Characterization of vertical mixing in oscillatory vegetated flows
In this study, we conducted an extensive laboratory investigation to characterise the rate of vertical mixing through a vertical turbulent diffusivity (Dt,z). This has been done through gauging the evolution of vertical profiles of concentration (C) of a dye sheet injected into a wave-canopy flow. Instantaneous measurement of the variance of the vertical concentration distribution ( allowed the estimation of a vertical turbulent diffusivity (). Two types of model canopies, rigid and flexible, with identical heights and frontal areas, were subjected to a wide and realistic range of wave height and period.
The results showed two important mechanisms that dominate vertical mixing under different conditions: a shear layer that forms at the top of the canopy and wake turbulence generated by the stems. By allowing a coupled contribution of wake and shear layer mixing, we present a relationship that can be used to predict the rate of vertical mixing in coastal canopies. The results further showed that the rate of vertical mixing within flexible vegetation was always lower than the corresponding rigid canopy, confirming the impact of plant flexibility on canopy-flow interactions.