The effect of vegetation in hydraulic computations can be significant. This effect is important for flood computations. Today, the necessary terrain information for flood computations is obtained by airborne laser scanning techniques. The quality and density of the airborne laser scanning information allows for more extensive use of these data in flow computations. In this paper, known methods are improved and combined into a new simple and objective procedure to estimate the hydraulic resistance of vegetation on the flow in the field. State-of-the-art airborne laser scanner information is explored to estimate the vegetation density. The laser scanning information provides the base for the calculation of the vegetation density parameter ωp
using the Beer–Lambert law. In a second step, the vegetation density is employed in a flow model to appropriately account for vegetation resistance. The use of this vegetation parameter is superior to the common method of accounting for the vegetation resistance in the bed resistance parameter for bed roughness. The proposed procedure utilizes newly available information and is demonstrated in an example. The obtained values fit very well with the values obtained in the literature. Moreover, the obtained information is very detailed. In the results, the effect of vegetation is estimated objectively without the assignment of typical values. Moreover, a more structured flow field is computed with the flood around denser vegetation, such as groups of bushes. A further thorough study based on observed flow resistance is needed.
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