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Sample records for abstract debris flows

  1. Orbital Debris Shape Characterization Project Abstract

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pease, Jessie

    2016-01-01

    I have been working on a project to further our understanding of orbital debris by helping create a new dataset previously too complex to be implemented in past orbital debris propagation models. I am doing this by creating documentation and 3D examples and illustrations of the shape categories. Earlier models assumed all orbital debris to be spherical aluminum fragments. My project will help expand our knowledge of shape populations to 6 categories: Straight Needle/Rod/Cylinder, Bent Needle/Rod/Cylinder, Flat Plate, Bent Plate, Nugget/Parallelepiped/Spheroid, and Flexible. The last category, Flexible, is still up for discussion and may be modified. These categories will be used to characterize fragments in the DebriSat experiment.

  2. The physics of debris flows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iverson, R.M.

    1997-01-01

    Recent advances in theory and experimentation motivate a thorough reassessment of the physics of debris flows. Analyses of flows of dry, granular solids and solid-fluid mixtures provide a foundation for a comprehensive debris flow theory, and experiments provide data that reveal the strengths and limitations of theoretical models. Both debris flow materials and dry granular materials can sustain shear stresses while remaining static; both can deform in a slow, tranquil mode characterized by enduring, frictional grain contacts; and both can flow in a more rapid, agitated mode characterized by brief, inelastic grain collisions. In debris flows, however, pore fluid that is highly viscous and nearly incompressible, composed of water with suspended silt and clay, can strongly mediate intergranular friction and collisions. Grain friction, grain collisions, and viscous fluid flow may transfer significant momentum simultaneously. Both the vibrational kinetic energy of solid grains (measured by a quantity termed the granular temperature) and the pressure of the intervening pore fluid facilitate motion of grains past one another, thereby enhancing debris flow mobility. Granular temperature arises from conversion of flow translational energy to grain vibrational energy, a process that depends on shear rates, grain properties, boundary conditions, and the ambient fluid viscosity and pressure. Pore fluid pressures that exceed static equilibrium pressures result from local or global debris contraction. Like larger, natural debris flows, experimental debris flows of ???10 m3 of poorly sorted, water-saturated sediment invariably move as an unsteady surge or series of surges. Measurements at the base of experimental flows show that coarse-grained surge fronts have little or no pore fluid pressure. In contrast, finer-grained, thoroughly saturated debris behind surge fronts is nearly liquefied by high pore pressure, which persists owing to the great compressibility and moderate

  3. Debris flows: Experiments and modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turnbull, Barbara; Bowman, Elisabeth T.; McElwaine, Jim N.

    2015-01-01

    Debris flows and debris avalanches are complex, gravity-driven currents of rock, water and sediments that can be highly mobile. This combination of component materials leads to a rich morphology and unusual dynamics, exhibiting features of both granular materials and viscous gravity currents. Although extreme events such as those at Kolka Karmadon in North Ossetia (2002) [1] and Huascarán (1970) [2] strongly motivate us to understand how such high levels of mobility can occur, smaller events are ubiquitous and capable of endangering infrastructure and life, requiring mitigation. Recent progress in modelling debris flows has seen the development of multiphase models that can start to provide clues of the origins of the unique phenomenology of debris flows. However, the spatial and temporal variations that debris flows exhibit make this task challenging and laboratory experiments, where boundary and initial conditions can be controlled and reproduced, are crucial both to validate models and to inspire new modelling approaches. This paper discusses recent laboratory experiments on debris flows and the state of the art in numerical models.

  4. Debris Flows and Related Phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ancey, C.

    Torrential floods are a major natural hazard, claiming thousands of lives and millions of dollars in lost property each year in almost all mountain areas on the Earth. After a catastrophic eruption of Mount St. Helen in the USA in May 1980, water from melting snow, torrential rains from the eruption cloud, and water displaced from Spirit Lake mixed with deposited ash and debris to produce very large debris flows and cause extensive damage and loss of life [1]. During the 1985 eruption of Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia, more than 20,000 people perished when a large debris flow triggered by the rapid melting of snow and ice at the volcano summit, swept through the town of Armero [2]. In 1991, the eruption of Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines disperses more than 5 cubic kilometres of volcanic ash into surrounding valleys. Much of that sediment has subsequently been mobilised as debris flows by typhoon rains and has devastated more than 300 square kilometres of agricultural land. Even, in Eur opean countries, recent events that torrential floods may have very destructive effects (Sarno and Quindici in southern Italy in May 1998, where approximately 200 people were killed). The catastrophic character of these floods in mountainous watersheds is a consequence of significant transport of materials associated with water flows. Two limiting flow regimes can be distinguished. Bed load and suspension refer to dilute transport of sediments within water. This means that water is the main agent in the flow dynamics and that the particle concentration does not exceed a few percent. Such flows are typically two-phase flows. In contrast, debris flows are mas s movements of concentrated slurries of water, fine solids, rocks and boulders. As a first approximation, debris flows can be treated as one-phase flows and their flow properties can be studied using classical rheological methods. The study of debris flows is a very exciting albeit immature science, made up of disparate elements

  5. Segregation dynamics in debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, K. M.; Fei, M.

    2014-12-01

    Debris flows are massive flows consisting of mixtures of particles of different sizes and interstitial fluids such as water and mud. In sheared mixtures of different-sized (same density) particles, it is well known that larger particles tend to go up (toward the free surface), and the smaller particles, down, commonly referred to as the "Brazil-nut problem" or "kinetic sieving". When kinetic sieving fluxes are combined with advection in flows, they can give rise to a spectacular range of segregation patterns. These segregation / advection dynamics are recognized as playing a role in the coarsening of a debris flow front (its "snout") and the coarsening of the self-formed channel sides or levees. Since particle size distribution influences the flow dynamics including entrainment of bed materials, modeling segregation dynamics in debris flows is important for modeling the debris flows themselves. In sparser systems, the Brazil-nut segregation is well-modeled using kinetic theory applied to dissipative systems, where an underlying assumption involves random, uncorrelated collisions. In denser systems, where kinetic theory breaks down we have recently developed a new mixture model that demonstrates the segregation fluxes are driven by two effects associated with the kinetic stress or granular temperature (the kinetic energy associated with velocity fluctuations): (1) the difference between the partitioning of kinetic and contact stresses among the species in the mixture and (2) a kinetic stress gradient. Both model frameworks involve the temperature gradient as a driving force for segregation, but kinetic theory sends larger particles toward lower temperatures, and our mixture model sends larger particles away from lower temperatures. Which framework works under what conditions appears to depend on correlations in the flow such as those manifested in clusters and force chains. We discuss the application of each theoretical framework to representing segregation dynamics

  6. Detecting debris flows using ground vibrations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LaHusen, Richard G.

    1998-01-01

    Debris flows are rapidly flowing mixtures of rock debris, mud, and water that originate on steep slopes. During and following volcanic eruptions, debris flows are among the most destructive and persistent hazards. Debris flows threaten lives and property not only on volcanoes but far downstream in valleys that drain volcanoes where they arrive suddenly and inundate entire valley bottoms. Debris flows can destroy vegetation and structures in their path, including bridges and buildings. Their deposits can cover roads and railways, smother crops, and fill stream channels, thereby reducing their flood-carrying capacity and navigability.

  7. Debris flow study in Malaysia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bahrin Jaafar, Kamal

    2016-04-01

    The phenomenon of debris flow occurs in Malaysia occasionally. The topography of Peningsular Malysia is characterized by the central mountain ranges running from south to north. Several parts of hilly areas with steep slopes, combined with high saturation of soil strata that deliberately increase the pore water pressure underneath the hill slope. As a tropical country Malaysia has very high intensity rainfall which is triggered the landslide. In the study area where the debris flow are bound to occur, there are a few factors that contribute to this phenomenon such as high rainfall intensity, very steep slope which an inclination more than 35 degree and sandy clay soil type which is easily change to liquidity soil. This paper will discuss the study of rainfall, mechanism, modeling and design of mitigation measure to avoid repeated failure in future in same area.

  8. Experimental Modelling of Debris Flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paleo Cageao, P.; Turnbull, B.; Bartelt, P.

    2012-04-01

    Debris flows are gravity-driven mass movements typically containing water, sediments, soil and rocks. These elements combine to give a flow complex phenomenology that exhibits characteristics common to diverse geophysical flows from dry granular media (e.g. levee formation) to viscous gravity currents (viscous fingering and surge instabilities). The exceptional speeds and range debris flows can achieve motivate the need for a co-ordinated modelling approach that can provide insight into the key physical processes that dictate the hazard associated with the flows. There has been recent progress in theoretical modelling approaches that capture the details of the multi-component nature of debris flows. The promise of such models is underlined by their qualitatively successful comparison with field-scale experimental data. The aim of the present work is to address the technical difficulties in achieving a controlled and repeatable laboratory-scale experiment for robust testing of these multi-component models. A laboratory experiment has been designed and tested that can provide detailed information of the internal structure of debris flows. This constitutes a narrow Perspex chute that can be tilted to any angle between 0° and ≈ 60°. A mixture of glycerine and glass balls was initially held behind a lock-gate, before being released down the chute. The evolving flow was captured through high speed video, analysed with a Particle Image Velocimetry algorithm to provide the changing velocity field. A wide parameter space has been tested, allowing variations in particle size, dispersity, surface roughness, fluid viscosity, slope angle and solid volume fraction. While matching key similarity criteria, such as Froude number, with a typical field event, these experiments allow close examination of a wide range of physical scenarios for the robust testing of new multi-component flow models. Further diagnostics include force plate and pore pressure measurements, with a view

  9. Evaluating tsunami hazards from debris flows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Watts, P.; Walder, J.S.

    2003-01-01

    Debris flows that enter water bodies may have significant kinetic energy, some of which is transferred to water motion or waves that can impact shorelines and structures. The associated hazards depend on the location of the affected area relative to the point at which the debris flow enters the water. Three distinct regions (splash zone, near field, and far field) may be identified. Experiments demonstrate that characteristics of the near field water wave, which is the only coherent wave to emerge from the splash zone, depend primarily on debris flow volume, debris flow submerged time of motion, and water depth at the point where debris flow motion stops. Near field wave characteristics commonly may be used as & proxy source for computational tsunami propagation. This result is used to assess hazards associated with potential debris flows entering a reservoir in the northwestern USA. ?? 2003 Millpress,.

  10. Debris flows: behavior and hazard assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iverson, Richard M.

    2014-01-01

    Debris flows are water-laden masses of soil and fragmented rock that rush down mountainsides, funnel into stream channels, entrain objects in their paths, and form lobate deposits when they spill onto valley floors. Because they have volumetric sediment concentrations that exceed 40 percent, maximum speeds that surpass 10 m/s, and sizes that can range up to ~109 m3, debris flows can denude slopes, bury floodplains, and devastate people and property. Computational models can accurately represent the physics of debris-flow initiation, motion and deposition by simulating evolution of flow mass and momentum while accounting for interactions of debris' solid and fluid constituents. The use of physically based models for hazard forecasting can be limited by imprecise knowledge of initial and boundary conditions and material properties, however. Therefore, empirical methods continue to play an important role in debris-flow hazard assessment.

  11. Erosion of steepland valleys by debris flows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stock, J.D.; Dietrich, W.E.

    2006-01-01

    Episodic debris flows scour the rock beds of many steepland valleys. Along recent debris-flow runout paths in the western United States, we have observed evidence for bedrock lowering, primarily by the impact of large particles entrained in debris flows. This evidence may persist to the point at which debris-flow deposition occurs, commonly at slopes of less than ???0.03-0.10. We find that debris-flow-scoured valleys have a topographic signature that is fundamentally different from that predicted by bedrock river-incision models. Much of this difference results from the fact that local valley slope shows a tendency to decrease abruptly downstream of tributaries that contribute throughgoing debris flows. The degree of weathering of valley floor bedrock may also decrease abruptly downstream of such junctions. On the basis of these observations, we hypothesize that valley slope is adjusted to the long-term frequency of debris flows, and that valleys scoured by debris flows should not be modeled using conventional bedrock river-incision laws. We use field observations to justify one possible debris-flow incision model, whose lowering rate is proportional to the integral of solid inertial normal stresses from particle impacts along the flow and the number of upvalley debris-flow sources. The model predicts that increases in incision rate caused by increases in flow event frequency and length (as flows gain material) downvalley are balanced by rate reductions from reduced inertial normal stress at lower slopes, and stronger, less weathered bedrock. These adjustments lead to a spatially uniform lowering rate. Although the proposed expression leads to equilibrium long-profiles with the correct topographic signature, the crudeness with which the debris-flow dynamics are parameterized reveals that we are far from a validated debris-flow incision law. However, the vast extent of steepland valley networks above slopes of ???0.03-0.10 illustrates the need to understand debris-flow

  12. Assessment and prediction of debris-flow hazards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wieczorek, Gerald F.

    1993-01-01

    Study of debris-flow geomorphology and initiation mechanism has led to better understanding of debris-flow processes. This paper reviews how this understanding is used in current techniques for assessment and prediction of debris-flow hazards.

  13. The debris-flow rheology myth

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iverson, R.M.

    2003-01-01

    Models that employ a fixed rheology cannot yield accurate interpretations or predictions of debris-flow motion, because the evolving behavior of debris flows is too complex to be represented by any rheological equation that uniquely relates stress and strain rate. Field observations and experimental data indicate that debris behavior can vary from nearly rigid to highly fluid as a consequence of temporal and spatial variations in pore-fluid pressure and mixture agitation. Moreover, behavior can vary if debris composition changes as a result of grain-size segregation and gain or loss of solid and fluid constituents in transit. An alternative to fixed-rheology models is provided by a Coulomb mixture theory model, which can represent variable interactions of solid and fluid constituents in heterogeneous debris-flow surges with high-friction, coarse-grained heads and low-friction, liquefied tails. ?? 2003 Millpress.

  14. Dimensional analysis of natural debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Gordon; Ouyang, Chaojun

    2015-04-01

    Debris flows occur when masses of poorly sorted sediment, agitated and saturated with water, surge down slopes in response to gravitational attraction. They are of great concern because they often cause catastrophic disasters due to the long run-out distance and large impact forc-es. Different from rock avalanches and sediment-laden water floods, both solid and fluid phases affected by multiple parameters can influence the motion of debris flows and govern their rheological properties. A dimensional analysis for a systematic study of the governing parameters is presented in this manuscript. Multiple dimensionless numbers with clear physical meanings are critically reviewed. Field data on natural debris flows are available here based on the fifty years' observation and measurement in the Jiangjia Gully, which is located in the Dongchuan City, Yunnan Province of China. The applications of field data with the dimensional analysis for studying natural debris flows are demonstrated. Specific values of dimensionless numbers (e.g., modified Savage Number, Reynolds number, Friction number) for classifying flowing regimes of natural debris flows on the large scales are obtained. Compared to previous physical model tests conducted mostly on small scales, this study shows that the contact friction between particles dominates in natural debris flows. In addition, the solid inertial stress due to particle collisions and the pore fluid viscous shear stress play key roles in governing the dynamic properties of debris flows and the total normal stress acting on the slope surfaces. The channel width as a confinement to the flows can affect the solids discharge per unit width significantly. Furthermore, a dimensionless number related to pore fluid pressure dissipation is found for distinguishing surge flows and continuous flows in field satisfactorily. It indicates that for surge debris flows, the high pore fluid pressures generated in granular body dissipate quite slowly and may

  15. VISCOPLASTIC FLUID MODEL FOR DEBRIS FLOW ROUTING.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chen, Cheng-lung

    1986-01-01

    This paper describes how a generalized viscoplastic fluid model, which was developed based on non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, can be successfully applied to routing a debris flow down a channel. The one-dimensional dynamic equations developed for unsteady clear-water flow can be used for debris flow routing if the flow parameters, such as the momentum (or energy) correction factor and the resistance coefficient, can be accurately evaluated. The writer's generalized viscoplastic fluid model can be used to express such flow parameters in terms of the rheological parameters for debris flow in wide channels. A preliminary analysis of the theoretical solutions reveals the importance of the flow behavior index and the so-called modified Froude number for uniformly progressive flow in snout profile modeling.

