University of Antwerp River Facilities

University of Antwerp River Facilities
Legal name of organisation
University of Antwerp
Organisation address

University of Antwerp,

Dep. Biology


2610 Wilrijk


Primary contact information (PI)

Patrick Meire

Years of Mesocosm Experiments
functional in 2019
Description of Facility

A large-scale aquatic flume facility at the University of Antwerp. The pursued flume is a controllable semi-natural system in which environmental and biological processes can be studied in relation to water movement on an ecologically relevant scale of complexity and timeframes. Today only few of such systems are available throughout the world which is a serious limitation for the future development of ecologically relevant and scientifically robust environmental quality criteria and management strategies. Our flume facility is specifically adapted to overcome shortcomings in other facilities. Multiple replicate zones can be facilitated (vegetation, flow patterns) within the flume facilities, to allow for statistically sound experiments.

Controlled Parameters

Water nutrient and/or pollution concentration



Sediment nutrient status/pollution

Research Topics

Most flumes are either built for hydrodynamic studies (without sediment), or for geomorphologic studies (with sediment, but shallow). We want to combine these for two reasons: (i) we want to examine the interaction between biota, current and geomorphology; and (ii) the sediment is a prerequisite for plants to develop a natural root system that allows sufficient anchorage against the stream velocity.

Facility location(s)
51.1595891, 4.406887600000005
Primary interests
Specialist areas

Multiple state-of-the-art flow meters

Gas exchange chambers (Li-Cor) for CH4, CO2, H20 fluxes

Multiple basic water quality probes

Multiple water pressure/height meters

Multiple online nutrient probes

Soil pH, temperature and humidity sensors


nearby in private accommodation

Photos of experiments/installations