The lodging velocity for emergent aquatic plants in open channels

Jennifer G. Duan, Richard H. French, Julie Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The growth of aquatic plants in open-channels has many adverse environmental effects including, but not limited to, impeding the transport of water, hindering navigation, increasing flood elevations, increasing sediment deposition, and degrading water quality. Existing control strategies include physical removal and chemical treatment. Physical removal is only a temporary solution and chemical treatment is unacceptable if the water will be consumed by humans. The hydrodynamic method can wash out the encroached aquatic plants by keeping flow velocity higher than the critical velocity required to bend and rupture (lodge) their stems. This approach is a promising, physically-based, efficient, economic, and permanent solution for this problem. However, the success of this approach requires the accurate prediction of the critical lodging velocity. This paper presents an analytic study of the lodging velocity for the submerged portion of aquatic plants of narrow leaved emergent stems that are wider at bottom than the top. Based on the principles of engineering materials and the theory of turbulent flow, a semi-empirical formula is derived for the prediction of the critical lodging velocity. It indicates that the lodging of aquatic plants is controlled not only by flow conditions but also the geometric and mechanical characteristics of the plants. These analytic results provide a satisfactory explanation of the lodging phenomena observed in the field and are verified by the available experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-263
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Aquatic ecosystems
  • Environmental engineering
  • Hydraulics
  • Irrigation
  • Surface water hydrology
  • Wetlands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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