Experimental Study on Influence of Different Patterns of an Emergent Vegetation Patch on the Flow Field and Scour/Deposition Processes in the Wake Region

Yağcı O., Kırca V. Ş. Ö., Kitsikoudis V., Wilson C. A. M. E., Çelik M. F., Sertkan C.

Water Resources Research, vol.60, no.1, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 60 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1029/2023wr034978
  • Journal Name: Water Resources Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, ABI/INFORM, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Compendex, EconLit, Environment Index, Geobase, INSPEC, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: deposition, experimental hydraulics, flow-vegetation interaction, fluvial process, patch expansion, scour, sediment, turbulence
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Flume experiments were conducted to comprehend the impact of different patterns of an emergent vegetation patch on the flow field and the scour process in natural rivers. Velocity measurements, flow visualization, and scour tests were undertaken around different vegetation patch patterns, which were simulated inspired by the expansion process of a typical instream vegetation. The patch expansion process was idealized with an initially circular patch of rigid emergent stems becoming elongated due to positive and negative feedbacks. The expansion of the vegetation patch was considered to occur in three stages, in which the density of the patch from the previous stage was increased while the patch was also elongated by connecting at its downstream side with another sparser vegetation patch. These stages were replicated succesively by increasing the density and elongating the patch. In this way, two processes (i.e., elongation and decrease in permeability), which usually have hydrodynamically opposite effects on flow fields, were simulated at the same obstruction. Despite generally elongated obstacles being streamlined bodies, the morphometric analysis obtained by laser scanner revealed that streamlined elongation of permeable patches amplifies global scour and enhances localization of the local scour hole. This situation implies that as the patch expands, in the wake region, the steady-wake region becomes shorter, turbulence diminishes, lateral shear stress enhances, and deposition cannot occur far from the patch. Consequently, as the patch expands, the hydrodynamic consequences may restrict further patch expansion after a certain length/density.