  16. Woody debris flow behavior from experimental analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bateman, Allen; Medina, Vicente; Morloti, Emanuele; Renaud, Alexis

    2010-05-01

    A consequence of debris flow in streams are well known, the collapse of the stream flooding all over the land. The high momentum flux of those flows can devastate houses, drag and crushes cars, etc. The presence of woody debris into the flow rise the flow depth and increment the collapse of the streams, bridges and structures. The present preliminary study offer a qualitative comparison between a debris flow and a woody debris flow with similar flow characteristics. To obtain this a series of experiments were performed in the Morph-dynamic Laboratory of the Hydraulic, Marine and Environmental Department. A high slope flume of 9 meters length, 40 cm width and 60 cm high was used. Up to 5 experiments were running in the flume. Initially the material was placed dry in the bed conforming a 20 cm depth of granular material changing the way of water wave entrance. Always water wave was introduced as a step function with different step size and different flow duration in order to introduce the same volume of water, just enough to saturate all the material in the channel. The flow was filmed with a handycam in order to see the general flow characteristics and with a high speed camera, just in a section, to visualize the flow velocities. Several woody pieces were placed along the channel to simulate the presence of wood and tress in the stream. Each tree was constructed in such a way that each one have a root made by rocks simulating a real root and different mass distribution. The comparison with experiments without wood was clever to understand the influence of woods in the debris flow. The woody debris flow alone creates natural dams along the stream without presence of inciters obstacles along the reach.

  17. Debris flows from tributaries of the Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; executive summary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Webb, R.H.

    1987-01-01

    Debris flows are a major process of sediment transport to the Colorado River from ungaged tributaries in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Debris flows are slurries of clay to boulder-sized particles of large magnitude and short duration that occur infrequently. They are the source for potential large volumes of sand for beaches on the Colorado River. Debris flows create and maintain hydraulic controls (rapids) on the Colorado River at tributary mouths. (See also W89-09240) (Author 's abstract)

  18. Density Estimations in Laboratory Debris Flow Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Queiroz de Oliveira, Gustavo; Kulisch, Helmut; Malcherek, Andreas; Fischer, Jan-Thomas; Pudasaini, Shiva P.

    2016-04-01

    Bulk density and its variation is an important physical quantity to estimate the solid-liquid fractions in two-phase debris flows. Here we present mass and flow depth measurements for experiments performed in a large-scale laboratory set up. Once the mixture is released and it moves down the inclined channel, measurements allow us to determine the bulk density evolution throughout the debris flow. Flow depths are determined by ultrasonic pulse reflection, and the mass is measured with a total normal force sensor. The data were obtained at 50 Hz. The initial two phase material was composed of 350 kg debris with water content of 40%. A very fine pebble with mean particle diameter of 3 mm, particle density of 2760 kg/m³ and bulk density of 1400 kg/m³ in dry condition was chosen as the solid material. Measurements reveal that the debris bulk density remains high from the head to the middle of the debris body whereas it drops substantially at the tail. This indicates lower water content at the tail, compared to the head and the middle portion of the debris body. This means that the solid and fluid fractions are varying strongly in a non-linear manner along the flow path, and from the head to the tail of the debris mass. Importantly, this spatial-temporal density variation plays a crucial role in determining the impact forces associated with the dynamics of the flow. Our setup allows for investigating different two phase material compositions, including large fluid fractions, with high resolutions. The considered experimental set up may enable us to transfer the observed phenomena to natural large-scale events. Furthermore, the measurement data allows evaluating results of numerical two-phase mass flow simulations. These experiments are parts of the project avaflow.org that intends to develop a GIS-based open source computational tool to describe wide spectrum of rapid geophysical mass flows, including avalanches and real two-phase debris flows down complex natural

  19. Debris-flow mobilization from landslides

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iverson, R.M.; Reid, M.E.; LaHusen, R.G.

    1997-01-01

    Field observations, laboratory experiments, and theoretical analyses indicate that landslides mobilize to form debris flows by three processes: (a) widespread Coulomb failure within a sloping soil, rock, or sediment mass, (b) partial or complete liquefaction of the mass by high pore-fluid pressures, and (c) conversion of landslide translational energy to internal vibrational energy (i.e. granular temperature). These processes can operate independently, but in many circumstances they appear to operate simultaneously and synergistically. Early work on debris-flow mobilization described a similar interplay of processes but relied on mechanical models in which debris behavior was assumed to be fixed and governed by a Bingham or Bagnold rheology. In contrast, this review emphasizes models in which debris behavior evolves in response to changing pore pressures and granular temperatures. One-dimensional infinite-slope models provide insight by quantifying how pore pressures and granular temperatures can influence the transition from Coulomb failure to liquefaction. Analyses of multidimensional experiments reveal complications ignored in one-dimensional models and demonstrate that debris-flow mobilization may occur by at least two distinct modes in the field.

  20. Debris flow hazards mitigation--Mechanics, prediction, and assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2007-01-01

    These proceedings contain papers presented at the Fourth International Conference on Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Prediction, and Assessment held in Chengdu, China, September 10-13, 2007. The papers cover a wide range of topics on debris-flow science and engineering, including the factors triggering debris flows, geomorphic effects, mechanics of debris flows (e.g., rheology, fluvial mechanisms, erosion and deposition processes), numerical modeling, various debris-flow experiments, landslide-induced debris flows, assessment of debris-flow hazards and risk, field observations and measurements, monitoring and alert systems, structural and non-structural countermeasures against debris-flow hazards and case studies. The papers reflect the latest devel-opments and advances in debris-flow research. Several studies discuss the development and appli-cation of Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) technologies in debris-flow hazard/risk assessment. Timely topics presented in a few papers also include the development of new or innovative techniques for debris-flow monitoring and alert systems, especially an infra-sound acoustic sensor for detecting debris flows. Many case studies illustrate a wide variety of debris-flow hazards and related phenomena as well as their hazardous effects on human activities and settlements.

  1. Evaluating tsunami hazards from debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walder, J.; Watts, P.

    2003-04-01

    Water-wave hazards associated with debris flows entering water depend on the location of the affected area relative to the debris-flow entry point. Three distinct regions (splash zone, near field, and far field) may be identified may be identified on hydrodynamic grounds. The splash zone is nearly always small compared to the overall domain of interest. In the case of debris-flow generated tsunamis in lakes and reservoirs, commonly the entire water body lies within the near field, that is, beyond the zone of complex splashing but close enough to the source that wave-propagation effects do not predominate, in contrast to the case of tsunamis in the ocean. Scaling analysis of the equations governing water-wave propagation shows that near-field wave amplitude and wavelength should depend on specific measures of debris-flow dynamics and volume. The scaling analysis motivates a successful collapse (in dimensionless space) of data from two sets of flume experiments with solid-block "wavemakers." To first order, measured near-field wave amplitude/water depth depends simply on a dimensionless measure of the quantity (submerged travel time/wavemaker volume per unit width). This functional relationship also does a good job of describing wave-amplitude data from previous laboratory investigations with both rigid and deformable wavemakers. The characteristic wavelength/water depth for all our experiments is simply proportional to dimensionless wavemaker travel time, which is itself given approximately by a simple function of wavemaker length/water depth. Wavemaker shape and rigidity do not otherwise influence wave features. These scaling relations for near-field amplitude, wavelength, and submerged travel time, when combined with a correction for near-field wavefront speading in actual water bodies (which are rarely flume-like), allow us to construct a proxy source for computational tsunami propagation. We apply our results to assess hazards associated with potential debris

  2. Evaluating intensity parameters for debris flow vulnerability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiler, Margreth

    2014-05-01

    In mountain regions natural hazard processes such as debris flows or hyper-concentrated flows repeatedly lead to high damages. After an event, detailed documentation of the meteorological, hydrological and geomorphological indicators are standardized, and additional data on debris covering run out areas, indicators for processes velocity and transported volumes are gathered. Information on deposition height of debris is an important parameter to estimate the intensity of the process impacting the buildings and infrastructure and hence to establish vulnerability curves. However, the deposition height of mobilized material in settlements and on infrastructure is mostly not directly evaluated because recovery work starts immediately or even during the event leading to a removal of accumulated material. Different approaches exist to reconstruct deposition heights after torrent events, such as mind mapping, comparison of LIDAR-based DEM before and after the event as well as the reconstruction by using photo documentation and the estimation of deposition heights according to standardised elements at buildings and infrastructure. In our study, these different approaches to estimate deposition height and the spatial distribution of the accumulated material are applied and compared against each other by using the case study of the debris flow event in Brienz (Switzerland) which occurred during the serve flood events of August 2005 in the Alps. Within the analysis, different factors including overall costs and time consumption (manpower, equipment), accuracy and preciseness are compared and evaluated to establish optimal maps of the extent and deposition depth after torrent events and to integrate this information in the vulnerability analysis.

  3. Assessment of Debris Flow Hazards, North Mountain, Phoenix, AZ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reavis, K. J.; Wasklewicz, T. A.

    2014-12-01

    Urban sprawl in many western U.S. cities has expanded development onto alluvial fans. In the case of metropolitan Phoenix, AZ (MPA), urban sprawl has led to an exponential outward growth into surrounding mountainous areas and onto alluvial fans. Building on alluvial fans places humans at greater risk to flooding and debris flow hazards. Recent research has shown debris flows often supply large quantities of material to many alluvial fans in MPA. However, the risk of debris flows to built environments is relatively unknown. We use a 2D debris flow modeling approach, aided by high-resolution airborne LiDAR and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) topographic data, to examine debris flow behavior in a densely populated portion of the MPA to assess the risk and vulnerability of debris flow damage to the built infrastructure. A calibrated 2D debris flow model is developed for a "known" recent debris flow at an undeveloped site in MPA. The calibrated model and two other model scenarios are applied to a populated area with historical evidence of debris flow activity. Results from the modeled scenarios show evidence of debris flow damage to houses built on the alluvial fan. Debris flow inundation is also evident on streets on the fan. We use housing values and building damage to estimate the costs assocaited with various modeled debris flow scenarios.

  4. GENERAL SOLUTIONS FOR VISCOPLASTIC DEBRIS FLOW.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chen, Cheng-lung

    1988-01-01

    Theoretical velocity profile and theoretical pressure and concentration distributions for (steady) uniform debris flow in wide channels are derived from a generalized viscoplastic fluid (GVF) model without imposing R. A. Bagnold's assumption of constant grain concentration. Good agreement between the theoretical velocity profile and the experimental data of Japanese scientists strongly supports the validity of both the GVF model and the proposed method of solution from the model. It is shown that both E. C. Bingham and Bagnold versions (or submodels) of the GVF model can be used to simulate debris flow at the dynamic state. Although Bagnold's dilatant submodel appears to fit the Japanese data better than the Bingham submodel for flow of noncohesive grains, the choice between them is by no means clear-cut.

  5. GENERALIZED VISCOPLASTIC MODELING OF DEBRIS FLOW.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chen, Cheng-lung

    1988-01-01

    The earliest model developed by R. A. Bagnold was based on the concept of the 'dispersive' pressure generated by grain collisions. Some efforts have recently been made by theoreticians in non-Newtonian fluid mechanics to modify or improve Bagnold's concept or model. A viable rheological model should consist both of a rate-independent part and a rate-dependent part. A generalized viscoplastic fluid (GVF) model that has both parts as well as two major rheological properties (i. e. , the normal stress effect and soil yield criterion) is shown to be sufficiently accurate, yet practical for general use in debris-flow modeling. In fact, Bagnold's model is found to be only a particular case of the GVF model. analytical solutions for (steady) uniform debris flows in wide channels are obtained from the GVF model based on Bagnold's simplified assumption of constant grain concentration.

  6. [Research progress in post-fire debris flow].

    PubMed

    Di, Xue-ying; Tao, Yu-zhu

    2013-08-01

    The occurrence of the secondary disasters of forest fire has significant impacts on the environment quality and human health and safety. Post-fire debris flow is one of the most hazardous secondary disasters of forest fire. To understand the occurrence conditions of post-fire debris flow and to master its occurrence situation are the critical elements in post-fire hazard assessment. From the viewpoints of vegetation, precipitation threshold and debris flow material sources, this paper elaborated the impacts of forest fire on the debris flow, analyzed the geologic and geomorphic conditions, precipitation and slope condition that caused the post-fire debris flow as well as the primary mechanisms of debris-flow initiation caused by shallow landslide or surface runoff, and reviewed the research progress in the prediction and forecast of post-fire debris flow and the related control measures. In the future research, four aspects to be focused on were proposed, i. e., the quantification of the relationships between the fire behaviors and environmental factors and the post-fire debris flow, the quantitative research on the post-fire debris flow initiation and movement processes, the mechanistic model of post-fire debris flow, and the rapid and efficient control countermeasures of post-fire debris flow. PMID:24380363

  7. Debris flow initiation in proglacial gullies on Mount Rainier, Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legg, Nicholas T.; Meigs, Andrew J.; Grant, Gordon E.; Kennard, Paul

    2014-12-01

    Effects of climate change, retreating glaciers, and changing storm patterns on debris flow hazards concern managers in the Cascade Range (USA) and mountainous areas worldwide. During an intense rainstorm in November 2006, seven debris flows initiated from proglacial gullies of separate basins on the flanks of Mount Rainier. Gully heads at glacier termini and widespread failure of gully walls imply that overland flow was transformed into debris flow along gullies. We characterized gully change and morphology, and assessed spatial distributions of debris flows to infer the processes and conditions for debris flow initiation. Slopes at gully heads were greater than ~ 0.35 m m- 1 (19°) and exhibited a significant negative relationship with drainage area. A break in slope-drainage area trends among debris flow gullies also occurs at ~ 0.35 m m- 1, representing a possible transition to fluvial sediment transport and erosion. An interpreted hybrid model of debris flow initiation involves bed failure near gully heads followed by sediment recruitment from gully walls along gully lengths. Estimates of sediment volume loss from gully walls demonstrate the importance of sediment inputs along gullies for increasing debris flow volumes. Basin comparisons revealed significantly steeper drainage networks and higher elevations in debris flow-producing than non-debris flow-producing proglacial areas. The high slopes and elevations of debris flow-producing proglacial areas reflect positive slope-elevation trends for the Mount Rainier volcano. Glacier extent therefore controls the slope distribution in proglacial areas, and thus potential for debris flow generation. As a result, debris flow activity may increase as glacier termini retreat onto slopes inclined at angles above debris flow initiation thresholds.

