Researchers Professor Dan Parsons and Dr Stuart McLelland are leading the University of Hull's work on the HYDRALAB+ project.
Professor Parsons, Director of the Energy and Environment Institute, said: "The great thing about this is that we can speed up time.
"These kind of experiments are crucial as we can't wait 30 years to grow a forest to see how it works and the effects it has. But here, in the lab, we can do just that."
Dr Stuart McLelland, Director of the Total Environment Simulator, added: "This research will help us to understand and inform the longer-term efficiency and efficacy of these types of flood management interventions and use the results to help inform Government policy on future flood defences.
"We also want to help inform the investments and decisions made by those who are rolling out this type of natural flood management."
OPEN ACCESS - TOTAL ENVIRONMENT SIMULATOR
Part of the funding enables the University of Hull to provide access to the Total Environment Simulator, enabling groups of researchers from across Europe to undertake climate change research projects in these experimental facilities.
This is a unique opportunity to develop novel research projects using this unique physical modelling infrastructure as well as providing training for new researchers from other European countries.