Integration of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Motion Within Hydrodynamic Models

K. Nakayama, T. Shintani, K. Komai, Y. Nakagawa, J. W. Tsai, D. Sasaki, K. Tada, H. Moki, T. Kuwae, K. Watanabe, M. R. Hipsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Aquatic models used for both freshwater and marine systems frequently need to account for submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) due to its influence on flow and water quality. Despite its importance, parameterizations are generally adopted that simplify feedbacks from SAV, such as canopy properties (e.g., considering the deflected vegetation height) and the bulk friction coefficient. This study reports the development of a fine-scale non-hydrostatic model that demonstrates the two-way effects of SAV motion interaction with the flow. An object-oriented approach is applied to capture the multiphase phenomena, whereby a leaf-scale SAV model based on a discrete element method is combined with a flow dynamics model to resolve stresses from currents and waves. The model is verified through application to a laboratory-scale seagrass bed. A force balance analysis revealed that leaf elasticity and buoyancy are the most significant components influencing the horizontal and vertical momentum equations, respectively. The sensitivity of canopy-scale bulk friction coefficients to water depth, current speeds, and vegetation density of seagrass was explored. Deeper water was also shown to lead to a smaller decrease in vegetation height. The model approach can contribute to improving assessment of processes influencing water quality, sediment stabilization, carbon sequestration, and SAV restoration, thereby supporting an understanding of how waterways and coasts will respond to changes brought about by development and a changing climate.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020WR027369
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Integration of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Motion Within Hydrodynamic Models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this