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Flow–seaweed interactions: a laboratory study using blade models

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posted on 20.11.2017, 09:53 authored by Davide Vettori, Vladimir Nikora
Flow-vegetation interactions is an interdisciplinary research area with applications in the management of coastal waters, lakes, and watercourses. Due to an emerging interest in the cultivation of seaweeds, this study seeks to develop a sound understanding of the physical interactions between flow and seaweeds. This is achieved via experiments in a laboratory flume using plastic-made models of blades of the seaweed species Saccharina latissima. In the experiments, strain gages, a digital camera, and Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters were used for measuring drag forces, blade movements (reconfiguration), and flow velocities. The study involved experiments with single blades and with pairs of tandem blades at different spacing between the blades. The revealed mechanisms controlling the dynamics of seaweed blade models varied depending on the ratio of blade length to eddy length scale. The drag coefficient of seaweed blade models appeared to be dependent on the Reynolds number, the Cauchy number, and the ratio of blade length to integral turbulence length scale. Turbulence had a primary role in controlling blade model dynamics and its drag coefficient. Seaweed blade models affected the flow in their wakes by increasing the turbulence intensity and reducing the mean longitudinal velocity. These effects on the flow are the reason for which, in a pair of tandem blades, the drag force experienced by the downstream blade is lower than that experienced by the upstream blade.

Funding

The work described in this publication was undertaken during the PhD study of Davide Vettori at the University of Aberdeen funded by a scholarship from the Northern Research Partnership, Scotland.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Environmental Fluid Mechanics

Citation

VETTORI, D. and NIKORA, V., 2017. Flow–seaweed interactions: a laboratory study using blade models. Environmental Fluid Mechanics, 18(3), pp. 611–636.

Publisher

© Springer

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

24/10/2017

Publication date

2017

Notes

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Environmental Fluid Mechanics. The final authenticated version is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10652-017-9556-6.

ISSN

1567-7419

eISSN

1573-1510

Language

en