Large Wave Flume-GWK

Large Wave Flume, GWK
LUH (Leibniz University Hannover)
Stefan Schimmels

Forschungszentrum Küste
Merkurstraße 11
D-30419 Hannover

Facility for large-scale research with 7.00 m depth and wave heights up to 2.5 m

Description of facility:

Technical data

Length: 330 m
Width: 5 m
Depth: 7 m
Maximum water depth: 5m
Wave Board
Generation of corrected trochoidal waves
Active wave absorption
Maximal stroke 4.2 m
Installed electric power 900 kW
Wave characteristics
Maximum wave height (regular): 2.5 m
Maximum significant wave height (wave spectra) : 1.3 m
Wave period: 3 - 20 s


The Large Wave Flume (Großer Wellenkanal, GWK) is the most important facility for basic and applied research on coastal engineering phenomena at Forschungszentrum Küste (FZK). FZK is a Joint Central Institution of Leibniz Universität Hannover and Technische Universität Braunschweig

With about 300m length, 5m width and 7m depth it is considered to be one of the largest facilities of its kind worldwide. The huge dimensions of GWK are necessary to perform unique large scale experiments for the investigation of certain phenomena that cannot be arbitrarily downscaled.

The piston type wavemaker of GWK has a maximum stroke of 4.2 m and is equipped with an active wave absorption system to avoid unwanted re-reflections of waves at the wave paddle. The standard implementation allows for the generation of regular waves, theoretical and measured natural wave spectra, focused waves and solitary waves. At a maximum water depth of 5 m the maximum wave height for regular waves is 2.1 m and for wave spectra 1.3 m significant wave height at the wave paddle.

The data acquisition system at GWK can record up to 120 channels simultaneously with a maximum digitising rate of 20 kHz per channel. Due to the large number of different measurement devices following physical parameters can be recorded: Water surface elevation, wave runup and overtopping, water velocities, water pressures, acceleration and deformation of structures, forces on structures, sediment concentration, survey of morphological processes. The obtained data can be visualized and analysed by comprehensive software tools immediately after the recording.

GWK represents a unique installation for European development of new integrated strategies to capture all processes associated with wave-induced seabed-structure interactions, wave-seabed interactions, dynamic structure-foundation interactions, wave-induced sediment transport and morphological changes.

Large Wave Flume, GWK Large Wave Flume, GWK Large Wave Flume, GWK

Project Reports using this facility Proceedings based on experiments using this facility
Design of entrance platforms for offshore wind turbines Loads on entrance platforms for offshore wind turbines
ESDODDS: Experiments on Sediment Depth Of Disturbance (DoD) for beaches under the influence of Drainage Systems Esdodds: experiments on sediment depth of disturbance for beaches under the influence of drainage systems
Infiltration and ex-filtration on beach face Swask zone hydrodynamic of a drained beach
Measurement of wave-induced sand transport over rippled beds Boundary layer flow and sand transport under full scale surface waves
Experimental study of a random nonlinear wave field in a tank Effect of the initial spectral shape on the evolution of random unidirectional wave field along the tank
Large-scale measurements of extreme wave loadings on exposed jetties Large-scale measurements of extreme wave loadings on exposed jetties
EroGRASS: Failure of Grass Cover Layers at Seaward and Shoreward Dike Slopes Erograss: large-scale investigations of grass cover failure at sea dikes
Long wave dynamics and statistics of the shoreline motion: influence of the asymmetry and nonlinearity of incoming waves LONG WAVES CLIMBING THE SLOPES OF DIFFERENT ROUGHNESS: RUN-UP HEIGHT AND THE LOAD ON INDIVIDUAL ROUGHNESS ELEMENTS
Wave dissipation and transformation over coastal vegetation under extreme hydrodynamic loading WAVE DISSIPATION AND TRANSFORMATION OVER COASTAL VEGETATION UNDER EXTREME HYDRODYNAMIC LOADING
Scaling Effects in Wave Loading and Performance of a Breakwater-Integrated Oscillating Water Column Wave Energy Converter LARGE SCALE TESTS ON A GENERALISED OSCILLATING WATER COLUMN WAVE ENERGY CONVERTER
Large scale measurements of wave loads and mapping of impact pressure distribution at the underside of parapets LARGE SCALE MEASUREMENTS OF WAVE LOADS AND MAPPING OF IMPACT PRESSURE DISTRIBUTION AT THE UNDERSIDE OF WAVE RECURVES