Mangrove roots produce complex flow structure interactions with their environment, which affect the nutrient, habitat and aquatic animals. Analysis of the flow structure behind the roots extends to a broad range of mangrove-inspired applications that provides understanding into complex flows encountered in unidirectional riverine flows. In this work, we modeled the mangrove roots with a cluster of rigid circular cylinders to investigate the vortex structure downstream of the models. The vortex organization of the patch of cylinder wakes was studied experimentally by time-resolved volumetric three-componential volumetric velocimetry (V3V) at Reynolds numbers 1014 and 3549. The results show that the vortex structure in the 3-D flow field reveals a regular shedding at Re = 1014, forming von Kármán vortices dominating the 3D motion. The flow structure behind rigid patches is coherent and the streamwise velocity remains unchanged. The regime for a flexible patch at Re = 3549 produces an intricate pattern where the multiple counter-rotating vortexes distorted substantially and forming a chain of rhombus-like vortex cells in the near wake. The information for the 3D flow feature provides useful information to a robust structure for Seawall erosion.

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