Effects of cypress knee roughness on flow resistance and discharge estimates of the Turkey Creek watershed

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Abstract

Effects of cypress knee roughness on flow resistance and discharge estimates of the Turkey Creek watershed. In this study effects of cypress knees as vegetation resistance factor on Turkey Creek watershed discharge calculation were analyzed. The Turkey Creek watershed is a 3rd order stream system draining an approximate area of 5,240 ha. It is located at 33°08' N latitude and 79°47' W longitude, approximately 60 km north-west of City of Charleston in South Carolina (USA). Turkey Creek (WS 78) is typical of other watersheds in the south Atlantic coastal plain. In the case of Turkey Creek watershed, one of the main channels and riparian floodplain vegetation contains cypress trees. Cypress trees live in moist or swampy regions along the Atlantic coastal plain. The cypress trees are characterized by the unique root system called knees that appear just above the water line, up to 1.2 m above water surface. This study is conducted to examine the effects of roughness of cypress knee as related to its shape (diameter and height) on discharge estimates of the Turkey Creek watershed. Hydraulic characteristics of the cypress knees were determined by field inventory in selected cross-section along the main stream channel. The Pasche method was used to calculate the total Darcy–Weisbach friction factor in discharge capacity calculation of the study watershed. The results of this study show that the effect of vegetation shape in the Pasche approach is significant. If the variability of vegetation stem diameter is taken into consideration in the calculations, an increase by 10–32% in the values of friction coefficients occurs.

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