An experimental study carried out in a flume to a scale of 1/20 is presented to assess the wave height attenuation induced by submerged meadows of Posidonia oceanica. After examination of the appropriate scaling laws and selection of the model material, an extensive test programme included both regular and random waves. A semi-empirical formulation for estimating the wave height transformation along the meadow is obtained, based on energy conservation and considering that dissipation is only due to drag forces. The latter were linearized to obtain an exponential decay law. The formulation proposed depends on the drag coefficient and includes also an empirical parameter accounting for wave steepness. The model improves previous results and extends its applicability to random waves. The drag coefficient associated to the meadows is found to be better related to the Keulegan?Carpenter parameter than to the Reynolds number. Its value is given also for models proposed by others.
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