Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory
 
Yang & Yamazaki
Environment & Energy Building

473 Via Ortega
Stanford, CA 94305
650 723-4372 ph, 650 725-9720 fax
ysrogers@stanford.edu
 
   
     

 

 

The Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory (EFML) is home to the Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology program. The EFML was formerly known as the Hydraulics Laboratory and was renamed the EFML in 1986 to more accurately reflect the research interests of the faculty. Robert Street was the Director of the EFML from 1986 to 1991, Jeffrey Koseff from 1991-1996, and Stephen Monismith has been the Director since 1996. At this time, the current research is focused on turbulence and mixing in natural water bodies, stratified flows in lakes, reservoirs, estuaries, and coastal seas, physical-biological interactions in coastal and estuarine flows simulation of mesoscale phenomena in the oceans and surface layers of the atmosphere, and transport and mixing of pollutants at regional and global scales in the atmosphere.

The EFML currently has six major experimental research facilities. These include a rotating table facility for studying geophysical flows, a large wave-current flume and a special flume for studying the hydrodynamics of feeding by benthic bivalves (clams). The research activities in several of these flumes, e.g. mass transfer from corals, reflect the ever-growing interest in biological fluid mechanics in the EFML. Flows in these flumes can be studied using state-of-the-art measurement techniques like particle image velocimetry and laser induced fluorescence. Even though the program in biological fluid mechanics was only established six years ago it is already regarded as one of the leading programs of its type in the country. The laboratory has state-of-the-art laboratory-scale and field-scale measurement capabilities, some of the equipment being procured and some developed by the laboratory staff, faculty and students.

Reflecting a substantial interest in computing environmental flows, the EFML has created an absolutely superb computing environment, called the P.A. McCuen Environmental Computing Center. The centerpiece is BAYWULF, a 54 processor Beowulf-class parallel machine, based on Compaq Alpha CPUs. Additionally there is a workstation room with Silicon Graphics and high-end PC workstations. Many doctoral students also have dual processor PC workstations for their research computing. Field studies are facilitated by notebook computers for data taking and analysis.. In addition to laboratory and computational research, over the last few years we have developed a substantial capability for field studies, with a variety of instruments such as ADCPs (acoustic doppler current profilers), and in future, a 2m long AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) available for studies such as those of flows over coral reefs in the Red Sea, internal waves in Lake Tahoe, or of wind waves in San Francisco Bay.