Gravity currents in aquatic canopies

Y Tanino, H M Nepf, P S Kulis

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54 Citations (Scopus)


[1] A lock exchange experiment is used to investigate the propagation of gravity currents through a random array of rigid, emergent cylinders which represents a canopy of aquatic plants. As canopy drag increases, the propagating front varies from the classic profile of an unobstructed gravity current to a triangular profile. Unlike the unobstructed lock exchange, the gravity current in the canopy decelerates with time as the front lengthens. Two drag-dominated regimes associated with linear and nonlinear drag laws are identified. The theoretical expression for toe velocity is supported by observed values. Empirical criteria are developed to predict the current regime from the cylinder Reynolds number and the array density.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberW12402
Number of pages9
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005


  • drag
  • lock exchange
  • thermal exchange
  • vegetated flows

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