Flume experiments on wind induced flow in static water bodies in the presence of protruding vegetation

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The problem of wind-induced flow in inland waters is drawing significant research attention given its relevance to a plethora of applications in wetlands including treatment designs, pollution reduction, and biogeochemical cycling. The present work addresses the role of wind induced turbulence and waves within an otherwise static water body in the presence of rigid and flexible emergent vegetation through flume experimentation and time series analysis. Because no prior example of Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV) experiments involving air-water and flexible oscillating components have been found in the literature, a spectral analysis framework is needed and proposed here to guide the analysis involving noise, wave and turbulence separation. The experiments reveal that wave and turbulence effects are simultaneously produced at the air-water interface and the nature of their coexistence is found to vary with different flow parameters including water level, mean wind speed, vegetation density and its flexibility. For deep water levels, signature of fine-scaled inertial turbulence is found at deeper layers of the water system. The wave action appears stronger close to the air-water interface and damped by the turbulence deeper inside the water system. As expected, wave action is found to be dominated in a certain frequency range driven by the wind forcing, while it is also diffused to lower frequencies by means of (wind-induced) oscillations in vegetation. Regarding the mean water velocity, existence of a counter-current flow and its switching to fully forward flow in the direction of the wind under certain combinations of flow parameters were studied. The relative importance of wave and turbulence to the overall energy, degree of anisotropy in the turbulent energy components, and turbulent momentum transport at different depths from the air-water interface and flow combinations were then quantified. The flume experiments reported here differ from previous laboratory studies in the related literature involving vegetation in the sense that the wave forcing is only present on the water surface contrary to a full-body excitation by tidal wave simulators and thus important in advancing the knowledge regarding a wider range of water resource problems.




Banerjee, T., Muste, M., & Katul, G. (2015). Flume experiments on wind induced flow in static water bodies in the presence of protruding vegetation. Advances in Water Resources, 76, 11–28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2014.11.010

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