Sea level control in a lidded small scale experimental delta, CSDMS conference, 18th May 2016


This experiment was performed at the CSDMS annual meeting 2016 and is in part a test of how intuitive this data entry system is. Entry by Dan Hobley, taking dictation from a larger group. Experimental concept via John Shaw, implemented by the SEN team.



Sea level was set in a lidded tank. A single inflow pipe to the center of one side of the tank was run from a constant head tank, with the head adjustable by the user. Outflow was enabled by three outflow pipes, with the flux out determined by the resistance of the pipes. A perspex lid was mounted rigidly horizontally above the box, and the space beneath filled with the discharging water. Sediment was added from above close to the inlet pipe.


Strictly speaking sea level is set by the elevation of the lid. However, the system as a whole behaves as a duct, and pressure gradient down the box is the important variable setting flow dynamics. The intention was to create an experiment simulating a delta with a backwater, since this setup creates an effective infinite backwater on the delta top.

Lab Facility: 
Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex, University of Colorado, Boulder