  8. Instability and surge development in debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zanuttigh, Barbara; Lamberti, Alberto

    2007-09-01

    Debris flows are often described as a succession of surges, which are characterized by enhanced peak depth and velocity and therefore by a tremendous increase of their destructive power. For given characteristics of the base flow, if the channel is sufficiently long to allow an appreciable wave development, the linear stability analysis in shallow streams is shown to provide a reasonable prediction of the critical flow condition and of the instability growth rate. The one-dimensional (1-D) theory, however, does not allow the determination of the wave period of the fastest growing perturbations. Debris waves most frequently develop following a mechanism similar to water roll waves: Instabilities grow up becoming clearly distinguishable waves, and then waves overtake one another with increasing wave period and amplitude. The typical hydrograph of a multiple-peak event is shown to be composed of a first surge, which is usually characterized by the highest depth, the longest duration, the greatest erosive power, and the most symmetrical shape, and of secondary waves that burst on the flow tail in the recession phase. The characteristics of the first surge can be explained by two different mechanisms. All waves that rise up near the flood crest run faster than this first surge and coalesce into it, causing its high depth and great volume. Moreover, segregation during the flow induces the concentration of boulders at the fronts, contributing to its depth enhancement, erosive power, and symmetrical shape. When a debris surge impacts a structure, the force pattern can be interpreted as the superposition of the reflection of the bouldery front and the formation of a vertical muddy jet due to the impact of the front wedge. Wave reflection can be described by a 1-D mass and momentum balance across the front, whereas the pressure impulse, due to the incompressibility of the interstitial fluid, can be analyzed through inviscid formulations validated for the representation of

  9. Debris flow hazard mapping, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazengarb, Colin; Rigby, Ted; Stevenson, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Our mapping on the many dolerite capped mountains in Tasmania indicates that debris flows are a significant geomorphic process operating there. Hobart, the largest city in the State, lies at the foot of one of these mountains and our work is focussed on identifying areas that are susceptible to these events and estimating hazard in the valley systems where residential developments have been established. Geomorphic mapping with the benefit of recent LiDAR and GIS enabled stereo-imagery has allowed us to add to and refine a landslide inventory in our study area. In addition, a dominant geomorphic model has been recognised involving headward gully retreat in colluvial materials associated with rainstorms explains why many past events have occurred and where they may occur in future. In this paper we will review the landslide inventory including a large event (~200 000m3) in 1872 that affected a lightly populated area but since heavily urbanised. From this inventory we have attempted volume-mobility relationships, magnitude-frequency curves and likelihood estimates. The estimation of volume has been challenging to determine given that the area of depletion for each debris flow feature is typically difficult to distinguish from the total affected area. However, where LiDAR data exists, this uncertainty is substantially reduced and we develop width-length relationships (area of depletion) and area-volume relationships to estimate volume for the whole dataset exceeding 300 features. The volume-mobility relationship determined is comparable to international studies and in the absence of reliable eye-witness accounts, suggests that most of the features can be explained as single event debris flows, without requiring more complex mechanisms (such as those that form temporary debris dams that subsequently fail) as proposed by others previously. Likelihood estimates have also been challenging to derive given that almost all of the events have not been witnessed, some are

  10. Debris-flow generation from recently burned watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, S.H.

    2001-01-01

    Evaluation of the erosional response of 95 recently burned drainage basins in Colorado, New Mexico and southern California to storm rainfall provides information on the conditions that result in fire-related debris flows. Debris flows were produced from only 37 of 95 (~40 percent) basins examined; the remaining basins produced either sediment-laden streamflow or no discernable response. Debris flows were thus not the prevalent response of the burned basins. The debris flows that did occur were most frequently the initial response to significant rainfall events. Although some hillslopes continued to erode and supply material to channels in response to subsequent rainfall events, debris flows were produced from only one burned basin following the initial erosive event. Within individual basins, debris flows initiated through both runoff and infiltration-triggered processes. The fact that not all burned basins produced debris flows suggests that specific geologic and geomorphic conditions may control the generation of fire-related debris flows. The factors that best distinguish between debris-flow producing drainages and those that produced sediment-laden streamflow are drainage-basin morphology and lithology, and the presence or absence of water-repellent soils. Basins underlain by sedimentary rocks were most likely to produce debris flows that contain large material, and sand- and gravel-dominated flows were generated primarily from terrain underlain by decomposed granite. Basin-area and relief thresholds define the morphologic conditions under which both types of debris flows occur. Debris flows containing large material are more likely to be produced from basins without water-repellent soils than from basins with water repellency. The occurrence of sand-and gravel-dominated debris flows depends on the presence of water-repellent soils.

  11. The Effect of Debris-Flow Composition on Runout Distance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haas, T. D.; Braat, L.; Leuven, J.; Lokhorst, I.; Kleinhans, M. G.

    2014-12-01

    Estimating runout distance is of major importance for the assessment and mitigation of debris-flow hazards. Debris-flow runout distance depends on debris-flow composition and topography, but state-of-the-art runout prediction methods are mainly based on topographical parameters and debris-flow volume, while composition is generally neglected or incorporated in empirical constants. Here we experimentally investigated the effect of debris-flow composition and topography on runout distance. We created the first small-scale experimental debris flows with self-formed levees, distinct lobes and morphology and texture accurately resembling natural debris flows. In general, debris-flow composition had a larger effect on runout distance than topography. Enhancing channel slope and width, outflow plain slope, debris-flow size and water fraction leads to an increase in runout distance. However, runout distance shows an optimum relation with coarse-material and clay fraction. An increase in coarse-material fraction leads to larger runout distances by increased grain collisional forces and more effective levee formation, but too much coarse debris causes a large accumulation of coarse debris at the flow front, enhancing friction and decreasing runout. An increase in clay fraction initially enlarges the volume and viscosity of the interstitial fluid, liquefying the flow and enhancing runout, while a further increase leads to very viscous flows with high yield strength, reducing runout. These results highlight the importance and further need of research on the relation between debris-flow composition and runout distance. Our experiments further provide valuable insight on the effects of debris-flow composition on depositional mechanisms and deposit morphology.

  12. The effect of debris-flow composition on runout distance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Haas, Tjalling; Braat, Lisanne; Leuven, Jasper; Lokhorst, Ivar; Kleinhans, Maarten

    2015-04-01

    Estimating runout distance is of major importance for the assessment and mitigation of debris-flow hazards. Debris-flow runout distance depends on debris-flow composition and topography, but state-of-the-art runout prediction methods are mainly based on topographical parameters and debris-flow volume, while composition is generally neglected or incorporated in empirical constants. Here we experimentally investigated the effect of debris-flow composition and topography on runout distance. We created the first small-scale experimental debris flows with self-formed levees, distinct lobes and morphology and texture accurately resembling natural debris flows. In general, the effect of debris-flow composition on runout distance was larger than the effect of topography. Enhancing channel slope and width, outflow plain slope, debris-flow size and water fraction leads to an increase in runout distance. However, runout distance shows an optimum relation with coarse-material and clay fraction. An increase in coarse-material fraction leads to larger runout distances by increased grain collisional forces and more effective levee formation, but too much coarse debris causes a large accumulation of coarse debris at the flow front, enhancing friction and decreasing runout. An increase in clay fraction initially enlarges the volume and viscosity of the interstitial fluid, liquefying the flow and enhancing runout, while a further increase leads to very viscous flows with high yield strength, reducing runout. These results highlight the importance and further need of research on the relation between debris-flow composition and runout distance. Our experiments further provide valuable insight on the effects of debris-flow composition on depositional mechanisms and deposit morphology.

  13. Mapping debris-flow hazard in Honolulu using a DEM

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellen, Stephen D.; Mark, Robert K.

    1993-01-01

    A method for mapping hazard posed by debris flows has been developed and applied to an area near Honolulu, Hawaii. The method uses studies of past debris flows to characterize sites of initiation, volume at initiation, and volume-change behavior during flow. Digital simulations of debris flows based on these characteristics are then routed through a digital elevation model (DEM) to estimate degree of hazard over the area.

  14. Debris-flow susceptibility of watersheds recently burned by wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, S.H.

    2004-01-01

    Evaluation of the erosional response of 95 recently burned watersheds in Colorado, New Mexico, and southern California to storm rainfall established the factors that best differentiate between debris-flow producing basins and those that produced other flow responses. These factors are drainage-basin morphology and lithology, and the presence or absence of water-repellent soils. Basins underlain by sedimentary rocks were most likely to produce debris flows that contain large material, and sand- and gravel-dominated debris flows were generated primarily from terrain underlain by decomposed granite. Basin-area and relief thresholds define the morphologic conditions under which both types of debris flows occurred. Debris flows containing large material were more likely to be produced from basins without water-repellent soils than from basins with water repellency. The occurrence of sand and gravel-dominated debris flows depended on the presence of water repellent soils. Copyright 2004 ASCE.

  15. Debris flow, debris avalanche and flood hazards at and downstream from Mount Rainier, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scott, Kevin M.; Vallance, J.W.

    1995-01-01

    Mount Rainier volcano has produced many large debris flows and debris avalanches during the last 10,000 years. These flows have periodically traveled more than 100 kilometers from the volcano to inundate parts of the now-populated Puget Sound Lowland. Meteorological floods also have caused damage, but future effects will be partly mitigated by reservoirs. Mount Rainier presents the most severe flow risks of any volcano in the United States. Volcanic debris flows (lahars) are of two types: (1) cohesive, relatively high clay flows originating as debris avalanches, and (2) noncohesive flows with less clay that begin most commonly as meltwater surges. Three case histories represent important subpopulations of flows with known magnitudes and frequencies. The risks of each subpopulation may be considered for general planning and design. A regional map illustrates the extent of inundation by the case-history flows, the largest of which originated as debris avalanches and moved from Mount Rainier to Puget Sound. The paleohydrologic record of these past flows indicates the potential for inundation by future flows from the volcano. A map of the volcano and its immediate vicinity shows examples of smaller debris avalanches and debris flows in the 20th century.

  16. Geotechnical properties of debris-flow sediments and slurries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Major, J.J.; Iverson, R.M.; McTigue, D.F.; Macias, S.; Fiedorowicz, B.K.

    1997-01-01

    Measurements of geotechnical properties of various poorly sorted debris-flow sediments and slurries (??? 32 mm diameter) emphasize their granular nature, and reveal that properties of slurries can differ significantly from those of compacted sediments. Measurements show that: (1) cohesion probably offers little resistance to shear in most debris flows under low confining stresses normally found in nature; (2) intrinsic hydraulic permeabilities of compacted debris-flow sediments vary from about 10-14-10-9 m2; permeabilities of 'typical' debris-flow slurries fall toward the low end of the range; (3) debris-flow slurries are characterized by very large values of 'elastic' compressibility (C approx. 10-2 kPa-1); and (4) hydraulic diffusivities of quasistatically consolidating slurries are approx. 10-4-10-7 m2/s. Low hydraulic diffusivity of debris slurries permits excess fluid pressure and low effective strength to persist during sediment transport and deposition.

  17. Research On Rainfall and The Prediction of Debris Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, B.

    Accurate prediction of debris flow so that economic losses and human ca- sualties can be reduced or prevented is currently the most focused and difficult point of studying debris flows. Most predictive methods have relied on rainfall as the basic parameter to make predictions, with the result that there is only the prediction of the actual occurrence without that of its arrival time and scale. This article takes Jiangjia Gully in Dongchuan of Yunnan Province as an example, and considers, on the basis of the already possessed essential condition U solid material, the abundant conditions for ° the formation of debris flow. Based on the mechanism of the occurrence of debris flow and the volume of rainfall in the basin, this paper also gives a systematic analysis on the arrival time and scale of debris flow, and suggests that the hydrological condition for forming debris flow is the unit discharge of the flood 8805; 0.35m2/s.m. It uses the ten-minute rainfall intensity to calculate both the runoffs of the rainfall and the unit discharge from the runoff, thus predicting the occurrence of debris flow. The velocity and the arrival time of a debris flow can be figured out by using the unit discharge of the runoffs. The total amount of debris flow can be calculated out and the scale of a debris flow can be predicted by using the ten-minute intensity of rainfall and the total volume of the runoffs, together with the volume concentration of sediment in a debris flow and the basin block up coefficient.

  18. Frequency and initiation of debris flows in Grand Canyon, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffiths, Peter G.; Webb, Robert H.; Melis, Theodore S.

    2004-12-01

    Debris flows from 740 tributaries transport sediment into the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, Arizona, creating rapids that control its longitudinal profile. Debris flows mostly occur when runoff triggers failures in colluvium by a process termed "the fire hose effect." Debris flows originate from a limited number of geologic strata, almost exclusively shales or other clay-rich, fine-grained formations. Observations from 1984 through 2003 provide a 20 year record of all debris flows that reached the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, and repeat photography provides a 100 year record of debris flows from 147 tributaries. Observed frequencies are 5.1 events/year from 1984 to 2003, and historic frequencies are 5.0 events/year from 1890 to 1983. Logistic regression is used to model historic frequencies based on drainage basin parameters observed to control debris flow initiation and transport. From 5 to 7 of the 16 parameters evaluated are statistically significant, including drainage area, basin relief, and the height of and gradient below debris flow source areas, variables which reflect transport distance and potential energy. The aspect of the river channel, which at least partially reflects storm movement within the canyon, is also significant. Model results are used to calculate the probability of debris flow occurrence at the river over a century for all 740 tributaries. Owing to the variability of underlying geomorphic controls, the distribution of this probability is not uniform among tributaries of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon.

  19. Acoustic module of the Acquabona (Italy) debris flow monitoring system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galgaro, A.; Tecca, P. R.; Genevois, R.; Deganutti, A. M.

    2005-02-01

    Monitoring of debris flows aimed to the assessment of their physical parameters is very important both for theoretical and practical purposes. Peak discharge and total volume of debris flows are crucial for designing effective countermeasures in many populated mountain areas where losses of lives and property damage could be avoided. This study quantifies the relationship between flow depth, acoustic amplitude of debris flow induced ground vibrations and front velocity in the experimental catchment of Acquabona, Eastern Dolomites, Italy. The analysis of data brought about the results described in the following. Debris flow depth and amplitude of the flow-induced ground vibrations show a good positive correlation. Estimation of both mean front velocity and peak discharge can be simply obtained monitoring the ground vibrations, through geophones installed close to the flow channel; the total volume of debris flow can be so directly estimated from the integral of the ground vibrations using a regression line. The application of acoustic technique to debris flow monitoring seems to be of the outmost relevance in risk reduction policies and in the correct management of the territory. Moreover this estimation is possible in other catchments producing debris flows of similar characteristics by means of their acoustic characterisation through quick and simple field tests (Standard Penetration Tests and seismic refraction surveys).

