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Title: Criteria for use of ripple tanks : refraction scale effects
Authors: Whalin, Robert W. (Robert Warren)
Butler, H. Lee.
Keywords: Ripple tanks
Scale effect
Water wave refraction
Surface tension
Ultragravity waves
Hydraulic models
United States. Assistant Secretary of the Army (R & D)
Publisher: Hydraulics Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Research report (U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station) ; H-74-1.
Description: Research Report
Abstract: A thorough investigation of scale effects arising from refraction over a variable topography was conducted with the resultant conclusion that sufficient scale effects would be present in a ripple tank to preclude any quantitative investigation of refraction effects. Even qualitative studies can be misleading due to errors in the direction of wave propagation arising from refraction scale effects. A brief discussion of possible ripple tank scales for quantitative studies leads to the conclusion that although the topography might be molded to a sufficient accuracy, it would be costly and time-consuming. The measurement of ripple tank wave heights of sufficient accuracy to be useful for design purposes would be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Consequently, one is led to the conclusion that it is not feasible to attempt to include topographic effects in a ripple tank. Ripple tanks should only be used for their original intended purpose, namely the qualitative study of diffraction patterns around barriers surrounded by a constant water depth.
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