Wave tank

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Model testing with periodic Stokes waves in the Wave–Tow Tank of the Jere A. Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory, University of New Hampshire.

A wave tank is a laboratory setup for observing the behavior of surface waves. The typical wave tank is a box filled with liquid, usually water, leaving open or air-filled space on top. At one end of the tank an actuator generates waves; the other end usually has a wave-absorbing surface. A similar device is the ripple tank, which is flat and shallow and used for observing patterns of surface waves from above.

A wave basin is a wave tank which has a width and length of comparable magnitude, often used for testing ships, offshore structures and three-dimensional models of harbors (and their breakwaters).

Another type of wave tank is the wave flume, which is narrow in width, and often has transparent windows for observing the wave motion as well as the physical model being tested.

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