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Gulf of Mexico



Civil Engineering


SERF Site Description

The Shoreline Environmental Research Facility (SERF) consists of a control building/laboratory, a waste-water treatment plant, nine wave tanks, sea water intake structures, and material storage area. Guest office facilities are provided in the laboratory room of the control building. Wave, tide and other data are collected electronically and will soon be available real-time via this web site. 


Experiments and tests may be monitored from remote locations. A full-time staff is located at SERF to facilitate operations.


Potential Uses


The SERF facility was designed for a wide range of potential applications related to oil spills including fate, transport and remediation. Some oil-spill applications include:

  • Open water

  • Ship channels

  • Product testing

  • Near-shore environments

  • Response training and education

SERF Design Features

Based on results of the prototype study and input from researchers, regulatory and industrial scientists, the following were identified as design features:

  • 9 Wave Tanks: 33.5 m x 2.1 m x 2.4 m

  • Ability to spill crude or refined oil in tanks

  • Flow-through sea-water system

  • Wave makers for near-shore simulation

  • Variable wave parameters

  • Random and cyclic tides

  • Variable beach material

  • Fresh water/saltwater lens

  • Ability to add oil-spill response agents

  • Multiple tanks for statistical considerations

Other SERF features include a two-foot tidal range, variable flow rate, random wave capability, weather station, and the capability to add project specific instrumentation.

Additional information on the SERF facility usage fees and usage proposals may be obtained by contacting one of the individuals listed at the Institutions and Contacts page.

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Last Updated on November 4, 2005

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