Large area basin research facility

The NRC's 50 m × 30 m (164 ft × 98 ft) Large Area Basin (LAB) is ideal for conducting large, three-dimensional physical model studies of hydrodynamics in marinas, ports and harbours, moored ship behaviour, waterfront developments, coastal structures and coastal processes, including sediment transport, scour and beach response.

Our capabilities

The basin is currently equipped with up to three computer-controlled portable wave machines capable of producing irregular long-crested waves with significant heights up to 15 cm (0.5 ft), and regular waves up to 25 cm (0.8 ft). A new portable directional wave generator capable of generating short-crested (directional) waves with significant heights up to 0.4 m (1.3  ft) will be commissioned in 2015.

Large pumps, thrusters and weirs under computer control can be installed to produce tidal flows and simulate discharges from inlets, rivers and culverts. Discharges up to 1.6 m3/s (56 cfs) can be generated by tapping into the adjacent high discharge flume. The LAB can be drained and filled quickly and can be easily accessed by construction equipment for building model bathymetries and structures. The facility is typically used to conduct large three-dimensional physical model studies of:

  • hydrodynamics in marinas, ports and harbours
  • moored ship behaviour and response to waves, currents and winds
  • coastal processes and near-shore circulation
  • sediment transport, beach response and shoreline developments
  • open channel flows in estuaries, rivers, canals and inland waterways
  • wave interaction with coastal and maritime structures and
  • scour, erosion and mitigation methods

Why work with us

In working to bridge the gap between innovation and commercialization, the NRC plays a critical role in collaborating with industry to assess the performance of infrastructure project designs, marine vehicles and marine operations in operational and extreme conditions and develop optimizations to improve performance, increase safety and reduce lifecycle costs. Working with the NRC offers you the competitive advantage of world-class, customizable testing facilities combined with the broad knowledge and experience of our in-house research staff. The NRC's professional staff has extensive experience in many engineering fields, including the behaviour and performance of structures and vehicles in complex ocean, coastal and river environments.