Department of Earth and Environmental Science
Douglas J Jerolmack
Penn Sediment Dynamics Laboratory
Hayden Hall – Room 56 (in the basement)
Phone: (215) 746-3203
Research in the laboratory centers on experiments in the recirculating sediment flume and experimental delta basin. The lab hosts a Camsizer grain size analyzer capable of very precise grain size measurements over a large range of sizes. Computer modeling, carried out using open-source software such as Octave and Python, is carried out on Ubuntu-based Dell Precision desktops. The lab also contains a variety of equipment for field research, including: hand-held differential GPS, hand-held acoustic flow meter for fluid velocity measurements, and RFID chips for tracing the movement of cobbles in streams.
Recirculating Sediment Flume
- Length of flume: 12 feet
- Width of flume: 6 inches
- Height of flume: 17 inches
- Slope angle adjustable from 0-20 degrees.
- Large collecting tailbox
- Recirculating pump can move sediment up to pea-gravel size. Voltage regulator allows for smooth adjustment of discharge.
- Currently being used for experiment on formation of step-pool bedforms. Also planned are experiments on gravity currents and sandy bedforms.
- Flow observations made with acoustic doppler velocimeter.
Experimental Delta Basin
- Length of tank: 12 feet
- Width of tank: 6 feet
- Precision feeder controls sediment discharge.
- 2D laser scanner for accurate reading of delta topography.
- Delta / fan evolution analyzed through ImageJ processing of automated overhead photography
- Base level controlled by constant head tank at outlet.
- Measures sizes of individual sand grains by rapid imaging of a granular cascade.
- Instantaneously produces statistics on grain size distribution and grain size angularity to a high-level of precision.
- Reliable measurements for grain sizes ranging from 50 microns to 1 centimeter.
- 2 Dell Precision T3400 desktops
- Ubuntu 8.10 OS
- Dual-monitor display
- Commonly used open-source software includes: Octave, ImageJ, Python, OpenOffice
- hand-held differential GPS
- hand-held acoustic flow meter for fluid velocity measurements
- RFID chips for tracing the movement of cobbles in streams