Multidirectional wave basin (MWB)

Research facility highlights

The Multidirectional Wave Basin

The NRC's 36 m × 30 m × 3 m (118 ft × 98 ft × 9.8 ft) Multidirectional Wave Basin (MWB) is a state-of-the-art facility for assessing the performance of fixed and floating maritime structures and marine operations in the ocean environment. The MWB is also ideal for studying coastal structures, coastal processes and port developments. Studies in this facility typically focus on the interaction of short-crested waves, currents and winds with a wide range of coastal and offshore structures.

What we offer

The facility consists of a 30 m × 36 m × up to 3 m deep (85 ft × 118 ft × 9.8 ft) rectangular wave basin that can be rapidly drained and filled via a high capacity pump connected to an outdoor reservoir. A sturdy concrete ramp allows construction equipment to access the basin for building coastal models and installing large models of marine structures. The MWB is also served by a 1 ton overhead crane.

Physical simulation of extreme wave interaction with an offshore structure

A wide range of regular, irregular (long-crested) and multidirectional (short-crested) wave conditions with significant wave heights up to 0.5 m and regular waves up to 0.75 m can be generated using a powerful and flexible 60-segment directional wave machine located along the basin's north wall. The wave generator can be raised or lowered to accommodate a wide range of water depths and the wave boards can be operated in piston, flapper or combination mode to suit various water depths and wave conditions. The wave generator control system includes active wave absorption so that incident wave energy reflected from a model structure can be absorbed without being re-reflected. Efficient passive wave absorbers are installed around the perimeter of the basin to control unwanted wave reflections, enhancing the quality and realism of the simulated sea states. Optional solid walls can be installed along the east and west sides of the basin to improve the quality of the long-crested wave fields.

Local wind fields can be simulated using a bank of computer-controlled fans. Local currents can be generated in two directions by forcing water flow through a set of four tunnels located below the central part of the basin floor. The currents and winds can be generated independently or in combination with waves.

Why work with us

In working with industry to bridge the gap between innovation and commercialization, the NRC plays a critical role in collaborating with industry to assess the performance of infrastructure project designs, marine vehicles and marine operations in operational and extreme conditions and develop optimizations to improve performance, increase safety and reduce lifecycle costs. Working with the NRC offers you the competitive advantage of world-class, customizable testing facilities combined with the broad knowledge and experience of our in-house research staff. The NRC's professional staff has extensive experience in many engineering fields, including the behaviour and performance of structures and vehicles in complex ocean, coastal and river environments.


Fees vary depending on the project and your requirements. For further information, contact Client Relationship Leader, Enzo Gardin, at 613-991-2987, or by email at:

Physical simulation of extreme waves overtopping a rubble-mound breakwater

Segmented directional wave generator

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