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The Coriolis Platform

The Coriolis platform is the largest rotating table in the world. It belongs to the Laboratoire des Ecoulements Geophysiques et Industriels (LEGI) at Grenoble, France.

With a inner diameter of 13m and the possibility of stratified filling, the facility is a major instrument for the study of rotating and stratified geophysical flows.

The main activity is the experimental modeling of geophysical flows, taking into account Earth rotation, with or without density stratification or topography. The Turntable has been built in 1960 for modeling tidal currents in the English Channel, later renovated and instrumented to study the dynamics of rotating fluids. Thanks to the european grant Access to Major Research Infrastructure, the instrument attracts many visiting scientists.

Modeling of oceanic (or atmospheric) dynamics at meso-scale is performed, involving internal waves, convection, gravity currents, boundary layers, topographic effects, geostrophic turbulence and the emergence of organized vortices (see Current Research ). Thanks to the large size, inertial regimes can be approached, with low effects of viscosity and centrifugal force. Laboratory experiments allow then to test models of ocean dynamics, and to develop their physical parametrisations.

In the field of mechanical engineering, the large turntable allows to upscale parts of rotating machines, to study the structure of turbulence. Instrumentation in fluid dynamics is developped, in particular particle imaging velocimetry, yielding three-dimensional velocity fields resolved in time.

More information ? Please visit the Coriolis Platform website.

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