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Spatially varying drag within a wave-exposed mangrove forest and on the adjacent tidal flat

Mangroves have been shown to protect shorelines against damage from the combined hydrodynamic forces of waves and tides, owing to the presence of roots (pneumatophores) and tree trunks that enhance vegetative drag. However, field measurements within these environments are limited. We present field observations of flows from the seaward coast of Cù Lao Dung Island (Sóc Trăng Province) in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Measurements were made in two different seasons along a transect that crosses from mudflats to mangrove forest. Flows are also explored using an idealised numerical model. Both the data and model capture the flow transitions from mudflat across the fringing region to the forest interior. We observe a rotation of the obliquely incident flows toward an orientation nearly perpendicular to the vegetated/unvegetated boundary. The momentum balances governing the large-scale flow are assessed and indicate the relative importance of friction, winds and depth-averaged pressure forces. In the forest, drag coefficients were 10-30 times greater than values usually observed for bottom friction, with particularly effective friction in the regions of dense pneumatophores at the fringe and when water depths were lower than the height of the pneumatophores. Pressure gradient balances suggest that the drag induced by bottom friction from pneumatophores was dominant relative to drag from the larger, but sparser, tree trunks.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Mullarney, J. C., Henderson, S. M., Reyns, J. A. H., Norris, B. K., & Bryan, K. R. (2017). Spatially varying drag within a wave-exposed mangrove forest and on the adjacent tidal flat. Continental Shelf Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2017.06.019
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the Continental Shelf Research. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.