Emriver Em3
Stream Table

A modular and portable system perfect for research and teaching of river dynamic principles.

Em3 specifications

Box 3 m x 1 m (9.8 ft x 3.2 ft);

Model footprint 3.25 m x 1.02 m  (128 in x 40 in)

Portability Moderately portable
Can be powered with a deep-cycle 12V battery.
Water 151 L (40 gal)
Media Amount 108 kg (240 lb)
Media Type Non color-coded
(can upgrade to color-coded)
Base Options Static, single, and dual-tilt
System Also Includes Reservoirs, pump, power supply, flow controller. Modeling accessories: Measuring tape, quartz and plastic stones and rocks, acrylic shapes to simulate culverts, plastic vegetation, dye injection bottles for visualizing flow, scoops, and scrapers. User and laboratory manual, river geomorphology DVD.

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Download detailed specifications with photos.

UPGRADES – Modular options that can be added at any time.

See the Applications for Science and Teaching pages for examples of how to use the Em3.

The Em3 is great for a lab space or classroom where it will be used for a teaching unit or even a semester-long class. It is also a good option for museum and nature center exhibits or learning programs. The increased size of the Em3 allows a whole class of 15 plus a teacher or facilitator to participate, with a second row of 15 observers, so it’s a perfect choice for hosting school groups and field trips.  Our Em3 stream table is designed to be set up and put away by two people, and can be transported in a full-size pickup or cargo van for outreach and education events and can also be powered onsite by a 12V marine battery. The Em3 stream table is popular with high schools that have dedicated geology labs, colleges, nature centers and museums, and universities.

The extended length of the Em3 allows the stream to develop multiple meanders and other river features simultaneously, and has space for a large pool to build broad delta systems. The two reservoirs hold a total of 40 gallons of water, and may be filled with a hose or with 5-gallon media buckets carried from a spigot or utility sink. The supplied pump will drain the system in less than 15 minutes, and a drain valve is built into the upstream reservoir so the system may be quickly emptied into a floor drain or outside with a hose. The standard static supports are engineered from high-strength aluminum and create a box slope of 3 degrees. Decreasing the slope is as simple as raising the standpipe water level or inserting a support under the table’s downstream end. 

An exciting upgrade to the Em3 and Em4 models is a single- or dual-tilt base. With the single-tilt base, a handwheel controls the box slope continuously from zero through 3.5 degrees through a robust gearbox and acme screw system. The box tilt may be easily and quickly changed as the model is running to dynamically model and demonstrate the effects of changing slope or geologic uplift. The dual-tilt option allows the user to additionally change side-to-side roll through a +3 degree range to further explore geologic change to the river basin. The stream in the table responds rapidly and dynamically to these changes, making the single or dual-tilt base a unique research, learning, and teaching tool.

The Emriver Em3 comes standard with 240 pounds of our Alpha thermoset plastic modelling media as described above, and can be upgraded with color-coded media.

We have used the Emriver Em3 fluvial geomodel to demonstrate a variety of processes and resulting morphologies to undergraduate students. We’ve demonstrated different channel types, channel migration, point bar development and cut banks, meander cut-offs, erosional terracing, knickpoint migration, channel incision, delta development, the effects of base level on the depocenter, and delta-lobe switching. Overall, this geomodel has been a very useful educational tool to provide a visual example for some basic concepts of fluvial and deltaic geomorphology.

Ioannis Georgiou

Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of New Orleans

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