HR Wallingford's first generation tsunami simulator
A second generation Tsunami Simulator was developed for the first phase of the URBANWAVES project and was deployed in HR Wallingford’s Flume 3. This allowed further validation of the pneumatic generation methodology and allowed UCL to investigate tsunami run-up, forces and pressures on different seawalls and further work on forces acting on a single building.
The third generation tsunami simulator has enhanced our tsunami generation capabilities, including the option for closed loop wave generation using a PID feedback system. The new simulator has been installed in the70 m long, 4 m wide main channel of our Fast Flow Facility and has improve the quality of both crest-led and trough-led tsunamis generation and so the results obtained.
A team from HR Wallingford and University College London are currently testing coastal defences and urban environments for their tsunami resilience under the URBAN WAVES project, funded by the European Research Council. This work will ultimately lead to improved engineering guidance which will aid disaster management worldwide. The deployment of the tsunami generator in the large Fast Flow Facility has allowed flow around clusters of buildings to be evaluated for the first time.
The second and third generation tsunami simulators were designed using the OpenFOAM computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. The modelling has shown that the devices are able to generate the Mercator time series at a scale of 1:50 and reproduce the 2011 Japanese tsunami (Tohoku time series) at the same scale. The Tohoku trace reproduction is particularly challenging because of the complexity of the wave profile. The modelling has now been validated through the commissioning and calibration process undertaken with both the second and third generation Tsunami Simulators in their respective flumes.
Our third generation tsunami simulator is the largest device of this type in Europe.