Flow resistance caused by vegetation is a key parameter to properly assess flood management and river restoration. However, quantifying the friction factor or any of its alternative metrics, e.g. the drag coefficient, in canopies with complex geometry has proven elusive. We explore the effect of canopy morphology on vegetated channels flow structure and resistance by treating the canopy as a porous medium characterized by an effective permeability, a property that describes the ease with which water can flow through the canopy layer. We employ a two-domain model for flow over and within the canopy, which couples the log-law in the free layer to the Darcy-Brinkman equation in the vegetated layer. We validate the model analytical solutions for the average velocity profile within and above the canopy, the volumetric discharge and the friction factor against data collected across a wide range of canopy morphologies encountered in riverine systems. Results indicate agreement between model predictions and data for both simple and complex plant morphologies. For low submergence canopies, we find a universal scaling law that relates friction factor with canopy permeability and a rescaled bulk Reynolds number. This provides a valuable tool to assess habitats sustainability associated with hydro-dynamical conditions.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 13, 2018
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