University of Texas at Austin Flash Flood Flume

This page describes the Flash Flood Flume at the University of Texas at Austin. This page is a work in progress.


  • Location:
  • Dimensions
    • 33.5 m long, 0.8 m tall, 1.5 m wide
      • as of Feb 2015, channel has been narrowed to 0.5 m wide with plywood wall. Wall is not watertight.
  • Flume Features
    • Bottom and one side wall is conrete 
    • plywood side wall has plexiglas reach ~18.5 m downstream from the channel inlet
  • Water Supply
    • Flume recirculates from an artificial pond that occasionally has to be occasionally filled from grey water stored in the tower, or (in desperate situations only) has to be filled with clean water.
    • The pond typically has an overabundance of algae that grows in the Spring, which can easily be pumped into the flume, causing trouble for some types of instrumentation. The algae can be easily killed using a livestock-safe herbicide (PondRestore Ultra). 
  • Pumps
    • Two pumps that can supply up to 300 L/s each from the pond water. The pumps are shared with the indoor facility run by the Center for Research in Water Resources.
    • The discharge in each pump can be controlled separately using mechanical valves. Rotations in valve are not linearly related to changes in discharge so fine-tuned hydrographs can be difficult.
  • High Speed Lift Gate
    • A high speed, computer controlled, lift gate is installed at the inlet of the flume. The gate is capable of impound ~6.5 m3 of water and releasing is all near simulatneously. This generates nice flash flood bores. (Add link to armor experiments)
  • Instrumentation Possibilities
    • Massa UltraSonic Transducers: 4 mounts are located along the length of the flume designed to hold the transducers specifically. An additional mount is located inside the headbox 
University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Joel Johnson