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A Shared-use Large-scale Multidirectional Wave Basin for Tsunami Research

TitleA Shared-use Large-scale Multidirectional Wave Basin for Tsunami Research
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsYim, S., H. Yeh, D. Cox, and C. M. Pancake
Conference NameProceedings of the 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering
Date Published08/2004
Conference LocationVancouver, B.C., Canada

Oregon State University has expanded its multidirectional wave basin to create a shared-use experimental facility for tsunami research, supported by the US National Science Foundation’s Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) program. The Tsunami Wave Basin – the expanded dimensions of which are 48.8m (length) by 26.5m (width) by 2m (depth) – addresses the unique requirements posed by the tsunami research community. The wave generator is designed to generate a solitary wave 0.8m high in a water depth of 1m. Its waveboards are controlled on an individual basis, making it possible to generate arbitrary wave profiles and arbitrary wave directions. The basin supports high resolution, large-scale experiments with dense instrumentation, making it possible for researchers to test and validate both analytical and numerical models of tsunami phenomena induced by sub-sea earthquakes, and supporting a full range of coastal studies. A key focus of the project is the exploitation of advanced computing and networking technologies to enhance the research experience. Researchers located at distant sites can participate actively in experiments at the facility, viewing data and images in real time and participating in decision-making. Both remote and on-site researchers enjoy the ability to view the data/video displays in instant-replay, slow-motion, or freeze-frame modes. A “virtual wave laboratory” based on video gaming technology makes it possible to design experiments and plan the layout of instruments with just a web browser. A comprehensive, shared databank provides the broader research community with access to complete histories of all experiments and the ability to download experimental data for use in validating numerical models. This paper provides a detailed description of the Tsunami Wave Basin and offers examples of the types of collaborative experiments that will be made possible by this unique shared facility.