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Flow Hydrodynamics across Open Channel Flows with Riparian Zones: Implications for Riverbank Stability
- Liu, Da, Valyrakis, Manousos, Williams, Richard
- Water 2017 v.9 no.9
- acoustics, ecology, hydrodynamics, land restoration, riparian areas, riparian vegetation, rivers, streams, turbulent flow, velocimetry
- Riverbank vegetation is of high importance both for preserving the form (morphology) and function (ecology) of natural river systems. Revegetation of riverbanks is commonly used as a means of stream rehabilitation and management of bank instability and erosion. In this experimental study, the effect of different riverbank vegetation densities on flow hydrodynamics across the channel, including the riparian zone, are reported and discussed. The configuration of vegetation elements follows either linear or staggered arrangements as vegetation density is progressively increased, within a representative range of vegetation densities found in nature. Hydrodynamic measurements including mean streamwise velocity and turbulent intensity flow profiles are recorded via acoustic Doppler velocimetry (ADV)—both at the main channel and within the riverbank. These results show that for the main channel and the toe of riverbank, turbulence intensity for the low densities (λ ≈ 0 to 0.12 m−1) can increase up to 40% compared the case of high densities (λ = 0.94 to 1.9 m−1). Further analysis of these data allowed the estimation of bed-shear stresses, demonstrating 86% and 71% increase at the main channel and near the toe region, for increasing densities (λ = 0 to 1.9 m−1). Quantifying these hydrodynamic effects is important for assessing the contribution of physically representative ranges of riparian vegetation densities on hydrogeomorphologic feedback.