Geophysical Fluid Dynamics “Lab”

DIYnamics 34-inch rotating tank on top of the Taylor-Henry Cart. Photo credit: Jonathan Aurnou.

Our group is involved in integrating geophysical fluid dynamics (GFD) experiments into atmospheric sciences courses at Iowa State University (ISU). More specifically, we are involved in the DIYnamics project, which is a multi-institutional effort funded by the National Science Foundation focusing on bringing affordable ($100-200) rotating fluid tank apparatuses to K–12 and college classrooms. For more information about the DIYnamics project, please see the DIYnamis GitHub page.


In addition to using more affordable tank apparatuses in dynamics course at ISU, our group is currently in the process of purchasing and building a DIYnamics 34-inch wide rotating tank that sits on top of rolling cart (the Taylor-Henry Cart, THC), making it easily transportable. We plan to use the new DIYnamics THC rotating tank system to conduct hands-on experiments with middle and high school students in Central Iowa through the Research Experiences for Teachers program (funded by the National Science Fundation).


Below are some photos and videos of rotating tank experiments using DIYnamics’ affordable apparatus. Also see more on our Youtube page.



Ekman layers experiment (MTEOR 443, Spring 2019)

Fronts experiment (MTEOR 443, Spring 2020)


Photos from MTEOR 443 (Dynamic Meteorology I) and MTEOR 543 (Advanced Dynamic Meteorology)

Mechanical turbulence experiment (MTEOR 443, Spring 2019)


Mechanical eddies (MTEOR 543, Fall 2020)



















Taylor Column experiment (MTEOR 443, Spring 2019)


Baroclinic Eddies experiment (MTEOR 543, Fall 2020). Photo credit: Ezio Mauri.























Mechanical turbulence experiment (MTEOR 443, Spring 2019)