Sedimentary Petrology 05: Bedform development (Flume studies).

This video lecture series on Sedimentary Petrology (Undergraduate course GY 402) was made by Dr. Douglas W. Haywick from the Department of Earth Sciences at University of South Alabama.


  • What is flume?
  • Traction induced bed forms (sedimentary structures)
  • Flow regime

What is a flume?

A flume is an elongated plastic or glass tank through which a water current flows. Sediment is placed at the bottom of the flume and moves down current as bed load. Flumes come in different sizes, from a few cm long to a few hundred meters long.

Sediment moving along the base of a channel that mostly stays in contact with the substrate is called bed load.

In a flume study, the following structures can be achieved with increasing current velocity under controlled situations:

  • Plan lamination (lower)
  • Small current ripples
  • Large current ripples (dunes)
  • Plan lamination (upper)
  • Antidunes

See also