Depth-averaged modeling of free surface flows in open channels with emerged and submerged vegetation

Mingliang Zhang, Chi Wai Li, Yongming Shen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The resistance induced by vegetation on the flow in a watercourse should be considered in projects of watercourse management and river restoration. Depth-averaged numerical model is an efficient tool to study this problem. In this study, a depth-averaged model using the finite volume method on a staggered curvilinear grid and the SIMPLEC algorithm for numerical solution is developed for simulating the hydrodynamics of free surface flows in watercourses with vegetation. For the model formulation the vegetation resistance is treated as a momentum sink and represented by a Manning type equation, and turbulence is parameterized by the k-ε equations. An analytical equation is derived to represent the resistance induced by submerged vegetation by an equivalent Manning roughness coefficient. Numerical simulation is carried out for the flow in an open channel with a 180° bend, and the flow in a curved open channel partly covered by emerged vegetation, as well as the flow in a straight trapezoidal channel with submerged vegetation. The agreement between the computed results and the measured data is generally good, showing that the resistance due to emerged or submerged vegetation can be represented accurately by the Manning roughness equation. The computed results demonstrate that the depth-averaged modeling is a reasonable and efficient tool to study flows in watercourses with vegetations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-553
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Mathematical Modelling
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Depth-averaged modeling
  • Emerged and submerged vegetation
  • K-ε Turbulent model
  • Manning equation
  • SIMPLEC algorithm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Applied Mathematics

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