Phenomenological Features of Turbulent Hydrodynamics in Sparsely Vegetated Open Channel Flow


1 Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur 721302, West Bengal, India

2 School of Engineering, University of Bradford, Bradford BD7 1DP, United Kingdom


The present study investigates the turbulent hydrodynamics in an open channel flow with an emergent and sparse vegetation patch placed in the middle of the channel. The dimensions of the rigid vegetation patch are 81 cm long and 24 cm wide and it is prepared by a 7× 10 array of uniform acrylic cylinders by maintaining 9 cm and 4 cm spacing between centers of two consecutive cylinders along streamwise and lateral directions respectively. From the leading edge of the patch, the observed nature of time averaged flow velocities along streamwise, lateral and vertical directions is not consistent up to half length of the patch; however the velocity profiles develop a uniform behavior after that length. In the interior of the patch, the magnitude of vertical normal stress is small in comparison to the magnitudes of streamwise and lateral normal stresses. The magnitude of Reynolds shear stress profiles decreases with increasing downstream length from the leading edge of the vegetation patch and the trend continues even in the wake region downstream of the trailing edge. The increased magnitude of turbulent kinetic energy profiles is noticed from leading edge up to a certain length inside the patch; however its value decreases with further increasing downstream distance. A new mathematical model is proposed to predict time averaged streamwise velocity inside the sparse vegetation patch and the proposed model shows good agreement with the experimental data.