric pressure sensor: 1 RM Young

 

Pressure sensors

  • 5 Kistler sensors, model 4073A50 (max. pressure: 12500 kPa)
  • 22 PCB sensors, model 113B26 (max. pressure: 6895 kPa)
  • 25 GE UNIK5000 sensors

Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) also has a smaller-scale wave flume with an electronically controlled wavemaker. The small flume is sometimes used to scale down experiments before they are carried out in the big flume. It has been designed to accommodate the same type of measurement devices as used in the main flume. Learn more

 

Wave flume in action

The Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory (LHE) offers research services to other universities, as well as to industry and government (see research applications). 

 

Research topics

  • Fluid dynamics
  • Fluid physics
  • Fluid mixing
  • Multiphase flow
  • Digital methods

 

Oceanography and atmospheric sciences

  • Wave physics
  • Wind physics
  • Atmosphere/ocean interaction
  • Wind- and tide-generated waves 
  • Wind-induced coastal processes
  • Wave- and wind-driven ice 
  • Storm predictions
  • Extreme waves
  • Hydrodynamics of underwater explosions
  • Climate modelling

 

Coastal processes

  • Coastal erosion
  • Coastal hydrodynamics
  • Natural risk predictions
  • Storm surges and flooding
  • Runup and overtopping
  • Sediment transport
  • Wave/sediment interaction
  • Currents and interaction
  • Scouring
  • Hydraulic dunes
  • Coastal structures

 

Behaviour of structures

  • Marine structures
  • Marine vegetation
  • Special structures (e.g., underwater vehicles)
  • Fluid/structure interaction
  • Forces and impact on structures
  • Debris flow (ice, wood, objects)
  • Flexible structures
  • Structural dynamics
  • Hydroelasticity and aeroelasticity
  • Vibration control

 

Renewable energy

  • Wave energy
  • Wind energy
  • Tidal energy
  • Offshore solar energy
  • Biomimetic energy

 

Whave hitting rocks

The Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory (LHE) offers a wealth of potential applications. For example, the LHE can:

  • Model the equilibrium profile of beaches to help stabilize shorelines Model sedimentation in ports and marinas to help plan dredging operations and control sediment drift
  •  Study the interaction of currents and waves on coastal and offshore structures
  • Model overflow and overtopping caused by rising sea levels along Canada’s coastline
  • Simulate the effects of tides on port facilities
  • Simulate the effects of ice on shores in the presence of waves and currents
  • Model the dispersion of pollutants in complex hydraulic systems
  • Design projects and soft solutions for coastline protection

 

Wave generator

This $13.5 million facility was funded by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the Government of Quebec under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program.

Contacts

Damien Pham Van Bang
Professor et Scientific co-leader
Phone: 418-654-2590
Email: damien.pham_van_bang@ete.inrs.ca

Jacob Stolle
Professor et Scientific co-leader
Phone: 418-654-3115
Email: jacob.stolle@ete.inrs.ca

Dominik Lapierre
Research Officer
Phone: 418-654-3728
Email: dominik.lapierre@ete.inrs.ca

Raky Rezgui
Research Technician
Phone: 418-654-2684
Email: raky.rezgui@ete.inrs.ca

Carole Parent
Partnerships and Development Advisor
Phone: 418-654-2531
Email: carole.parent@ete.inrs.ca

Institut national de la recherche scientifique

Laboratories for Scientific and Technological Innovation in Environment LISTE)

Centre Eau Terre Environnement

Québec Metro High Tech Park

2605 blvd. du Parc-Technologique

Québec City, Quebec  G1P 4S5

Canada

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LHE Website