Swash Rig - School of Engineering

Facility/equipment: Facility

  • Location

    School of Engineering University of Aberdeen King's College Aberdeen AB24 3FX

    United Kingdom


The Mechanics of Fluids, Soils and Structures Research Group covers a spectrum of research across four major areas: (1) Environmental and Industrial Fluid Mechanics; (2) Soil Mechanics; (3) Structural Mechanics; and (4) Transport Studies.

The region covered by wave uprush and backwash on a beach is the swash zone. Field measurements of swash processes are notoriously difficult while typical laboratory wave flumes are unsuitable for detailed measurements of swash processes because of the small swash produced and because of scale effects. These problems can be overcome by using an extremely large wave flume, but very few such facilities exist worldwide and their sheer size militates against their use for experimental work involving frequent changes of beach conditions.

Our Swash Rig generates full-scale swash in the laboratory without generating full-scale waves. The rig consists of a 20m long, 0.9m high, 0.45m wide, glass-sided flume with a water reservoir placed inside at one end. The reservoir is fronted by a gate designed to be raised at high speed. The sudden opening of the gate produces a large bore, which generates a large swash event on a beach, located downstream from the reservoir.


wave runup
fluid mechanics
soil mechanics
scale effect