Coastal wave basin (CWB)

Facility highlights

The NRC's 63 m × 14 m (207 ft × 46 ft) Coastal Wave Basin (CWB) serves as a narrow 3D basin or a very wide 2D flume. It is ideal for conducting two-dimensional and three-dimensional physical model studies of wave and current interactions with structures and shorelines at medium to large scales

What we offer

3D physical model of a breakwater

Multiple 2D sections of coastal structures

Long-crested, irregular waves with significant heights of up to 0.4 m (1.3 ft) can be generated. High-efficiency wave absorbers give less than 5 % reflection over a wide range of depths, wave periods and heights. The basin can be configured to generate bi-directional currents, and combined wave+current flows can be modelled.

By erecting temporary partition walls, the facility can be sub-divided into several narrower channels for conducting two-dimensional studies of multiple cross-sections in parallel. This approach is an efficient method for evaluating the relative performance of several alternative design concepts and for refining preliminary designs. Once the structure's cross-section is optimized, the partition walls can be removed and the three-dimensional aspects of its performance can be investigated in the same facility.

The basin can be accessed easily by heavy equipment used in constructing model bathymetries. The basin is also served by a 1 ton traversing gantry crane and a mobile service bridge.

Why work with us

In working 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:

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