  20. NOAA-USGS Debris-Flow Warning System - Final Report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    NOAA-USGS Debris Flow Task Force

    2005-01-01

    Landslides and debris flows cause loss of life and millions of dollars in property damage annually in the United States (National Research Council, 2004). In an effort to reduce loss of life by debris flows, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) operated an experimental debris-flow prediction and warning system in the San Francisco Bay area from 1986 to 1995 that relied on forecasts and measurements of precipitation linked to empirical precipitation thresholds to predict the onset of rainfall-triggered debris flows. Since 1995, there have been substantial improvements in quantifying precipitation estimates and forecasts, development of better models for delineating landslide hazards, and advancements in geographic information technology that allow stronger spatial and temporal linkage between precipitation forecasts and hazard models. Unfortunately, there have also been several debris flows that have caused loss of life and property across the United States. Establishment of debris-flow warning systems in areas where linkages between rainfall amounts and debris-flow occurrence have been identified can help mitigate the hazards posed by these types of landslides. Development of a national warning system can help support the NOAA-USGS goal of issuing timely Warnings of potential debris flows to the affected populace and civil authorities on a broader scale. This document presents the findings and recommendations of a joint NOAA-USGS Task Force that assessed the current state-of-the-art in precipitation forecasting and debris-flow hazard-assessment techniques. This report includes an assessment of the science and resources needed to establish a demonstration debris-flow warning project in recently burned areas of southern California and the necessary scientific advancements and resources associated with expanding such a warning system to unburned areas and, possibly, to a

  1. Systems and Sensors for Debris-flow Monitoring and Warning

    PubMed Central

    Arattano, Massimo; Marchi, Lorenzo

    2008-01-01

    Debris flows are a type of mass movement that occurs in mountain torrents. They consist of a high concentration of solid material in water that flows as a wave with a steep front. Debris flows can be considered a phenomenon intermediate between landslides and water floods. They are amongst the most hazardous natural processes in mountainous regions and may occur under different climatic conditions. Their destructiveness is due to different factors: their capability of transporting and depositing huge amounts of solid materials, which may also reach large sizes (boulders of several cubic meters are commonly transported by debris flows), their steep fronts, which may reach several meters of height and also their high velocities. The implementation of both structural and non-structural control measures is often required when debris flows endanger routes, urban areas and other infrastructures. Sensor networks for debris-flow monitoring and warning play an important role amongst non-structural measures intended to reduce debris-flow risk. In particular, debris flow warning systems can be subdivided into two main classes: advance warning and event warning systems. These two classes employ different types of sensors. Advance warning systems are based on monitoring causative hydrometeorological processes (typically rainfall) and aim to issue a warning before a possible debris flow is triggered. Event warning systems are based on detecting debris flows when these processes are in progress. They have a much smaller lead time than advance warning ones but are also less prone to false alarms. Advance warning for debris flows employs sensors and techniques typical of meteorology and hydrology, including measuring rainfall by means of rain gauges and weather radar and monitoring water discharge in headwater streams. Event warning systems use different types of sensors, encompassing ultrasonic or radar gauges, ground vibration sensors, videocameras, avalanche pendulums

  2. Risk assessment of debris flow hazards in natural slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Junghae; Chae, Byung-gon; Liu, Kofei; Wu, Yinghsin

    2016-04-01

    The study area is located at north-east part of South Korea. Referring to the map of landslide sus-ceptibility (KIGAM, 2009) from Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM for short), there are large areas of potential landslide in high probability on slope land of mountain near the study area. Besides, recently some severe landslide-induced debris flow hazards occurred in this area. So this site is convinced to be prone to debris flow haz-ards. In order to mitigate the influence of hazards, the assessment of potential debris flow hazards is very important and essential. In this assessment, we use Debris-2D, debris flow numerical program, to assess the potential debris flow hazards. The worst scenario is considered for simulation. The input mass sources are determined using landslide susceptibility map. The water input is referred to the daily accumulative rainfall in the past debris flow event in study area. The only one input material property, i.e. yield stress, is obtained using calibration test. The simulation results show that the study area has po-tential to be impacted by debris flow. Therefore, based on simulation results, to mitigate debris flow hazards, we can propose countermeasures, including building check dams, constructing a protection wall in study area, and installing instruments for active monitoring of debris flow hazards. Acknowledgements:This research was supported by the Public Welfare & Safety Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2012M3A2A1050983)

  3. Experiments With Small-scale Debris Flow Breakers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hübl, J.; Steinwendtner, H.

    In Austria debris flow breakers are a common countermeasure against debris flows since several decades. Although a lot of practical experience exists, there is a gap on general design criteria for this kind of measure. To close this gap some flume experi- ments were carried out. The model tests are designed to analyse interactions of debris flows with structures under controlled conditions. The tests were performed to inves- tigate maximal possible dynamic loads by the impact of viscous and granular debris flows as well as to optimise the design of debris flow breakers. The experimental de- sign consists of a 4,0 m long and 0,3 m wide channel with variable slope and different check dam models. Ultrasonic sensors are used for the measurement of flow velocity and flow depth. Impact forces are recorded using strain gauges. Debris flow matrix consists of Xanthan, a thickener in food technology, and loam and water, respectively. As rigid phase PVC granulars and natural debris with different grain size distribution is used. To check the different interactions the mixtures (matrix and rigid phase) are varied in sediment concentration and grain size distribution. To determine flow be- haviour and rheological parameters a conveyor channel was used. This special exper- imental design enables to study the behaviour of debris flow material with maximum grain diameter up to 20mm. The results show that the main criteria for the deposition of debris flows is the width of the opening between the panels. The structural design of the waterfront plays a minor role in the stopping process.

  4. Simulation of long-term debris flow sediment transport based on a slope stability and a debris flow routing model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, T.; Hoffmann, T.

    2012-04-01

    Debris flows play a crucial role in the coupling of hillslope-sediment sources and channels in mountain environments. In most landscape evolution models (LEMs), the sediment transport by debris flows is (if at all) often represented by simple empirical rules. This generally results from the mismatch of the coarse resolution of the LEMs and the small scale impacts of debris flow processes. To extend the accuracy and predictive power of LEMs, either a higher resolution of LEMs in combination with process-based debris flow models or a better parametrisation of subpixel scale debris flow processes is necessary. Furthermore, the simulation of sediment transport by debris flows is complicated by their episodic nature and unknown factors controlling the frequency and magnitude of events. Here, we present first results using a slope stability model (SINMAP) and an event-based debris flow routing model (SCIDDICA-S4c) to simulate the effects of debris flows in LEMs. The model was implemented in the XULU modelling platform developed by the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bonn. The combination of the slope stability model and the event-based routing and mass balance model enables us to simulate the triggering and routing of debris flow material through the iteration of single events over several thousand years. Although a detailed calibration and validation remains to be done, the resulting debris flow-affected areas in a test elevation model correspond well with data gained from a geomorphological mapping of the corresponding area, justifying our approach. The increased computation speed allows to run high resolution LEM in convenient short time at relatively low cost. This should encourage the development of more detailed LEMs, in which process-based models should be incorporated.

  5. Volcanic debris flows in developing countries - The extreme need for public education and awareness of debris-flow hazards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Major, J.J.; Schilling, S.P.; Pullinger, C.R.

    2003-01-01

    In many developing countries, volcanic debris flows pose a significant societal risk owing to the distribution of dense populations that commonly live on or near a volcano. At many volcanoes, modest volume (up to 500,000 m 3) debris flows are relatively common (multiple times per century) and typically flow at least 5 km along established drainages. Owing to typical debris-flow velocities there is little time for authorities to provide effective warning of the occurrence of a debris flow to populations within 10 km of a source area. Therefore, people living, working, or recreating along channels that drain volcanoes must learn to recognize potentially hazardous conditions, be aware of the extent of debris-flow hazard zones, and be prepared to evacuate to safer ground when hazardous conditions develop rather than await official warnings or intervention. Debris-flow-modeling and hazard-assessment studies must be augmented with public education programs that emphasize recognizing conditions favorable for triggering landslides and debris flows if effective hazard mitigation is to succeed. ?? 2003 Millpress,.

  6. Listening to debris flows: What can ground vibrations tell us about debris-flow entrainment and flow density?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kean, J. W.; Coe, J. A.; Coviello, V.; Smith, J. B.; McCoy, S. W.; Arattano, M.

    2015-12-01

    Debris flows generate seismic waves as they travel downslope and can grow in size and destructive potential by entraining sediment along their paths. Recent observations from the Chalk Cliffs monitoring site in central Colorado show there is a systematic relation between the magnitude of seismic waves and both (1) the amount of erodible sediment beneath the flow, and (2) the density of the flow. Specifically, we observed that the spectral power of debris-flow induced ground motion increased by two orders of magnitude after a 34-cm layer of bed sediment was eroded from a bedrock channel. We also observed that high-density (sediment-rich) debris-flow surges generate about two orders of magnitude greater spectral power than low-density (water-rich) surges of similar thickness. These observations lead us to the hypothesis that the recorded ground motions are generated primarily by the impacts of grains on bedrock sections of the channel. This hypothesis is supported by ball drop tests which showed that impacts on deformable loose bed sediment in the channel (if present) generate negligibly small surface waves compared to impacts on bedrock. We thus expect debris-flow induced ground motion to increase as sediment entrainment exposes bedrock in channel, and as the flow density (and number of grains) increase. We explored the connection between ground motions and debris-flow entrainment/density by adapting a model from fluvial seismology [Tsai et al., GRL, 2012]. We used the adapted model to estimate rates of sediment entrainment and the density of flows over bare bedrock channels. Our estimates of sediment entrainment compared favorably with previous direct measurements of entrainment rates at the site. Estimates of flow density are sufficiently accurate to distinguish between three density levels: low (<1200 kg/m3), medium (1200-1600 kg/m3), and high (<1600 kg/m3). Although more testing is needed, these initial results suggest the approach may be a new indirect way to

  7. Debris-flow deposition: Effects of pore-fluid pressure and friction concentrated at flow margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Major, J.J.; Iverson, R.M.

    1999-01-01

    Measurements of pore-fluid pressure and total bed-normal stress at the base of several ???10 m3 experimental debris flows provide new insight into the process of debris-flow deposition. Pore-fluid pressures nearly sufficient to cause liquefaction were developed and maintained during flow mobilization and acceleration, persisted in debris-flow interiors during flow deceleration and deposition, and dissipated significantly only during postdepositional sediment consolidation. In contrast, leading edges of debris flows exhibited little or no positive pore-fluid pressure. Deposition therefore resulted from grain-contact friction and bed friction concentrated at flow margins. This finding contradicts models that invoke widespread decay of excess pore-fluid pressure, uniform viscoplastic yield strength, or pervasive grain-collision stresses to explain debris-flow deposition. Furthermore, the finding demonstrates that deposit thickness cannot be used to infer the strength of flowing debris.

  8. Predicting sediment delivery from debris flows after wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nyman, Petter; Smith, Hugh G.; Sherwin, Christopher B.; Langhans, Christoph; Lane, Patrick N. J.; Sheridan, Gary J.

    2015-12-01

    Debris flows are an important erosion process in wildfire-prone landscapes. Predicting their frequency and magnitude can therefore be critical for quantifying risk to infrastructure, people and water resources. However, the factors contributing to the frequency and magnitude of events remain poorly understood, particularly in regions outside western USA. Against this background, the objectives of this study were to i) quantify sediment yields from post-fire debris flows in southeast Australian highlands and ii) model the effects of landscape attributes on debris flow susceptibility. Sediment yields from post-fire debris flows (113-294 t ha- 1) are 2-3 orders of magnitude higher than annual background erosion rates from undisturbed forests. Debris flow volumes ranged from 539 to 33,040 m3 with hillslope contributions of 18-62%. The distribution of erosion and deposition above the fan were related to a stream power index, which could be used to model changes in yield along the drainage network. Debris flow susceptibility was quantified with a logistic regression and an inventory of 315 debris flow fans deposited in the first year after two large wildfires (total burned area = 2919 km2). The differenced normalised burn ratio (dNBR or burn severity), local slope, radiative index of dryness (AI) and rainfall intensity (from rainfall radar) were significant predictors in a susceptibility model, which produced excellent results in terms identifying channels that were eroded by debris flows (Area Under Curve, AUC = 0.91). Burn severity was the strongest predictor in the model (AUC = 0.87 when dNBR is used as single predictor) suggesting that fire regimes are an important control on sediment delivery from these forests. The analysis showed a positive effect of AI on debris flow probability in landscapes where differences in moisture regimes due to climate are associated with large variation in soil hydraulic properties. Overall, the results from this study based in the

  9. Fire-related debris flows in the Iberian Range, Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Ruiz, José M.; Arnáez, José; Gómez-Villar, Amelia; Ortigosa, Luis; Lana-Renault, Noemí

    2013-08-01

    Debris flows occurred three weeks after a wildfire in August 1986 in the Najerilla River valley in the Iberian Range, northern Spain. The flows were triggered by a brief, intense rainstorm (approximately 25 mm h- 1 over 15 min) in a small area with steep slopes covered by a thick colluvium of quartzite clasts. This storm resulted in the development of several unconfined hillslope debris flows and the formation of an alluvial fan at the mouth of the Pítare stream, which partially blocked the Najerilla River. We analysed the conditions that led to the development of the debris flows, and estimated the rainfall threshold for the debris flows to occur as well as the total volume of mobilised sediment. Four factors contributed to the debris flows: (i) the occurrence of a rainstorm three weeks after a wildfire, which had removed the plant cover from the soil; (ii) the steep slopes in the area (> 30°), which were the most affected by debris flows; (iii) the presence of quartzite scarps on the hillslopes, which favoured the development of a 'firehose effect' involving channelised surface runoff; and (iv) the low plasticity index values of the fine material of the colluvium (indices of 7 to 8), which enabled rapid liquefaction. Estimates of rainfall intensity derived from the estimated peak flow in the Pítare stream suggests that around 80 mm of rainfall fell in approximately 15 min, although this is clearly an overestimated value given the high proportion of sediment load transported during the peak flow. Various equations estimated a rainfall-threshold of approximately 25 mm h- 1 considering a concentration time of 15 min. The total sediment transported by the debris flows was 10,500 m3 (15,750 Mg, 6800 Mg km- 2), and the Pítare stream alone transported a minimum of 4000 m3 (6000 Mg, 2500 Mg km- 2). These results suggest that the rainfall threshold for initiating debris flows decreases following a wildfire, such that an ordinary rainstorm is able to trigger a severe

  10. A real two-phase submarine debris flow and tsunami

    SciTech Connect

    Pudasaini, Shiva P.; Miller, Stephen A.

    2012-09-26

    The general two-phase debris flow model proposed by Pudasaini is employed to study subaerial and submarine debris flows, and the tsunami generated by the debris impact at lakes and oceans. The model, which includes three fundamentally new and dominant physical aspects such as enhanced viscous stress, virtual mass, and generalized drag (in addition to buoyancy), constitutes the most generalized two-phase flow model to date. The advantage of this two-phase debris flow model over classical single-phase, or quasi-two-phase models, is that the initial mass can be divided into several parts by appropriately considering the solid volume fraction. These parts include a dry (landslide or rock slide), a fluid (water or muddy water; e.g., dams, rivers), and a general debris mixture material as needed in real flow simulations. This innovative formulation provides an opportunity, within a single framework, to simultaneously simulate the sliding debris (or landslide), the water lake or ocean, the debris impact at the lake or ocean, the tsunami generation and propagation, the mixing and separation between the solid and fluid phases, and the sediment transport and deposition process in the bathymetric surface. Applications of this model include (a) sediment transport on hill slopes, river streams, hydraulic channels (e.g., hydropower dams and plants); lakes, fjords, coastal lines, and aquatic ecology; and (b) submarine debris impact and the rupture of fiber optic, submarine cables and pipelines along the ocean floor, and damage to offshore drilling platforms. Numerical simulations reveal that the dynamics of debris impact induced tsunamis in mountain lakes or oceans are fundamentally different than the tsunami generated by pure rock avalanches and landslides. The analysis includes the generation, amplification and propagation of super tsunami waves and run-ups along coastlines, debris slide and deposition at the bottom floor, and debris shock waves. It is observed that the

  11. A real two-phase submarine debris flow and tsunami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pudasaini, Shiva P.; Miller, Stephen A.

