Ocean basin, COAST Lab
The Ocean Basin is a unique facility that allows waves and currents to be generated at any relative orientation and can be run at different water depths. 
The basin can be used to create unidirectional and directional wave fields, regular waves, wave spectra and currents in three dimensions putting it at the forefront of testing for marine renewable energy arrays. 

Wave generation capabilities

The paddles produce regular waves with an approximate maximum height of 0.9m at 0.4 Hz and wave height above 0.2m in a range of 0.166 Hz – 1 Hz. 
Wave synthesising software allows long and short-crested spectral sea states to be generated as well as special wave effects. Oblique waves can be comfortably generated up to 40° from normal.

Technical specification

The Ocean Basin is 35m long by 15.5m wide with a moveable floor that allows different operating depths of up to 3m.


  • waves are generated by 24 individually controlled hinged flap absorbing paddles
  • dry-backed 2.0m hinge depth.


  • the recirculating hydraulic system provides longitudinal current up to 0.3m/s for a 2.0m water depth
  • a multi-pump recirculating hydraulic system provides the transverse current, enabling a mean flow speed of 0.3m/s at 2.0m depth.


  • slope of up to 6° along the basin maximum point load of 500kg.

Absorbing beach

  • convex beach to minimise reflected wave energy
  • 1.0m x 0.5m grid of M12 threads throughout the central section of the tank providing mooring capabilities.
Research Festival 2021. Coast lab. Offshore renewable energy day event
Ocean basin, COAST Lab
COAST Lab - 1231312
COAST Lab - 1226057
COAST Lab - 2013958
Please contact the Coastal, Ocean and Sediment Transport (COAST) laboratory if you would like to use the ocean basin