School of Earth and Environment

Sorby Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

Welcome to the Sorby Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory!

The Sorby Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory is located in the Earth & Environment Building at the University of Leeds and is both a NERC recognised facility and a Dantec centre of excellence.

Our facilities enable a wide interdisciplinary community to experiment upon a range of processes, from flow-sediment transport links in alluvial channels, through the dispersal of sediment in the deep oceans, to particulate transport through pipes and rig vessels. Our instrumentation includes a range of Particle Imaging Velocimetry systems, which allow complex turbulent flow fields to be quantified in two and three spatial dimensions and time, a three-component Laser Doppler Anemometry system, a Phase Doppler Anemometry system and a range of acoustic Doppler velocity profiler systems. These instruments are ideally suited to collecting high spatial and temporal resolution velocity data (in both two and three dimensions) for the validation of numerical models, which are becoming increasingly complex in order to deal with real-world problems.

The Laboratory is named for Henry Clifton Sorby (1826-1908), who is widely considered to be the ‘Father of Sedimentology’, one of Yorkshire’s greatest ever scientists, and who pioneered the descriptive and hydrodynamic study of sedimentary structures. For more information about Henry Clifton Sorby, including a detailed biography, see

Further Information