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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Solid Earth, 2, 143-154, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Method article
28 Jul 2011
Optical method for measuring bed topography and flow depth in an experimental flume
A. Limare1, M. Tal1,*, M. D. Reitz2, E. Lajeunesse1, and F. Métivier1 1Equipe de Dynamique des Fluides Géologiques, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP, UMR 7154, CNRS, Univ. Paris Diderot), 1 rue Jussieu, 75238 Paris Cedex 05, France
2Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 S. 33rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
*now at: Univ. Aix-Marseille, CEREGE UMR 6635, Europôle de l'Arbois, BP 80, 13545 Aix-en-Provence cedex 04, France
Abstract. We describe an optical method known as moiré for acquiring quasi-simultaneous measurements of bed topography and flow depth in laboratory experiments. The moiré method is based on projecting a fringe pattern (grating) on the bed and analyzing the deformation of the pattern caused by the topography with respect to a reference plane. The height of the object is encoded in the phase of the pattern and can be retrieved either through Fourier transform or phase shifting algorithms. The methodology enables image-based non-contact measurements over a continuous surface at very high spatial and temporal resolutions. We use a commercial software package of a moiré method called Light3D to map bed topography and flow depth in an experimental braided channel and demonstrate how the method can be used to characterize a full range of statistics not previously possible.

Citation: Limare, A., Tal, M., Reitz, M. D., Lajeunesse, E., and Métivier, F.: Optical method for measuring bed topography and flow depth in an experimental flume, Solid Earth, 2, 143-154,, 2011.
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