    2012-09-01

    The general two-phase debris flow model proposed by Pudasaini [1] is employed to study subaerial and submarine debris flows, and the tsunami generated by the debris impact at lakes and oceans. The model, which includes three fundamentally new and dominant physical aspects such as enhanced viscous stress, virtual mass, and generalized drag (in addition to buoyancy), constitutes the most generalized two-phase flow model to date. The advantage of this two-phase debris flow model over classical single-phase, or quasi-two-phase models, is that the initial mass can be divided into several parts by appropriately considering the solid volume fraction. These parts include a dry (landslide or rock slide), a fluid (water or muddy water; e.g., dams, rivers), and a general debris mixture material as needed in real flow simulations. This innovative formulation provides an opportunity, within a single framework, to simultaneously simulate the sliding debris (or landslide), the water lake or ocean, the debris impact at the lake or ocean, the tsunami generation and propagation, the mixing and separation between the solid and fluid phases, and the sediment transport and deposition process in the bathymetric surface. Applications of this model include (a) sediment transport on hill slopes, river streams, hydraulic channels (e.g., hydropower dams and plants); lakes, fjords, coastal lines, and aquatic ecology; and (b) submarine debris impact and the rupture of fiber optic, submarine cables and pipelines along the ocean floor, and damage to offshore drilling platforms. Numerical simulations reveal that the dynamics of debris impact induced tsunamis in mountain lakes or oceans are fundamentally different than the tsunami generated by pure rock avalanches and landslides. The analysis includes the generation, amplification and propagation of super tsunami waves and run-ups along coastlines, debris slide and deposition at the bottom floor, and debris shock waves. It is observed that the

  12. Scaling and design of landslide and debris-flow experiments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iverson, Richard M.

    2015-01-01

    Scaling plays a crucial role in designing experiments aimed at understanding the behavior of landslides, debris flows, and other geomorphic phenomena involving grain-fluid mixtures. Scaling can be addressed by using dimensional analysis or – more rigorously – by normalizing differential equations that describe the evolving dynamics of the system. Both of these approaches show that, relative to full-scale natural events, miniaturized landslides and debris flows exhibit disproportionately large effects of viscous shear resistance and cohesion as well as disproportionately small effects of excess pore-fluid pressure that is generated by debris dilation or contraction. This behavioral divergence grows in proportion to H3, where H is the thickness of a moving mass. Therefore, to maximize geomorphological relevance, experiments with wet landslides and debris flows must be conducted at the largest feasible scales. Another important consideration is that, unlike stream flows, landslides and debris flows accelerate from statically balanced initial states. Thus, no characteristic macroscopic velocity exists to guide experiment scaling and design. On the other hand, macroscopic gravity-driven motion of landslides and debris flows evolves over a characteristic time scale (L/g)1/2, where g is the magnitude of gravitational acceleration and L is the characteristic length of the moving mass. Grain-scale stress generation within the mass occurs on a shorter time scale, H/(gL)1/2, which is inversely proportional to the depth-averaged material shear rate. A separation of these two time scales exists if the criterion H/L < < 1 is satisfied, as is commonly the case. This time scale separation indicates that steady-state experiments can be used to study some details of landslide and debris-flow behavior but cannot be used to study macroscopic landslide or debris-flow dynamics.

  13. Dynamics of Unusual Debris Flows on Martian Sand Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miyamoto, Hideaki; Dohm, James M.; Baker, Victor R.; Beyer, Ross A.; Bourke, Mary

    2004-01-01

    Gullies that dissect sand dunes in Russell impact crater often display debris flow-like deposits in their distal reaches. The possible range of both the rheological properties and the flow rates are estimated using a numerical simulation code of a Bingham plastic flow to help explain the formation of these features. Our simulated results are best explained by a rapid debris flow. For example, a debris flow with the viscosity of 10(exp 2) Pa s and the yield strength of 10(exp 2) Pa can form the observed deposits with a flow rate of 0.5 cu m/s sustained over several minutes and total discharged water volume on the order of hundreds of cubic meters, which may be produced by melting a surface layer of interstitial ice within the dune deposits to several centimeters depth.

  14. What is the velocity profile of debris flows?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, Fabian; McArdell, Brian

    2015-04-01

    The distribution of flow velocity within a debris flow is difficult to determine at full scale in the field due to the large forces and inherently destructive nature of the flow. However, knowledge of the distribution of velocity within a flow would be helpful to constrain rheological models and to better understand the internal dynamics of such flows. Here we describe recent efforts to determine the velocity of debris flows as a function of distance from the channel bed. Measurements were made at the Illgraben, Switzerland, which exhibits a wide variety of flows, ranging from turbulent debris floods to flows which resemble laminar mud flows to more classical debris flows with a clear granular front. The Illgraben observation station is therefore an ideal location to investigate debris flow dynamics. Our measurements were made using sensors embedded on a 14 m long, 2.5 m tall steel-reinforced concrete wall constructed flush with the torrent channel walls. The main instrumentation consists of 18 geophones (10 Hz natural frequency) installed on square steel plates with a side length of 0.3 m. Each steel plate is acoustically isolated from the wall and the other plates through the use of elastomer elements. The geophone plates are arranged in six rows of three sensors with a dimension of 1.8 m in the vertical direction and 1.5 m in the horizontal direction (i.e. parallel to the flow direction). A sensorless plate separates each plate in the horizontal direction. The data are collected at 2 kHz using a high-speed (synchronous) capture card in a pc. The elevation of the flow surface is determined at a cross-stream distance 1 m away from the wall, using a laser sensor installed on a bridge above the wall. We present a processing approach for the geophone data with the goal to track particle sliding across the sensor plates. For signals near or above the sensors' natural frequency (10 Hz), the measured time series are poorly correlated between sensors. Therefore, we use a

  15. Debris-flow observations in the Zermatt Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graf, Christoph

    2015-04-01

    In the Alps, a multitude of unstable slopes is located at altitudes of ~2700 m asl, where sediment transfers typically happen outside the range of humans or their infrastructure. The situation is slightly different in the Zermatt Valley, a high-elevation, north-south oriented glacial valley in the Swiss Alps, where the detachment of melting permafrost results in rock falls on steep slopes and debris flows in high-gradient gullies through which till is transferred directly to the inhabited valley floor at elevations between 1100 (N) and 1600 m asl (S). As a result of the excellent database on past disasters in the valley, recent developments and measurements in the local rock glacier bodies and current torrential events, I show data from some debris-flow torrents to document impacts of past, ongoing and possible future changes of debris flows originating from periglacial environments. Debris flows are typically initiated by the abrupt input of considerable quantities of water. The water-saturated masses of fragmented rock and soil slump down mountainsides into gullies which in turn mobilize stored sediment in the channels. In addition to triggering by extreme rainstorms, debris flows have also been reported to be released by rapid snowmelt, rain-on-snow storms, or the sudden emptying of glacier water bodies or through the rupture of landslide dams. More frequently, debris flows occur as a result of high-intensity, convective rainstorms of short duration or low-intensity advective precipitation events over several days. Displacement rates and instability of rock glaciers have increased further recently to show movement rates without historical precedents. At Grabengufer (Dorfbach) e.g., increasing air and ice temperatures have favoured the development of annual displacement rates from just a few decimetres in the past decades to 80 m in 2010. Similar behaviour was observed in catchments nearby. As a consequence of the enhanced movement of these permafrost bodies and

  16. Use of acoustic monitoring system for debris flow discharge evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galgaro, A. G.; Tecca, P. R.; Genevois, R.; Deganutti, A. M.

    2003-04-01

    In 1997 an automated system for monitoring of debris flows has been installed in the Acquabona channel Dolomites, Italy. Induction geophones, with a specific frequency of 10 Hz, measure the amplitude of vertical ground vibrations generated by the passage of a flowing mass along the channel. Continuous acoustic logs and ultrasonic hydrograph recorded at the lower-channel measurement station for the debris flow of August 17, 1998, show a striking correspondence. This correspondence, already observed in different flow sites, is represented by the best fit between flow depth and flow sensor amplitude. Average front velocity for surges, calculated from the signal peak time shift and the distance between the sensors along the flow path, range between 2.00 and 7.7 m/s. As the ultrasonic sensor provides a way to measure the variation of the flow section area with the flow depth, the debris flow peak discharge may be estimated; obtained values of debris flow peak discharge range from 4 and 30 m3/s. Volumes were calculated by integrating instantaneous discharges through the hydrograph and by integrating the geophone log (acoustic flux). Volumes of 13700 m3 and 15500 m3 have been respectively obtained. The slight difference between the two values may result from the fact that acoustic records: i) are sensitive to the high frequencies, typical of the debris flow tails; ii) sum up the contributions sent by the whole flowing mass, while the ecometer detect the flow depth at every time at only one section. As a consequence the rising of the whole geophone log gives a higher value at the integration result. This only acoustic system can give a reasonably proxy for discharge and total volumes involved, which are among the most important parameters for debris flow hazard assessment and planning countermeasures. This methodology can be used in other debris flow sites if they are calibrated by the acoustic characterization of debris, obtained by both seismic surveys and SPT tests, and

  17. Field observations of a debris flow event in the Dolomites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berti, Matteo; Genevois, Rinaldo; Simoni, Alessandro; Tecca, Pia Rosella

    1999-09-01

    A debris flow event occurred in June 1997 in the Dolomites (Eastern Alps, Italy). The phenomenon was directly observed in the field and recorded by a video camera near its initiation area. The debris flow originated shortly after an intense rainstorm (25 mm in 30 min) whose runoff mobilised the loose coarse debris that filled the bottom of the channel in its upper part. The analysis of the steep headwater basin indicates a very short concentration time (9-14 min) that fits the quick hydrological response observed in the field. The debris flow mobilisation was not contemporaneous with the arrival of the peak water discharge in the initiation area probably due to the time required for the saturation of the highly conductive channel-bed material. Channel cross-section measurements taken along the flow channel indicate debris flow peak velocity and discharge ranging from 3.1 to 9.0 m/s and from 23 to 71 m 3/s, respectively. Samples collected immediately after deposition were used to determine the water content and bulk density of the material. Channel scouring, fines enrichment and transported volume increase testify erosion and entrainment of material along the flow channel. Field estimates of the rheological properties based on open channel flow of Bingham fluid indicate a yield strength of 5000±400 Pa and relatively low viscosity (60-326 Pa s), probably due to a high percentage of fines (approx. 30%).

  18. Tsunami Generated by a Two-Phase Submarine Debris Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pudasaini, S. P.

    2012-04-01

    The general two-phase debris flow model proposed by Pudasaini (2011) is employed to study subaerial and submarine debris flows, and the tsunami generated by the debris impact at lakes and oceans. The model includes several essential physical aspects, including Mohr-Coulomb plasticity for the solid stress, while the fluid stress is modelled as a solid volume fraction gradient enhanced non-Newtonian viscous stress. The generalized interfacial momentum transfer includes the viscous drag, buoyancy, and the virtual mass. The generalized drag covers both the solid-like and fluid-like contributions, and can be applied to linear to quadratic drags. Strong couplings exist between the solid and the fluid momentum transfer. The advantage of the real two-phase debris flow model over classical single-phase or quasi-two-phase models is that by considering the solid (and/or the fluid) volume fraction appropriately, the initial mass can be divided into several (even mutually disjoint) parts; a dry (landslide or rock slide), a fluid (water or muddy water; e.g., dams, rivers), and a general debris mixture material as needed in real flow simulations. This offers a unique and innovative opportunity within a single framework to simultaneously simulate (a) the sliding debris (or landslide), (b) the water lake or ocean, (c) the debris impact at the lake or ocean, (d) tsunami generation and propagation, (e) mixing and separation between the solid and the fluid phases, and (f) sediment transport and deposition process in the bathymetric surface. The new model is applied to two-phase subaerial and submarine debris flows. Benchmark numerical simulations reveal that the dynamics of the debris impact induced tsunamis are fundamentally different than the tsunami generated by pure rock avalanche and landslides. Special attention is paid to study the basic features of the debris impact to the mountain lakes or oceans. This includes the generation, amplification and propagation of the multiple

  19. Estimating rates of debris flow entrainment from ground vibrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kean, J. W.; Coe, J. A.; Coviello, V.; Smith, J. B.; McCoy, S. W.; Arattano, M.

    2015-08-01

    Debris flows generate seismic waves as they travel downslope and can become more dangerous as they entrain sediment along their path. We present field observations that show a systematic relation between the magnitude of seismic waves and the amount of erodible sediment beneath the flow. Specifically, we observe that a debris flow traveling along a channel filled initially with sediment 0.34 m thick generates about 2 orders of magnitude less spectral power than a similar-sized flow over the same channel without sediment fill. We adapt a model from fluvial seismology to explain this observation and then invert it to estimate the level of bed sediment (and rate of entrainment) beneath a passing series of surges. Our estimates compare favorably with previous direct measurements of entrainment rates at the site, suggesting the approach may be a new indirect way to obtain rare field constraints needed to test models of debris flow entrainment.

  20. Emerging insights into the dynamics of submarine debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elverhøi, A.; Issler, D.; de Blasio, F. V.; Ilstad, T.; Harbitz, C. B.; Gauer, P.

    2005-08-01

    Recent experimental and theoretical work on the dynamics of submarine debris flows is summarized. Hydroplaning was first discovered in laboratory flows and later shown to likely occur in natural debris flows as well. It is a prime mechanism for explaining the extremely long runout distances observed in some natural debris flows even of over-consolidated clay materials. Moreover, the accelerations and high velocities reached by the flow head in a short time appear to fit well with the required initial conditions of observed tsunamis as obtained from back-calculations. Investigations of high-speed video recordings of laboratory debris flows were combined with measurements of total and pore pressure. The results are pointing towards yet another important role of ambient water: Water that intrudes from the water cushion underneath the hydroplaning head and through cracks in the upper surface of the debris flow may drastically soften initially stiff clayey material in the "neck" of the flow, where significant stretching occurs due to the reduced friction at the bottom of the hydroplaning head. This self-reinforcing process may lead to the head separating from the main body and becoming an "outrunner" block as clearly observed in several natural debris flows. Comparison of laboratory flows with different material composition indicates a gradual transition from hydroplaning plug flows of stiff clay-rich material, with a very low suspension rate, to the strongly agitated flow of sandy materials that develop a pronounced turbidity current. Statistical analysis of the great number of distinguishable lobes in the Storegga slide complex reveals power-law scaling behavior of the runout distance with the release mass over many orders of magnitude. Mathematical flow models based on viscoplastic material behavior (e.g. BING) successfully reproduce the observed scaling behavior only for relatively small clay-rich debris flows while granular (frictional) models fail at all scales

  1. SATURATED ZONE FLOW AND TRANSPORT MODEL ABSTRACTION

    SciTech Connect

    B.W. ARNOLD

    2004-10-27

    The purpose of the saturated zone (SZ) flow and transport model abstraction task is to provide radionuclide-transport simulation results for use in the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for license application (LA) calculations. This task includes assessment of uncertainty in parameters that pertain to both groundwater flow and radionuclide transport in the models used for this purpose. This model report documents the following: (1) The SZ transport abstraction model, which consists of a set of radionuclide breakthrough curves at the accessible environment for use in the TSPA-LA simulations of radionuclide releases into the biosphere. These radionuclide breakthrough curves contain information on radionuclide-transport times through the SZ. (2) The SZ one-dimensional (I-D) transport model, which is incorporated in the TSPA-LA model to simulate the transport, decay, and ingrowth of radionuclide decay chains in the SZ. (3) The analysis of uncertainty in groundwater-flow and radionuclide-transport input parameters for the SZ transport abstraction model and the SZ 1-D transport model. (4) The analysis of the background concentration of alpha-emitting species in the groundwater of the SZ.

