Color-Coded Modeling Media

We offer two different types of media:  Color-Coded-by-Size (see information below) and Non-Color-Coded.

Color-Coded Media

Our modeling media is made of recycled, ground melamine plastic (learn more on Wikipedia).  It has a density of 1.6, about 60% the density of quartz sand, which means it demonstrates river processes with impressive accuracy on compressed scales of space and time.  Its range of colors allows for easy view of sediment transport processes. The media is lightweight and easy to transport.  It won’t damage pumps, and it is much easier to clean than sand and other quartz materials. 1 cubic foot of media is 50 pounds (1 liter of media is 1.76 pounds).

Color-coded-by-size media comes standard with the Em4 and Emflume1 models.

Request a quote. $26.67 per pound. We can help you determine how much of our media you would need to fill your own stream table. Please contact us with the dimensions of your table.

“Memphis” Mix

This new mix offers the same color-coding as the Carbondale, with each color being a slightly finer grain size. The overall result is a more cohesive media.

Average particle sizes of the Memphis mix:

  • Yellow: 1.02 mm
  • White: 0.62 mm
  • Black: 0.33 mm
  • Red: 0.14 mm


See color-coded media in this delta-building demonstration in an Em4 in the Little River lab:

“Carbondale” Mix   This is our original color-coded mix in use since 2008. Currently available only to those who already own this mix. We can provide refills for your current stock. 

Average particle sizes are:

  • Yellow: 1.4 mm
  • White: 1.0 mm
  • Brown: 0.7 mm
  • Red: 0.4 mm
Emriver color-coded media particle size distribution, graphic by Matt Kuchta

Emriver color-coded media particle size distribution; graphic by Matt Kuchta

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