Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Patch-scale representation of vegetation within hydraulic models

Marjoribanks, T.I.; Hardy, R.J.; Lane, S.N.; Tancock, M.J.

Patch-scale representation of vegetation within hydraulic models Thumbnail


T.I. Marjoribanks

S.N. Lane

M.J. Tancock


Submerged aquatic vegetation affects flow, sediment and ecological processes within rivers. Quantifying these effects is key to effective river management. Despite a wealth of research into vegetated flows, the detailed flow characteristics around real plants in natural channels are still poorly understood. Here we present a new methodology for representing vegetation patches within computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models of vegetated channels. Vegetation is represented using a Mass Flux Scaling Algorithm (MFSA) and drag term within the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes Equations, which account for the mass and momentum effects of the vegetation respectively. The model is applied using three different grid resolutions (0.2, 0.1 & 0.05 m) using time-averaged solution methods and compared to field data. The results show that the model reproduces the complex spatial flow heterogeneity within the channel and that increasing the resolution leads to enhanced model accuracy. Future applications of the model to the prediction of channel roughness, sedimentation and key eco-hydraulic variables are presented, likely to be valuable for informing effective river management.


Marjoribanks, T., Hardy, R., Lane, S., & Tancock, M. (2017). Patch-scale representation of vegetation within hydraulic models. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 42(5), 699-710.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 28, 2016
Online Publication Date Sep 15, 2016
Publication Date Apr 1, 2017
Deposit Date Dec 3, 2015
Publicly Available Date Aug 10, 2016
Journal Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Print ISSN 0197-9337
Electronic ISSN 1096-9837
Publisher British Society for Geomorphology
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 42
Issue 5
Pages 699-710


Accepted Journal Article (1.3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium,<br /> provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Journal Article (Advance online version) (1.4 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Advance online version

You might also like

Downloadable Citations