  2. Debris flow hazard assessment for the Oregon Caves National Monument

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Friday, John

    1983-01-01

    After experiencing a devastating debris flow in the Oregon Caves National Monument, the National Park Service needs an evaluation of the hazard of additional flows. Soil properties at six random sites were compared with those at the source of the debris flow. Although all sites had soils that could become unstable with sufficient moisture, soil at one site had properties similar to those at the scar and the potential for another flow was confirmed. The report suggests that winter weather conditions be closely monitored and compared to the antecedent conditions prior to the known failure. When the threshold for additional mass wasting is believed imminent, appropriate action can be taken to insure the safety of work personnel and the public. The peak streamflow that preceded the 5,200 cu yds of debris is estimated to have a 0.5 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. (USGS)

  3. Rainfall Generated Debris flows on Mount Shasta: July 21, 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikulovsky, R. P.; De La Fuente, J. A.; Courtney, A.; Bachmann, S.; Rodriguez, H.; Rust, B.; Schneider, F.; Veich, D.

    2015-12-01

    Convective storms on the evening of July 21, 2015 generated a number of debris flows on the SE flank of Mount Shasta Volcano, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Widespread rilling, gullying and sheet erosion occurred throughout the affected area. These storms damaged roads by scouring drainage ditches, blocking culverts, eroding road prisms, and depositing debris where streams emerged from their incised channels and flowed over their alluvial fans. Effects were limited geographically to a narrow band about 6 miles wide trending in a northeasterly direction. Debris flows were identified at Pilgrim Creek and nearby channels, and Mud Creek appears to have experienced sediment laden flows rather than debris flows. Doppler radar data reveal that the storm cells remained nearly stationary for two hours before moving in a northeasterly direction. Debris flows triggered by convective storms occur often at Mount Shasta, with a similar event recorded in 2003 and a larger one in 1935, which also involved glacial melt. The 1935 debris flow at Whitney Creek buried Highway 97 north of Weed, CA, and took out the railroad above the highway. In September, 2014, a large debris flow occurred in Mud Creek, but it was associated solely with glacial melt and was not accompanied by rain. The 2014 event at Mud Creek filled the channel and parts of the floodplain with debris. This debris was in turn reworked and eroded by sediment laden flows on July 21, 2015. This study was initiated in August, 2015, and began with field inventories to identify storm effects. Lidar data will be used to identify possible avulsion points that could result in unexpected flash flooding outside of the main Mud Creek channel and on adjacent streams. The results of this study will provide critical information that can be used to assess flash flood risk and better understand how to manage those risks. Finally, some conclusions may be drawn on the kinds of warning systems that may be appropriate for possible flash

  4. Debris-flow initiation from large, slow-moving landslides

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reid, M.E.; Brien, D.L.; LaHusen, R.G.; Roering, J.J.; de la Fuente, J.; Ellen, S.D.

    2003-01-01

    In some mountainous terrain, debris flows preferentially initiate from the toes and margins of larger, deeper, slower-moving landslides. During the wet winter of 1997, we began real-time monitoring of the large, active Cleveland Corral landslide complex in California, USA. When the main slide is actively moving, small, shallow, first-time slides on the toe and margins mobilize into debris flows and travel down adjacent gullies. We monitored the acceleration of one such failure; changes in velocity provided precursory indications of rapid failure. Three factors appear to aid the initiation of debris flows at this site: 1) locally steepened ground created by dynamic landslide movement, 2) elevated pore-water pressures and abundant soil moisture, and 3) locally cracked and dilated materials. This association between debris flows and large landslides can be widespread in some terrain. Detailed photographic mapping in two watersheds of northwestern California illustrates that the areal density of debris-flow source landsliding is about 3 to 7 times greater in steep geomorphically fresher landslide deposits than in steep ground outside landslide deposits. ?? 2003 Millpress.

  5. Mount Baker lahars and debris flows, ancient, modern, and future

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tucker, David S; Scott, Kevin M.; Grossman, Eric E.; Linneman, Scott

    2014-01-01

    Holocene lahars and large debris flows (>106 m3) have left recognizable deposits in the Middle Fork Nooksack valley. A debris flow in 2013 resulting from a landslide in a Little Ice Age moraine had an estimated volume of 100,000 m3, yet affected turbidity for the entire length of the river, and produced a slug of sediment that is currently being reworked and remobilized in the river system. Deposits of smaller-volume debris flows, deposited as terraces in the upper valley, may be entirely eroded within a few years. Consequently, the geologic record of small debris flows such as those that occurred in 2013 is probably very fragmentary. Small debris flows may still have significant impacts on hydrology, biology, and human uses of rivers downstream. Impacts include the addition of waves of fine sediment to stream loads, scouring or burying salmon-spawning gravels, forcing unplanned and sudden closure of municipal water intakes, damaging or destroying trail crossings, extending river deltas into estuaries, and adding to silting of harbors near river mouths.

  6. Frictional behavior of debris flows at the Illgraben catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McArdell, B. W.

    2012-12-01

    Many models have been proposed to describe the rheological behavior of debris flows, yet few detailed observations are available from field-scale installations. Rheological models are typically calibrated with small-scale laboratory tests of the material or limited field data often involves calibrating a runout model using reach-averaged front velocity and flow depth data from a few locations along the channel. The goal of this work is to describe the frictional behavior of debris flows observed in the field and relate that behavior to other observations of the flow. This paper summarizes 7 years of observations of the shear and normal forces of debris flows and debris floods at the Illgraben torrent channel, Switzerland. The measurements were made using a large force plate (2m long x 4m wide) which allows measurement of both shear and normal forces. Raw data from the load cells is processed through a hardware-median filter and are stored at 1 Hz, along with flow depth from an overhead laser and radar stage sensor. Additional data are available for some events, including basal fluid pore pressure measured near the center of the force plate, entrainment measurements made a few 10's of m upstream of the force plate, and force fluctuations from an array of vertically-mounted flow-parallel force plates located about 10 m upstream of the large force plate. Debris flows typically have steep flow fronts with large numbers of boulders, with the maximum surge depth reached within about 10s of the arrival of the front, while debris floods tend to have undular water-rich fronts with gradually increasing sediment concentration. In the debris flows, the ratio of shear to normal stress at the front of the flow is approximately the same as slope of the channel immediately upstream of the force plate. The largest s/n value is reached within the first 10-20 s and is roughly 20% larger than the rest of the surge. The larger friction at the front of the flows may be related

  7. Field observations of particle impacts by debris flows and debris floods on instrumented rock samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McArdell, B. W.; Hsu, L.; Fritschi, B.; Dietrich, W. E.

    2011-12-01

    Bedrock incision and sediment entrainment by debris flows are important processes in torrent channels. As part of our effort to gain a better understanding of these processes, we installed instrumented rock samples in the bed of the Illgraben channel. Three rock samples, 0.4 m long (in the flow direction), 0.3 m wide, and 0.2 m thick, were installed in steel frames which were mounted on the upslope side of a concrete check dam, with the surface of the stones flush with the channel bed. Accelerometer sensors were installed on the bottom of one rock sample, with a range of up to 500 g (vertical) and 200 g (horizontal, parallel to the channel axis), where g is the acceleration due to gravity. Elastomer elements, typically used in the field as overload protection for load sensors, were placed between the rock samples and the steel frames. Data were sampled at 2 kHz and stored on a computer outside of the channel. The sensors provided data for 4 debris floods and part of one debris flow. For all of the events, the vertical acceleration data indicate a large background noise in the range of ±10 g, punctuated by very short duration impulses of up to several hundred g. The large accelerations are interpreted to represent hard impacts of cobbles or boulders in the flow with the rock tablet. Using a value of >20 g to define the occurrence of a large particle impact, it is possible to differentiate between debris floods (which have on the order of 0.1 impact per second) and the debris flow (on the order of 1 impact per second). The frequency of the sampling is too small to resolve details about the impacts, so it is not possible to precisely determine the maximum accelerations. However the peak recorded values are larger for debris flows, with values up to the measurement limit of the sensors, whereas for floods the maximum accelerations are typically less than 100 g. The results for the accelerometer which measures accelerations in the downstream direction generally mirror

  8. Debris-flow initiation experiments using diverse hydrologic triggers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reid, Mark E.; LaHusen, Richard G.; Iverson, Richard M.

    1997-01-01

    Controlled debris-flow initiation experiments focused on three hydrologic conditions that can trigger slope failure: localized ground-water inflow; prolonged moderate-intensity rainfall; and high-intensity rainfall. Detailed monitoring of slope hydrology and deformation provided exceptionally complete data on conditions preceding and accompanying slope failure and debris-flow mobilization. Ground-water inflow and high-intensity sprinkling led to abrupt, complete failure whereas moderate-intensity sprinkling led to retrogressive, block-by-block failure. Failure during ground-water inflow and during moderate-intensity sprinkling occurred with a rising water table and positive pore pressures. Failure during high-intensity sprinkling occurred without widespread positive pore pressures. In all three cases, pore pressures in most locations increased dramatically (within 2-3 seconds) during failure. In some places, pressures in unsaturated materials rapidly 'flashed' from zero to elevated positive values. Transiently elevated pore pressures and partially liquefied soil enhanced debris-flow mobilization.

  9. Simulated tornado debris tracks: implications for inferring corner flow structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmerman, Michael; Lewellen, David

    2011-11-01

    A large collection of three-dimensional large eddy simulations of tornadoes with fine debris have been recently been performed as part of a longstanding effort at West Virginia University to understand tornado corner flow structure and dynamics. Debris removal and deposition is accounted for at the surface, in effect simulating formation of tornado surface marks. Physical origins and properties of the most prominent marks will be presented, and the possibility of inferring tornado corner flow structure from real marks in the field will be discussed. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. 0635681 and AGS-1013154.

  10. Effects of the Basal Boundary on Debris-flow Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iverson, R. M.; Logan, M.; Lahusen, R. G.; Berti, M.

    2006-12-01

    Data aggregated from 37 large-scale experiments reveal some counterintuitive effects of bed roughness on debris-flow dynamics. In each experiment 10 m3 of water-saturated sand and gravel, mixed with 1 to 12% silt and clay by dry weight, was abruptly released from a gate at the head of a 2-m wide, 1.2-m deep, 82.5-m long rectangular flume inclined 31° throughout most of its length and adjoined to a gently sloping, planar runout surface at its toe. The flume's basal boundary consisted of either a smooth, planar concrete surface or a concrete surface roughened with a grid of conical bumps. Tilt-table tests with dry debris-flow sediment showed that this roughness imparted a basal friction angle of 38°, comparable to the sediment's internal friction angle of 38-42°, whereas the smooth-bed friction angle was 28°. About 20 electronic sensors installed in the flume yielded data on flow speeds and depths as well as basal stresses and pore pressures. Behavior observed in all experiments included development of steep, unsaturated, coarse-grained debris-flow snouts and tapering, liquefied, fine-grained tails. Flows on the rough bed were typically about 50% thicker and 20% slower than flows on the smooth bed, although the rough bed caused snout steepening that enabled flow fronts to move faster than expected, given the increased bed friction. Moreover, flows on rough beds ran out further than flows on smooth beds owing to enhanced grain-size segregation and lateral levee formation. With the rough bed, measured basal stresses and pore pressures differed little from values expected from static gravitational loading of partially liquefied debris. With the smooth bed, however, measured basal stresses and pore pressures were nearly twice as large as expected values. This anomaly resulted from flow disturbance at the upstream lips of steel plates in which sensors were mounted. The lips produced barely visible ripples in otherwise smooth flow surfaces, yet sufficed to generate

  11. On predicting debris flows in arid mountain belts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stolle, Amelie; Langer, Maria; Blöthe, Jan Henrik; Korup, Oliver

    2015-03-01

    The use of topographic metrics for estimating the susceptibility to, and reconstructing the characteristics of, debris flows has a long research tradition, although largely devoted to humid mountainous terrain. The exceptional 2010 monsoonal rainstorms in the high-altitude mountain desert of Ladakh and Zanskar, NW India, were a painful reminder of how susceptible arid regions are to rainfall-triggered flash floods, landslides, and debris flows. The rainstorms of August 4-6 triggered numerous debris flows, killing 182 people, devastating 607 houses, and more than 10 bridges around Ladakh's capital of Leh. The lessons from this disaster motivated us to revisit methods of predicting (a) flow parameters such as peak discharge and maximum velocity from field and remote sensing data, and (b) the susceptibility to debris flows from catchment morphometry. We focus on quantifying uncertainties tied to these approaches. Comparison of high-resolution satellite images pre- and post-dating the 2010 rainstorm reveals the extent of damage and catastrophic channel widening. Computations based on these geomorphic markers indicate maximum flow velocities of 1.6-6.7 m s- 1 with runout of up to ~ 10 km on several alluvial fans that sustain most of the region's settlements. We estimate median peak discharges of 310-610 m3 s- 1, which are largely consistent with previous estimates. Monte Carlo-based error propagation for a single given flow-reconstruction method returns a variance in discharge similar to one derived from juxtaposing several different flow reconstruction methods. We further compare discriminant analysis, classification tree modelling, and Bayesian logistic regression to predict debris-flow susceptibility from morphometric variables of 171 catchments in the Ladakh Range. These methods distinguish between fluvial and debris flow-prone catchments at similar success rates, but Bayesian logistic regression allows quantifying uncertainties and relationships between potential

  12. Studies of fluid instabilities in flows of lava and debris

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fink, Jonathan H.

    1987-01-01

    At least two instabilities have been identified and utilized in lava flow studies: surface folding and gravity instability. Both lead to the development of regularly spaced structures on the surfaces of lava flows. The geometry of surface folds have been used to estimate the rheology of lava flows on other planets. One investigation's analysis assumed that lava flows have a temperature-dependent Newtonian rheology, and that the lava's viscosity decreased exponentially inward from the upper surface. The author reviews studies by other investigators on the analysis of surface folding, the analysis of Taylor instability in lava flows, and the effect of surface folding on debris flows.

