Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 519–539 | Cite as

Stratified flow interactions with a suspended canopy

  • David R. PlewEmail author
  • Robert H. Spigel
  • Craig L. Stevens
  • Roger I. Nokes
  • Mark J. Davidson
Original Article


Field observations of the interactions between a stratified flow and a canopy suspended from the free surface above a solid boundary are described and analysed. Data were recorded in and around the canopy formed by a large long-line mussel farm. The canopy causes a partial blockage of the water flow, reducing velocities in the upper water column. Deceleration of the approaching flow results in a deepening of isopycnals upstream of the canopy. Energy considerations show that the potential for an approaching stratified flow to be diverted beneath a porous canopy is indicated by a densimetric Froude number. Strong stratification or low-velocities inhibit vertical diversion beneath the canopy, instead favouring a horizontal diversion around the sides. The effect on vertical mixing is also considered with a shear layer generated beneath the canopy and turbulence generated from drag within the canopy. In the observations, stratification is shown to be of sufficient strength to limit the effectiveness of the first mixing process, while the turbulence within the canopy is likely to enhance vertical exchange. Velocity and temperature microstructure measurements are used to investigate the effect of the canopy on turbulent dissipation and show that dissipation is enhanced within the canopy.


Canopy Mixing Stratification Stratified flow Turbulence Drag Aquaculture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Plew
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert H. Spigel
    • 1
  • Craig L. Stevens
    • 2
  • Roger I. Nokes
    • 3
  • Mark J. Davidson
    • 3
  1. 1.National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) Hydrodynamics groupChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) Marine Physics groupKilbirnieNew Zealand
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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