The geophysical fluid dynamics laboratory undertakes fundamental research into a diverse range of physical processes related to transport and mixing in the environment.
The extensive range of facilities enable the modelling on small scales in the controlled laboratory environment of processes affected by density stratification and the earth's rotation. There is close collaboration with other groups in the School working on field and numerical modelling studies.
- Rotating turntable
- A precision direct-drive system combined with a dedicated four-watt argon-ion laser system for flow imaging makes this a unique facility.
- Internal wave tank
- This is a six-metre long wave tank that is equipped with three different types of mechanically driven internal wave generators for investigating both large- and small-scale internal wave dynamics.
- Convection tanks
- A two-metre long rectangular tank is equipped with dedicated external water bath systems for investigation of unsteady convection; a one-metre diameter, dual-walled bottom heated circular convection tank is designed primarily for work on the rotating turntable.
- Model reservoir
- A rectangular tank has a unique surface stress facility to model the effects of wind stress on lakes or reservoirs.
- A highly flexible array of instruments and data collection platforms are designed for use with any of the above large facilities. These instruments include precision temperature and conductivity measuring and profiling equipment, dual channel hot-wire anemometer, an array of video and frame grabber equipment for Particle Image Velocimetry and flow imaging, two four-watt argon-ion lasers, a digital densimeter and several workstations dedicated for lab use.
The laboratory is used extensively for research projects by undergraduate honours students, master's and PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and staff.