  13. Atmospheric forcing of debris flows in the southern Swiss Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toreti, A.; Schneuwly-Bollschweiler, M.; Stoffel, M.; Luterbacher, J.

    2013-12-01

    Debris flows are mass movements involving a rapidly flowing mixture of rock debris and water occurring in steep, confined channels all over the world. Their sudden occurrence, as well as the high energies involved, represents a considerable threat to human life and infrastructures. They are usually triggered by long and/or intense rainfall events, but their mechanisms as well as the associated large scale atmospheric circulation are still poorly understood. Using a dense dendrogeomorphic time series of debris flows covering the period 1872-2008, reanalysis data (20th Century Reanalysis and ERA-Interim), instrumental time series and gridded hourly precipitation series (1992-2006) over the area, we analyzed the large scale atmospheric forcing connected with those events. An approach based on nonlinear statistical methods (i.e., Genetic K-Means and nonlinear Support Vector Classifier) combined with a thermo-dynamical characterization (potential instability and convective timescale) was developed and applied. Results highlight the crucial role of synoptic and mesoscale forcing as well as of convective equilibrium on triggering rainfalls. Two mid-tropospheric synoptic patterns favor anomalous south-westerly flow towards the area and high potential instability. These findings imply a certain degree of predictability of debris-flow events and can therefore be used to improve existing alert systems.

  14. Infrasonic and seismic signals of snow avalanches and debris flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kogelnig, Arnold; Suriñach, Emma; Hübl, Johannes; Vilajosana, Ignasi; Hiller, Martin; Dufour, Francois; McArdell, Brian W.

    2010-05-01

    Infrasonic and seismic signals generated by debris flows and snow avalanches are observed by microphones and seismometers, respectively, in near field. The properties of the signals obtained are presented. For debris flows, infrasonic and seismic signals are correlated and their amplitudes show a relationship with flow depth and precipitation data. During the passing of a debris flow several surges identified by ultrasonic gauges are observed in the time series and in the running spectra of infrasonic and seismic data. Both sensors detect the debris flow phenomena before reaching the sensors. Analyses in the time and frequency domains of seismic and acoustic signals from snow avalanches provide information on these natural phenomena. Although time series behaviour of infrasonic and seismic waves is similar, the time series present some differences in the information supplied. Complementarity and peculiarities of the use of these sensors for monitoring purposes are discussed in the paper. During the execution of this study infrasonic signals emitted from helicopters, airplanes and thunder were also identified and are presented

  15. Erosion and deposition on a debris-flow fan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Densmore, A. L.; Schuerch, P.; Rosser, N. J.; McArdell, B. W.

    2011-12-01

    The ability of a debris flow to entrain or deposit sediment controls the downstream evolution of flow volume, and ultimately dictates both the geomorphic impact of the flow and the potential hazard that it represents. Our understanding of the patterns of, and controls on, such flow volume changes remains extremely limited, however, partly due to a poor mechanistic grasp of the interactions between debris flows and their bed and banks. In addition, we lack a good understanding of the cumulative long-term effects of sequences of flows in a single catchment-fan system. Here we begin to address these issues by using repeated terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to characterize the detailed surface change associated with the passage of multiple debris flows on the Illgraben fan, Switzerland. We calculate surface elevation change along a 300 m study reach, and from this derive the downfan rate of flow volume change, or lag rate; for comparison, we also derive the spatially-averaged lag rate over the entire ~2 km length of the fan. Lag rates are broadly comparable over both length scales, indicating that flow behavior does not vary significantly across the fan for most flows, but importantly we find that flow volume at the fan head is a poor predictor of volume at the fan toe. The sign and magnitude of bed elevation change scale with local flow depth; at flow depths < 2 m, erosion and deposition are approximately equally likely, but erosion becomes increasingly dominant for flow depths > 2 m. On the Illgraben fan, this depth corresponds to a basal shear stress of 3-4 kPa. Because flow depth is in part a function of channel cross-sectional topography, which varies strongly both within and between flows, this result indicates that erosion and deposition are likely to be highly dynamic. The dependence of flow volume change on both the channel topography and the flow history may thus complicate efforts to predict debris-flow inundation areas by simple flow routing. We then apply

  16. Pebble orientation on large, experimental debris-flow deposits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Major, J.J.

    1998-01-01

    Replicable, pronounced orientation of discoid pebbles (??? 8 mm) embedded on surfaces of large (??? 10 m3) experimental debris-flow deposits reveals that strongly aligned, imbricate fabric can develop rapidly over short distances in mass flows. Pebble long axes aligned subparallel to deposit margins as well as subparallel to margins of surge waves arrested within the deposits. Pebble alignment exhibited modes both parallel to (a(p)), and normal to (a(t)), the primary flow direction; intermediate axes dipped preferentially inward from surge-wave margins (b(i) orientation). Repetitive development of margin-parallel, imbricate fabric distributed across deposit surfaces provides compelling evidence that deposits formed dominantly through progressive incremental accretion rather than through simple en masse emplacement. Pronounced fabric along deposit and arrested surge-wave margins reflects significant grain interaction along flow margins. This sedimentological evidence for significant marginal grain interaction complements theoretical analyses (Iverson, 1997) and other experimental data (Major, 1996: Iverson, 1997) that indicate that resistance along flow margins is an important factor affecting debris-flow deposition. The fabric on the experimental deposits demonstrates that debris flows can develop strongly imbricate particle orientation that mimics fabric developed during fluvial deposition. Particle shape and local stress fields appear to have more control over fabric development than does general depositional process. Other criteria in addition to particle orientation are needed to discriminate mass flow from fluvial gravel deposits and to unravel depositional history. ?? 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Experimental testing of flexible barriers for containment of debris flows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeNatale, Jay S.; Iverson, Richard M.; Major, Jon J.; LaHusen, Richard G.; Fliegel, Gregg L.; Duffy, John D.

    1999-01-01

    In June 1996, six experiments conducted at the U.S. Geological Survey Debris Flow Flume demonstrated that flexible, vertical barriers constructed of wire rope netting can stop small debris flows. All experimental debris flows consisted of water-saturated gravelly sand with less than two percent finer sediment by weight. All debris flows had volumes of about 10 cubic meters, masses of about 20 metre tons, and impact velocities of 5 to 9 meters per second. In four experiments, the debris flow impacted pristine, unreformed barriers of varying design; in the other two experiments, the debris flow impacted barriers already loaded with sediment from a previous flow. Differences in barrier design led to differences in barrier performance. Experiments were conducted with barriers constructed of square-mesh wire-rope netting with 30centimeter, 20centimeter, and 15 centimeter mesh openings as well as 30centimeter diameter interlocking steel rings. In all cases, sediment cascading downslope at the leading edge of the debris flows tended to spray through the nets. Nets fitted with finer-mesh chain link or chicken wire liners contained more sediment than did unlined nets, and a ring net fitted with a synthetic silt screen liner contained nearly 100 percent of the sediment. Irreversible net displacements of up to 2 meters and friction brake engagement on the support and anchor cables dissipated some of the impact energy. However, substantial forces developed in the steel support columns and the lateral and tie-back anchor cables attached to these columns. As predicted by elementary mechanics, the anchor cables experienced larger tensile forces when the support columns were hinged at the base rather than bolted rigidly to the foundation. Measured loads in the lateral anchor cables exceeded those in the tie-back anchor cables and the load cell capacity of 45 kilo-Newtons. Measurements also indicated that the peak loads in the tie- back anchors were highly transient and occurred at

  18. Debris flow early warning systems in Norway: organization and tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleivane, I.; Colleuille, H.; Haugen, L. E.; Alve Glad, P.; Devoli, G.

    2012-04-01

    In Norway, shallow slides and debris flows occur as a combination of high-intensity precipitation, snowmelt, high groundwater level and saturated soil. Many events have occurred in the last decades and are often associated with (or related to) floods events, especially in the Southern of Norway, causing significant damages to roads, railway lines, buildings, and other infrastructures (i.e November 2000; August 2003; September 2005; November 2005; Mai 2008; June and Desember 2011). Since 1989 the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) has had an operational 24 hour flood forecasting system for the entire country. From 2009 NVE is also responsible to assist regions and municipalities in the prevention of disasters posed by landslides and snow avalanches. Besides assisting the municipalities through implementation of digital landslides inventories, susceptibility and hazard mapping, areal planning, preparation of guidelines, realization of mitigation measures and helping during emergencies, NVE is developing a regional scale debris flow warning system that use hydrological models that are already available in the flood warning systems. It is well known that the application of rainfall thresholds is not sufficient to evaluate the hazard for debris flows and shallow slides, and soil moisture conditions play a crucial role in the triggering conditions. The information on simulated soil and groundwater conditions and water supply (rain and snowmelt) based on weather forecast, have proved to be useful variables that indicate the potential occurrence of debris flows and shallow slides. Forecasts of runoff and freezing-thawing are also valuable information. The early warning system is using real-time measurements (Discharge; Groundwater level; Soil water content and soil temperature; Snow water equivalent; Meteorological data) and model simulations (a spatially distributed version of the HBV-model and an adapted version of 1-D soil water and energy balance

  19. Empirical model for the volume-change behavior of debris flows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, S.H.

    1993-01-01

    The potential travel down hillsides; movement stops where the volume-change behavior of flows as they travel down hillsides ; movement stops where the volume of actively flowing debris becomes negligible. The average change in volume over distance for 26 recent debris flows in the Honolulu area was assumed to be a function of the slope over which the debris flow traveled, the degree of flow confinement by the channel, and an assigned value for the type of vegetation through which the debris flow traveled. Analysis of the data yielded a relation that can be incorporated into digital elevation models to characterize debris-flow travel on Oahu.

  20. Transformation of dilative and contractive landslide debris into debris flows-An example from marin County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fleming, R.W.; Ellen, S.D.; Algus, M.A.

    1989-01-01

    The severe rainstorm of January 3, 4 and 5, 1982, in the San Francisco Bay area, California, produced numerous landslides, many of which transformed into damaging debris flows. The process of transformation was studied in detail at one site where only part of a landslide mobilized into several episodes of debris flow. The focus of our investigation was to learn whether the landslide debris dilated or contracted during the transformation from slide to flow. The landslide debris consisted of sandy colluvium that was separable into three soil horizons that occupied the axis of a small topographic swale. Failure involved the entire thickness of colluvium; however, over parts of the landslide, the soil A-horizon failed separately from the remainder of the colluvium. Undisturbed samples were taken for density measurements from outside the landslide, from the failure zone and overlying material from the part of the landslide that did not mobilize into debris flows, and from the debris-flow deposits. The soil A-horizon was contractive and mobilized to flows in a process analogous to liquefaction of loose, granular soils during earthquakes. The soil B- and C-horizons were dilative and underwent 2 to 5% volumetric expansion during landslide movement that permitted mobilization of debris-flow episodes. Several criteria can be used in the field to differentiate between contractive and dilative behavior including lag time between landsliding and mobilization of flow, episodic mobilization of flows, and partial or complete transformation of the landslide. ?? 1989.

  1. A study of methods to estimate debris flow velocity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prochaska, A.B.; Santi, P.M.; Higgins, J.D.; Cannon, S.H.

    2008-01-01

    Debris flow velocities are commonly back-calculated from superelevation events which require subjective estimates of radii of curvature of bends in the debris flow channel or predicted using flow equations that require the selection of appropriate rheological models and material property inputs. This research investigated difficulties associated with the use of these conventional velocity estimation methods. Radii of curvature estimates were found to vary with the extent of the channel investigated and with the scale of the media used, and back-calculated velocities varied among different investigated locations along a channel. Distinct populations of Bingham properties were found to exist between those measured by laboratory tests and those back-calculated from field data; thus, laboratory-obtained values would not be representative of field-scale debris flow behavior. To avoid these difficulties with conventional methods, a new preliminary velocity estimation method is presented that statistically relates flow velocity to the channel slope and the flow depth. This method presents ranges of reasonable velocity predictions based on 30 previously measured velocities. ?? 2008 Springer-Verlag.

  2. Evolution of particle angularity in natural and laboratory debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mclaughlin, M. K.; Arabnia, O.; Sklar, L. S.

    2014-12-01

    The sizes of particles entrained in debris flows influence flow dynamics, affecting erosive power and runout distance. Particle size distributions evolve due to wear by abrasion and fracturing, and by gains or losses of sediment mass during transport. To tease apart these factors, we need a better understanding of the controls on rates and patterns of particle wear in debris flows. Here we focus on changes in particle angularity with travel distance, combining laboratory experiments with field study of a rocky debris flow at Inyo Creek, Sierra Nevada California. Angularity can indicate proximity to sediment source, assuming abrasion leads to progressive smoothing of particle surfaces. However, particle fracture can create fresh angular surfaces, confounding estimates of travel distance from angularity. This study is a component of an ongoing set of experiments using a 4 m diameter rotating drum to create near-prototype-scale debris flows. We load the drum with 1.7 Mg of highly angular granodiorite clasts, with median b-axis diameter of 100 mm. The 0.75 m deep, shearing mass flows at 1 m/s. After each 250 m travel distance, we measure mass and length of principal axes for every particle >19 mm, and sieve all smaller particles, to track evolution of the size distribution. We document the angularity of subsamples of selected particle sizes, using several techniques, including analysis of 2D photographs, 3D laser scans, and hand-placed equilibrium points. We use the same techniques in analyzing particles collected in the field study of the downstream evolution of rock clasts along a 1 km length of Inyo Creek. In this catchment, underlain by granodiorite, sediment transport is dominated by debris flows, which leave deposits on the bed and channel margins at slopes >20%. Preliminary laboratory results show rapid smoothing of large particle surfaces combined with creation of smaller angular particles by fracture. In contrast, downstream evolution of angularity in the

  3. Experimental study on the rheological behaviour of debris flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scotto di Santolo, A.; Pellegrino, A. M.; Evangelista, A.

    2010-12-01

    A model able to describe all the processes involved in a debris flow can be very complex owing to the sudden changing of the material that turns from solid into liquid state. The two phases of the phenomenon are analysed separately referring to soil mechanics procedures with regard to the trigger phase, and to an equivalent fluid for the post-failure phase. The present paper is devoted to show the experimental results carried out to evaluate the behaviour assumed by a pyroclastic-derived soil during the flow. A traditional fluid tool has been utilized: a standard rotational rheometer equipped with two different geometries. The soils tested belong to deposits that cover the slopes of the Campania region, Italy, often affected by debris flows. The influence of solid concentration Cv and grain size distribution was tested: the soils were destructurated, sieved and mixed with water starting from the in situ porosity. All material mixtures showed a non-Newtonian fluid behaviour with a yield stress τy that increases with a solid volumetric concentration and decreases for an increase of sand fraction. The experimental data were fitted with standard model for fluids. A simple relation between Cv and τy was obtained. The yield stress seems to be a key parameter for describing and predicting the post-failure behaviour of debris flows. These results suggest that in the field a small change in solid fraction, due to rainfall, will cause a slight decrease of the static yield stress, readily inducing a rapid flow which will stop only when the dynamic yield stress is reached, namely on a much smoother slope. This can explain the in situ observed post-failure behaviour of debris flows, which are able to flow over very long distances even on smooth slopes.

