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Title: Modelling geomorphic systems: scaled physical models
Authors: Green, Daniel
Keywords: Physical modelling
Experimental methods
Laboratory techniques
Scale
Similitude
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: British Society for Geomorphology, London
Citation: GREEN, D., 2014. Modelling geomorphic systems: scaled physical models [Chapter 5, section 3]. IN: Cook, S.J., Clarke, L.E. & Nield, J.M. (eds.) Geomorphological Techniques (Online Edition). British Society for Geomorphology: London, UK.
Abstract: Physical models are scaled representations of a full-scale physical system which can be applied to inform our understanding of geomorphic process-form interactions. Physical and experimental modelling has been used extensively and has been proven to be of critical importance to the geomorphological user. Physical models can be loosely divided into a number of categories: 1:1 replica models; Froude-scaled models; distorted scale models; and analogue ‘similarity of process’ models. The choice of physical model type is dependent on the researcher’s aims and objectives. Advantages include the ability to: (i) isolate variables within a controlled laboratory setting; (ii) incorporate actual physical processes rather than simplifications; (iii) study infrequent or hypothetical scenarios, and; (iv) extract qualitative and quantitative data. Users of physical models must be cautious of the potential shortcomings of using a physical model, such as scale and laboratory effects. Despite these shortcomings, physical models provide a useful technique to observe, visualise and measure process-form interactions. This permits an improved understanding of complex physical relationships which other modelling methodologies may not be able to simulate.
Description: This paper is closed access.
Version: Published
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/25079
Publisher Link: http://www.geomorphology.org.uk/sites/default/files/geom_tech_chapters/5.3_PhysicalModelling_1.pdf
ISSN: 2047-0371
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Geography)

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