Delta Flume

Delta flume
Stichting Deltares
Mark Klein Breteler

P.O.Box 177
2600 MH
The Netherlands

Large-scale flume with the largest waves in Europe: up to Hs = 2.0 m.

Description of facility:

See also:

Technical data

length : 300m
width : 5 m
depth of flume : 9.5 m
water depth : 1 - 9 m
Wave board
second-order wave steering system
active re-reflection compensation
translation wave board with 7 m stroke
installed electric power for wave generation: 2 MW
wave-damping structures
Wave characteristics
maximum height (regular): 3 m
maximum height (random): 2.0 m
wave period: 1 - 15 s
water supply and circulation
tap water in 9000 m3 reservoir next to flume
flexible water circulation system to fill or empty separate section of the flume (1 m3/s)
Water circulation pumps to create a 1 m3/s flow in the flume or for full-scale reproduction of vertical tides


The Delta Flume is a wave flume which is unique because of its dimensions. The flume has a length of 300 m, a width of 5 m and a depth of 9.5 m. A flume with these dimensions allows for physical models on a scale which is close to prototype. This means that there are hardly any scale effects to take into account. The state-of -the-art Delta Flume is capable of generating both regular (periodic) and irregular (random) waves, which are higher than any facility in Europe. The wave generator is equipped with online Active Reflection Compensation, which effectively eliminates re-reflections of waves from the wave board. In this way they do not disturb the measurements. Also wave board control for random second-order waves is operational to compensate for spurious waves.

Application areas

Because of the size of the Delta Flume there is a wide range of applications in which we are involved.

Several breakwaters have been tested in the Delta Flume. The stability of the armour layer and the overtopping discharge are typical measurements in such tests. Typical measurements carried out in the Delta Flume include wave height, pressures, flow velocities, overtopping volumes and profiles.

Tests related to erosion of sediments are difficult to investigate on a smaller scale. Problems regarding grain size are difficult to solve in a small scale model. The Delta flume makes it possible to solve some of those problems because for instance the grain size can be one that is really found in nature.

The Delta Flume is a versatile and indispensable facility which can be put to use in numerous projects.


The size and available wave conditions of the Delta Flume make it possible to test almost every structure on a near-to-prototype scale. A few example projects are:


  • Breakwaters
  • Scour, bed protection
  • Placed block revetments
  • Testing underwater vehicles in combination with turbulent conditions
  • Testing and calibrating field equipment
Delta Flume




Project Reports using this facility Proceedings based on experiments using this facility
Barrier Dynamics Experiments (BARDEX) Bardex (barrier dynamics experiment): a laboratory study of gravel barrier response to waves and tides