Experimental Earthscape Basin

Silica sand delta in experimental earth-scape basin
Planform view of experiment in basin facility
Honeycomb subsidence mechanism in basin facility
Close up of faulted stratigraphy deposits


This specialized basin is used to study delta and basin morphodynamics on geologic time scales. The basin is unique in that it can incorporate the effects of tectonism on surface processes by simulating subsidence in the basin floor through the use of 432 independently controlled basin cells. The basin also hosts SAFL's most advanced data carriage that can assist in slicing and imaging the resulting cross-sectional deposits.

Facility Specifications and Capabilities

  • 6 m long x 3-9 m wide x 1 m deep (19.7 ft x 9.8-29.5 ft x 3.3 ft)
  • High resolution photography (200 megapixels) to scan cut sections
  • Computer-controlled basin floor topography and water surface level (sea level)
  • An ultrasonic sonar scanner for sub-aqueous regions

Expand all

Projects and Publications