The Aberdeen Oscillatory Flow Tunnel is one of the few facilities of its kind in the world. The tunnel generates oscillatory flows with periods and amplitudes equivalent to full-scale wave flows and therefore enables wave-generated processes to be studied under controlled, full-scale conditions, free from the scale effects which are present in smaller facilities.

The tunnel has an overall length of 16m and consists of a glass-sided, 10m long, 0.75m high and 0.3m wide rectangular test section, and two end reservoirs which are open to atmosphere. A 0.75m diameter piston with 1m maximum stroke generates the oscillatory flow, driven by a 30kW electro-hydraulic system. The facility is computer-controlled, so that oscillatory flows of various types can be generated - simple sinusoidal oscillatory flow to irregular oscillatory flow corresponding to random waves. Test section flow amplitudes of 1.5m with periods greater than 5s can be produced when a 250mm deep sand bed occupies the test section. The facility is therefore capable of generating sheet flow conditions for a wide range of flow periods and typical sand sizes.