Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 1145–1156 | Cite as

Effects of roughness elements distribution on overland flow resistance

  • Chen Ye
  • Xing-nian Liu
  • Xie-kang WangEmail author


Roughness elements are various in a mountain area; they include gravel and ground surface vegetation that often result in surface friction drag to resist overland flows. The variation and characteristics of flow resistance strongly impact the overland flow process and watershed floods. In view of the universal existence of natural vegetation, such as Chlorophytum malayense (CM) or Ophiopogon bodinieri (OB), and the sand-gravel bed of the river channel, it is important to understand the role of different types of roughness elements in flow resistance. This study was performed to investigate and compare through flume experiments the behaviors of overland flow resistance by the reaction of multi-scale configuration of different roughness elements. The result showed that the resistance coefficient gradually reduced versus the increase of flow rate in unit width and tended to be a constant when q = 3.0 l/s.m, Fr = 1.0, and Re = 4000 for slopes of 6 to 10 degrees. The gap of the vegetated rough bed and the gravel rough bed is limited to the same as the gap of the two types of vegetation, CM and OB. It was noted that the vegetation contributed to the increase in form resistance negatively and may lead to the mean resistance on decrease. To classify the flow pattern, the laminar flows were described by Darcy- Weisbach’s equation. In the study the f-Re equation of vegetated bed was developed with f = 5000/Re. The friction coefficient for laminar flows can be regarded as the critical value for identifying the transformation point of the flow pattern.


Overland flow Roughness element Flow resistance Reynolds number Chlorophytum malayense Ophiopogon bodinieri 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River EngineeringSichuan UniversityChengduChina

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