Assessing methods for estimating roughness coefficient in a vegetated marsh area using Delft3D

Khalid Al-Asadi, Jennifer G. Duan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A Delft3D-FLOW model was used to simulate tidal flow in Davis pond marsh in Louisiana, USA. The study area is a freshwater marsh consisting of one main channel and floodplain. Vegetation-induced flow resistance greatly influences tidal flow dynamics in the marsh. This study evaluated eight approaches to estimate vegetation roughness, including two constant Manning's n values, four empirical relations for calculating n, and two methods for calculating Chezy's C values originally embedded in the Delft3D model. Simulated results of water surface elevation (WSE) were compared with the corresponding field observation at eleven stream gauges in the study area. We concluded that the roughness coefficient for vegetated area varies with time as flow depth changes. Among the selected empirical relations for the vegetation roughness, the ones accounting for the effect of the vegetation frontal area and the degree of submergence have closely matched the measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)766-783
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Hydroinformatics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Delft3D model
  • Hydrodynamic model
  • Manning's roughness
  • Vegetation density
  • Vegetation resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Atmospheric Science


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