Main Channel


SAFL's largest research channel is a straight, concrete channel capable of handling up to 300 cfs of river flow. It is equipped with a wave generator, sediment flux monitoring and recirculation system, and a programmable data acquisition carriage. The channel is used in a broad range of research, including but not limited to hydraulic modeling, pipe/meter testing, geomorphic experiments, and marine hydrokinetic research. The main channel can be run in flow-through mode or as a ponded system.

Main Channel
Photo of the main channel with people lined up next to it
Photo of a turbidity current in the main channel
Photo of a research group standing in the main channel next to a turbine
Photo of a braided channel in the SAFL main channel facility


  • Dimensions: 2.75 m wide x 1.8 m deep x 83.8 m long
  • Flow rate: up to 300 cfs (8,500 L/s) 
  • Slope: 0.17

Measurement Capabilities

  • Wave generator
  • Sediment flux monitoring and recirculation system
  • Data acquisition carriage