An Index to Determine Reaction of Vegetation Canopies to River Flow

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty of Water and Environmental Engineering, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.



Physical properties of tree species determine their reaction to external loads as a result of water flow. The greater the trees ability to withstand water load, the greater the amount of water energy absorption, generation of water eddies, and the acceleration of turbulence in vegetation canopies. This will increase water flow energy lost. In general, physical properties of trees include leaf density, shape, and overall flexibility of their species. In this study, an index is proposed to characterize physical properties of tree species. This will enable the application of a single momentum (or energy) equation to determine overall reaction of variety of tree species in a community. The index is derived based on the resonance frequency of the first mode of vibration of trees and a fundamental relationship for the homogeneous beams. The derived indexes for four species of coniferous trees were used in a mathematical model to estimate the drag and energy coefficients as representatives for tree reaction to water flow, and could account for the differences due to the leaf density, shape, and rigidity of the tree species.


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