Density-driven exchange flows, which are important to the transport of nutrients, pollutants and chemical substances without external forcing, were studied through laboratory lock-exchange experiments. Rigid and emergent cylinders were placed in one of two reservoirs in a partitioned wedge-shaped tank to simulate a partly vegetated slope. The experimental results found that cylinders placed on only one side of the tank lead to different current speeds in the current head and tail that subsequently create various flow patterns and significantly affect the downslope current motions. By fitting with the experimental data, some unknown coefficients can be obtained in the theoretical formulae that are able to predict the intrusion length and exchange flowrate in real field systems. Compared to the flat bed cases, the total exchange discharge over a steep slope decreases by up to 4% for vegetation distributed in shallow water and increases by 14% for vegetation distributed in deeper regions. These results suggest that bed slope and vegetation distribution are crucial to the density-driven exchange flows in the flushing of nearshore regions.
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