Vegetation on the banks and flooding areas of watercourses significantly affects energy losses. To take the latter into account, computational models make use of resistance coefficients based on the evaluation of bed and walls roughness besides the resistance to flow offered by vegetation. This paper, after summarizing the classical approaches based on descriptions and pictures, considers the recent advancements related to the analytical methods relative both to rigid and flexible vegetation. In particular, emergent rigid vegetation is first analyzed by focusing on the methods for determining the drag coefficient, then submerged rigid vegetation is analyzed, highlighting briefly the principles on which the different models are based and recalling the comparisons made in the literature. Then, the models used in the case of both emergent and submerged rigid vegetation are highlighted. As to flexible vegetation, the paper reminds first the flow conditions that cause the vegetation to lay on the channel bed, and then the classical resistance laws that were developed for the design of irrigation canals. The most recent developments in the case of submerged and emergent flexible vegetation are then presented. Since turbulence studies should be considered as the basis of flow resistance, even though the path toward practical use is still long, the new developments in the field of 3D numerical methods are briefly reviewed, presently used to assess the characteristics of turbulence and the transport of sediments and pollutants. The use of remote sensing to map riparian vegetation and estimating biomechanical parameters is briefly analyzed. Finally, some applications are presented, aimed at highlighting, in real cases, the influence exerted by vegetation on water depth and maintenance interventions.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited