Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

The Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering's Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (EFDL) focuses on the study of coastal marine processes including turbulent dispersal of pollutants and nutrients, wave dynamics, and sediment transport. In addition, the laboratory is home to the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Education Laboratory, which serves as a center for teaching of fluids phenomena in support of courses within ORE and SOEST and is available to the general University community. Laboratory instrumentation includes an acoustic doppler velocimeter (ADV) which obtains high frequency, single point, 3-component velocity measurements. A laser-based Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV) system obtains two-dimensional fluid velocity via laser imaging techniques. An Argon-Ion laser with digital still and video cameras is used for flow visualization and measurement.

The EFDL currently houses four experiment tanks, which are used for both research and teaching demonstrations. These include a 10-meter long, 30 x 10 cm wave channel and a rotating table. The tanks allow demonstration of a range of fluid flow phenomena including wave breaking, down-slope currents, internal waves in stratified fluids along with rotational effects such as spin-up, Ekman flow and geostrophy.

Kilo Nalo Oahu Reef Observatory

The Kilo Nalo Oahu Reef Observatory, on the south shore of Oahu, provides a window into the nearshore coral reef physical, biological and chemical environment.

The setting for Kilo Nalu is the region offshore of Kakaako Waterfront Park, east of downtown Honolulu and west of Waikiki and Ala Moana. The observatory is managed and maintained by the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering (ORE), School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). Kilo Nalu provides data and power connections to a suite of observational instruments that resolve waves, tides, currents and nearshore water quality.

Field Work and In-Ocean Experiment

Current Meter Retrieving Connecing floats

The department maintains research facilities at Kewalo Basin and Snug Harbor for field workand in-ocean experiments. These facilities include field research equipment and instrumentation, access to a 17-ft motorboat and an 18-m coastal research vessel, as well as machine shop support. A 7-acre in-ocean test range off Kewalo Basin extends from 5 to 20 meters depth with test platforms equipped with land-based power supply outlets and data connections. Field equipment includes SCUBA diving gear, acoustic current profilers, current meters, wave gauges, anemometers, buoys and mooring equipment. The field research facilities support study of ocean and coastal structures and materials, wave dynamics and sediment transport.

Kaimikai-O-Kanaloa Pisces V & IV

The Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) is one of six national laboratories comprising the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Undersea Research Program. HURL operates two deep diving (2000m) submersibles, the PISCES IV and PISCES V, and a remotely operated vehicle. The ROV and submersibles operate off the 225-foot research vessel, Kaimikai-O-Kanaloa, obtained for the university and largely supported by HURL. The submersibles, ROV and their mothership conduct a wide range of engineering and science research activities. Time on the submersibles and ROV is available to the faculty and students through submission of proposals. In addition, many students in the Ocean and Resources Engineering program find thesis projects, financial support and advisors studying various aspects of the dynamics of submersible and ROV operations as well as new instrumentation, control and equipment applications. HURL and the Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering have a very close working relationship at all levels.

The ALOHA Cabled Observatory provides another observation window into the ocean for faculty and students. Since June 2011, the ALOHA Cabled Observatory (ACO) is providing power, network communications and timing to a seafloor node and instruments at 4728 m water depth 100 km north of Oahu. The ACO is a prototypical example of a deep observatory system that uses a retired first-generation fiber-optic telecommunications cable. The cabled observatory system will provide the infrastructure for continuous, interactive ocean sampling enabling new measurements and new modes of ocean observing that integrate ship and cabled observations. Present sensors measure currents, pressure, temperature, and salinity, along with video and acoustics. Students will be able to analyze data from the ACO for projects, design and fabricate new sensors for the system, and participate on service cruises with a state-of-the-art ROV.

Computing Facility

The Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering and the faculty operate four AIX and five Linux systems and a network of Pentium-based PCs. All students are given computer accounts on at least one of the Unix systems and the PC network. All PCs are installed with Win NT and MS Office. The Department has a joint research project with the Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC), which provides computer accounts to research assistants working on the project.

The department maintains a number of software packages that are available to the students for coursework and research. These include

  • AutoDesk Mech.
  • AutoCAD
  • Automated Coastal Engineering System (ACES)
  • Coastal Engineering Manual (CEM)
  • COSMOS/M (finite element)
  • Matlab
  • MathCAD
  • Mathematica (symbolic algebra)
  • Microstation SE
  • Photoshop
  • Tecplot (graphics)
  • Visual Fortran

Students taking ORE 630 are also given access to the finite element package ANSYS, which is maintained by the Department of Mechanical Engineering.


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