Turbulence structure of a model seagrass meadow
Author(s)Vivoni-Gallart, Enrique Rafael, 1975-
Heidi N. Nepf.
MetadataShow full item record
A laboratory study of the hydrodynamics of a seagrass meadow was conducted to investigate the effect of water depth and velocity variations during a tidal cycle on the mean and turbulent velocity fields in and above the vegetation layer. The principal goal was to characterize the turbulence structure of a depth-limited canopy, a gap that presently exists in the knowledge concerning the interaction of a unidirectional flow with an assemblage of plants. The experiments were carried out in an open channel flume with a model seagrass canopy. Proper modeling of the system for both the geometric and dynamic behavior of natural Zostera marina communities allows the results to be extrapolated to the conditions in a coastal, tidal meadow. The results also serve as an important comparative case to the characterization of turbulence within atmospheric plant canopies. The laboratory study included the measurement of the mean and turbulent velocity fields with the use of an acoustic Doppler velocimeter and a laser Doppler velocimeter. Standard turbulence parameters were evaluated including the velocity moments, the turbulence spectra. the turbulent kinetic energy budget and the quadrant distribution of the Reynolds stress. Each of these provided a means of describing the effect of submergence depth and the degree of canopy waving (monami) on the transport of momentum and mass between the canopy and its surrounding fluid environment. In addition. surface slope measurements were made with surface displacement gauges. the plant motion was quantified using video and camera images. and the canopy morphology was recorded from measurements taken from a random sampling of the model plants. The investigation showed a clear link between the shear generated eddies arising at the interface of the canopy and the surface layer and the vertical exchange of momentum. the plant motion characteristics and the turbulence time and length scales. The turbulence field within the seagrass meadow was composed of a shear-generated turbulence zone near the canopy height and a wake-generated zone near the bed In addition. a mean flow due to the pressure gradient from the water surface slope created a region of secondary maxima in the mean velocity profile near the bed. The parameter determining the seagrass turbulence structure was found to be the characteristic depth (H' h). defined such that the effective canopy height. reflects the plant deflection. Across the range of values considered for H/h. the flow characteristics showed a clear transition from a confined to an unbounded canopy flow. This transition was observed in all the principal turbulence parameters. From this analysis. a critical surface layer depth governing the transition between the two extreme canopy flow conditions was identified as half the effective canopy height. H'h = 1.50.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 1998.Includes bibliographical references (p. 235-239).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Civil and Environmental Engineering