  4. GIS-based numerical simulations of the July 2014 Nagiso debris flow in Nagano Prefecture, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Chunxiang; Fukuoka, Hiroshi

    2015-04-01

    A debris flow disaster took place in Nagiso, Nagano Prefecture of Japan in the later afternoon of 9 July 2014 triggered by 76 mm torrential rain associated with the typhoon Neoguri. This debris flow killed one resident and completely destroyed several houses. Although the source of the debris flows, especially the origin of their large boulders exceeding 5 m, are not clear, it seems that those debris flows initiated in the two upstream torrents and they joined Nashisawa torrent. Finally the debris flow ran and deposited in the Kiso River. The downstream residents are much aware of the many historical cases on similar debris flow disasters in the torrents in Nagiso and surrounding communities. Most of the residents could evacuate immediately after they felt the ground tremors induced by the running debris flow. Authors used LAHARZ (Schilling 1998) to simulate the Nagiso debris flow using 5-meter resolution Digital Elevation Model and several debris-flow volumes for the calibration. We also performed a numerical simulation to predicting the runout distance and to get insight into the behavior of the debris flow movement. A GIS-based depth-averaged 2D numerical model using a coupled viscous and Coulomb type law is used to simulate a debris flow from initiation to deposition. We compared the two simulation results and suggested the more appropriate coefficients of equations in LAHARZ for calculating the cross sectional area and planimetric area for application to the July 2014 Nagiso debris flows.

  5. Debris Flows Within The Greater Caucasus Northern Slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panova, S.

    Debris flows are recorded everywhere within the Greater Caucasus northern slope. In last decades studies of debris flows appeared to be very important due to an intensive anthropogenic activity in the mountainous areas. Debris flow spatial distribution, as well as their genesis and means of protection are critical, too. The studied terri- tory has significant absolute altitudes, especially in the central and eastern parts. Also large amount of atmospheric precipitation with maximum in a warm period is typical for the region. Modern glaciation with soil-covered moraine deposits of modern and Holocene age is developed in the region. Geological and geomorphological conditions lead to debris flows formation within the entire territory. However, the amount of atmospheric precipitation drastically decreases from west to east and in the eastern part (Dagestan) debris flow is less active than in the central even under the presence of enormous amounts of loose detrital material of different genesis. In the western part debris flows are less developed due to insignificant altitudes and considerable forest coverage and soil-cover. Powerful modern glaciation with vast development of purely moraine and fluvial-glacial deposits results in intensive debris flow activity in the central part of the northern slope (the Terek river basin). In the upper reaches of all the Terek tributaries moraine deposits reach up to several dozen meters. They are widespread at altitudes higher than 2000 m (above the forest boundary) and almost everywhere uncovered by soils. They are a key source of sediments under debris flow formation. Within the Greater Caucasus northern slope there are 1700 debris flow basins with the total area about 7000 km2. Their average area is 4.0 km2 with minimum 0.20 km2 and maximum 173.8 km2. Moreover, there are many riverbeds in the area where form mountain mud floods more than 3000 km long. Debris flows occur between January and October with clear altitudinal zoning

  6. Flood and Debris Flow Hazard Predictions in Steep, Burned Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rengers, Francis; McGuire, Luke; Kean, Jason; Staley, Dennis

    2016-04-01

    Post-wildfire natural hazards such as flooding and debris flows threaten infrastructure and can even lead to loss of life. The risk from these natural hazards could be reduced if floods and debris flows could be predicted from modeling. Our ability to test predictive models is primarily constrained by a lack of observational data that can be used for comparison with model predictions. Following the 2009 Station Fire in the San Gabriel Mountains, CA, USA, we conducted a study with high-resolution topography and hydrologic measurements to test the effectiveness of two different hydrologic routing models to predict flood and debris flow timing. Our research focuses on comparing the performance of two hydrologic models with differing levels of complexity and efficiency using high-resolution, lidar-derived digital elevation models. The simpler model uses the kinematic wave approximation to route flows, while the more complex model uses the full shallow water equations. In both models precipitation is spatially uniform and infiltration is simulated using the Green-Ampt infiltration equation. Input data for the numerical models was constrained by time series data of soil moisture, and rainfall collected at field sites as well as high-resolution lidar-derived digital elevation models. We ran the numerical models and varied parameter values for the roughness coefficient and hydraulic conductivity. These parameter values were calibrated by minimizing the difference between the simulated and observed flow timing. Moreover, the two parameters were calibrated in two different watersheds, spanning two orders of magnitude in drainage area. The calibrated parameters were subsequently used to model a third watershed, and the results show a good match with observed timing of flow peaks for both models. Calibrated roughness coefficients are generally higher when using the kinematic wave approximation relative to the full shallow water equations, and decrease with increasing spatial

  7. Debris flows in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona: magnitude, frequency and effects on the Colorado River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Melis, Theodre S.; Webb, Robert H.

    1993-01-01

    Debris flows are recurrent sediment-transport processes in 525 tributaries of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Arizona. Initiated by slope failures in bedrock and (or) colluvium during intense rainfall, Grand Canyon debris flows are high-magnitude, short-duration floods. Debris flows in these tributaries transport very large boulders into the river where they accumulate on debris fans and form rapids. The frequency of debris flows range from less than 1 per century to 10 or more per century in these tributaries. Before regulation by Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, high-magnitude floods on the Colorado River reworked debris fans by eroding all particles except large boulders. Because flow regulation has substantially decreased the river's competence, debris flows occurring after 1963 have increased accumulation of finer-grained sediments on debris fans and in rapids.

  8. Hydrometeorological and landuse attributes of debris flows and debris floods during typhoon Toraji, July 29 30, 2001 in central Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, J. D.; Huang, Y. C.; Wu, H. L.; Yeh, J. L.; Chang, C. H.

    2005-05-01

    The 921 Chi-Chi earthquake, a 7.5 M earthquake with center located near Chi-Chi of Nan Tou County occurred on September 21, 1999 and caused more than 2400 fatalities and totaling billions of dollars losses due to destruction and damages to private and public buildings, roads, bridges and hydraulic structures in central Taiwan. This 921 Chi-Chi earthquake also triggered close to 26,000 landslides with a total area of 15,977 ha and severely disturbed mountain slopes, thus setting the conditions for occurrence of more landslides and other related disasters. Post-earthquake watershed restoration works progressed without disruptions by major typhoon rainstorms until July 29-30, 2001 when typhoon Toraji hit eastern and central Taiwan with heavy rainfall having peak hourly intensity exceeding 70 mm/h. This rainstorm caused several major debris flows and debris floods that destroyed or severely damaged dams, roads, bridges, dikes and houses, in addition to causing 103 casualties, 111 missing (presumed dead), 189 injured. This study (1) explores the characteristics and impacts of debris flows/floods and (2) investigates hydrometeorological and land use attributes of debris flows and debris floods associated with this typhoon Toraji in central Taiwan. Debris floods, different from more familiar debris flows, are extreme peak streamflows containing large quantities of muds, rocks and debris normally occurring in third and fourth order watersheds. Data analysis and field investigations revealed that the disastrous debris flows and debris floods during typhoon Toraji were essentially caused by very heavy rainfalls on inherently unstable mountain slopes that were loosened further earlier by the 921 Chi-Chi earthquake. The extremely intense rainfall of typhoon Toraji provided not only additional materials by creating new and reactivating or enlarging old landslides but also high peak stream flows required for occurrence of debris flows and debris floods. The destruction and

  9. Effects of debris flow composition on runout, depositional mechanisms, and deposit morphology in laboratory experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haas, Tjalling; Braat, Lisanne; Leuven, Jasper R. F. W.; Lokhorst, Ivar R.; Kleinhans, Maarten G.

    2015-09-01

    Predicting debris flow runout is of major importance for hazard mitigation. Apart from topography and volume, runout distance and area depends on debris flow composition and rheology, but how is poorly understood. We experimentally investigated effects of composition on debris flow runout, depositional mechanisms, and deposit geometry. The small-scale experimental debris flows were largely similar to natural debris flows in terms of flow behavior, deposit morphology, grain size sorting, channel width-depth ratio, and runout. Deposit geometry (lobe thickness and width) in our experimental debris flows is largely determined by composition, while the effects of initial conditions of topography (i.e., outflow plain slope and channel slope and width) and volume are negligible. We find a clear optimum in the relations of runout with coarse-material fraction and clay fraction. Increasing coarse-material concentration leads to larger runout. However, excess coarse material results in a large accumulation of coarse debris at the flow front and enhances diffusivity, increasing frontal friction and decreasing runout. Increasing clay content initially enhances runout, but too much clay leads to very viscous flows, reducing runout. Runout increases with channel slope and width, outflow plain slope, debris flow volume, and water fraction. These results imply that debris flow runout depends at least as much on composition as on topography. This study improves understanding of the effects of debris flow composition on runout and may aid future debris flow hazard assessments.

  10. Internal characteristics of refractive-index matched debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gollin, Devis; Bowman, Elisabeth; Sanvitale, Nicoletta

    2016-04-01

    Debris flows are channelized masses of granular material saturated with water that travel at high speeds downslope. Their destructive character represents a hazard to lives and properties, especially in regions of high relief and runoff. The characteristics that distinguish their heterogeneous, multi-phase, nature are numerous: non-uniform surge formation, particle size ranging from clay to boulders, flow segregation with larger particles concentrating at the flow front and fluid at the tail making the composition and volume of the bulk varying with time and space. These aspects render these events very difficult to characterise and predict, in particular in the area of the deposit spread or runout - zones which are generally of most interest in terms of human risk. At present, considerable gaps exist in our understanding of the flow dynamics of debris flows, which originates from their complex motion and relatively poor observations available. Flume studies offer the potential to examine in detail the behaviour of model debris flows, however, the opaque nature of these flows is a major obstacle in gaining insight of their internal behaviour. Measurements taken at the sidewalls may be poorly representative leading to incomplete or misleading results. To probe internally to the bulk of the flow, alternative, nonintrusive techniques can be used, enabling, for instance, velocities and solid concentrations within the flowing material to be determined. We present experimental investigations into polydisperse granular flows of spherical immersed particles down an inclined flume, with specific attention directed to their internal behavior. To this end, the refractive indices of solids and liquid are closely matched allowing the two phases to be distinguished. Measurements are then made internally at a point in the channel via Plane Laser Induced Fluorescence, Particle Tracking Velocimetry, PTV and Particle Image Velocimetry, PIV. The objective is to to increase our

  11. Basal shear stress of debris flow in the runout phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Agostino, V.; Bettella, F.; Cesca, M.

    2013-11-01

    A laboratory device is proposed to assess the basal shear stresses generated by debris-flow mixtures during their runout phase. The device consists of an inclinable box with a gate facing a deposition plane. The box is filled with a selected debris-flow mixture, and after sudden opening of the gate, the features of the dam-break deposit can be measured. Based on some simplified assumptions of the energy balance, a methodology is proposed to assess basal shear stresses. The device has been tested using sediment samples from debris-flow deposits generated by two catchments of the Dolomites (Cortina d'Ampezzo, Belluno, Italy) by carrying out runout tests for different sediment concentrations by volume. The results show how the static Coulomb friction law is valid in the runout phase, with friction angles on the order of the angle of repose of the same material in dry conditions. The data elaboration also yields an innovative constitutive equation for shear stresses. This relation merges the Coulomb mixture approach with the concept of a one-phase flow with a certain rheology. This integration offers a useful insight into the weaknesses of the rheological approach if it is not properly scaled up to the ambient pressure of interest.

  12. Contrasting rainfall generated debris flows from adjacent watersheds at Forest Falls, southern California, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morton, Douglas M.; Alvarez, Rachel M.; Ruppert, Kelly R.; Goforth, Brett

    2008-04-01

    Debris flows are widespread and common in many steeply sloping areas of southern California. The San Bernardino Mountains community of Forest Falls is probably subject to the most frequently documented debris flows in southern California. Debris flows at Forest Falls are generated during short-duration high-intensity rains that mobilize surface material. Except for debris flows on two consecutive days in November 1965, all the documented historic debris flows have occurred during high-intensity summer rainfall, locally referred to as 'monsoon' or 'cloudburst' rains. Velocities of the moving debris range from about 5 km/h to about 90 km/h. Velocity of a moving flow appears to be essentially a function of the water content of the flow. Low velocity debris flows are characterized by steep snouts that, when stopped, have only small amounts of water draining from the flow. In marked contrast are high-velocity debris flows whose deposits more resemble fluvial deposits. In the Forest Falls area two adjacent drainage basins, Snow Creek and Rattlesnake Creek, have considerably different histories of debris flows. Snow Creek basin, with an area about three times as large as Rattlesnake Creek basin, has a well developed debris flow channel with broad levees. Most of the debris flows in Snow Creek have greater water content and attain higher velocities than those of Rattlesnake Creek. Most debris flows are in relative equilibrium with the geometry of the channel morphology. Exceptionally high-velocity flows, however, overshoot the channel walls at particularly tight channel curves. After overshooting the channel, the flows degrade the adjacent levee surface and remove trees and structures in the immediate path, before spreading out with decreasing velocity. As the velocity decreases the clasts in the debris flows pulverize the up-slope side of the trees and often imbed clasts in them. Debris flows in Rattlesnake Creek are relatively slow moving and commonly stop in the channel

  13. Contrasting rainfall generated debris flows from adjacent watersheds at Forest Falls, southern California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morton, D.M.; Alvarez, R.M.; Ruppert, K.R.; Goforth, B.

    2008-01-01

    Debris flows are widespread and common in many steeply sloping areas of southern California. The San Bernardino Mountains community of Forest Falls is probably subject to the most frequently documented debris flows in southern California. Debris flows at Forest Falls are generated during short-duration high-intensity rains that mobilize surface material. Except for debris flows on two consecutive days in November 1965, all the documented historic debris flows have occurred during high-intensity summer rainfall, locally referred to as 'monsoon' or 'cloudburst' rains. Velocities of the moving debris range from about 5??km/h to about 90??km/h. Velocity of a moving flow appears to be essentially a function of the water content of the flow. Low velocity debris flows are characterized by steep snouts that, when stopped, have only small amounts of water draining from the flow. In marked contrast are high-velocity debris flows whose deposits more resemble fluvial deposits. In the Forest Falls area two adjacent drainage basins, Snow Creek and Rattlesnake Creek, have considerably different histories of debris flows. Snow Creek basin, with an area about three times as large as Rattlesnake Creek basin, has a well developed debris flow channel with broad levees. Most of the debris flows in Snow Creek have greater water content and attain higher velocities than those of Rattlesnake Creek. Most debris flows are in relative equilibrium with the geometry of the channel morphology. Exceptionally high-velocity flows, however, overshoot the channel walls at particularly tight channel curves. After overshooting the channel, the flows degrade the adjacent levee surface and remove trees and structures in the immediate path, before spreading out with decreasing velocity. As the velocity decreases the clasts in the debris flows pulverize the up-slope side of the trees and often imbed clasts in them. Debris flows in Rattlesnake Creek are relatively slow moving and commonly stop in the

  14. Volcanic Debris Flows in the Elysium Region of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christiansen, E. H.; Ryan, M. P.

    1985-01-01

    Photogeologic studies of the Elysium volcanic province appear to provide a specific example of the importance of volcanic-ice interaction to produce the channels of Hrad and Granicus Valles. In addition, these studies shows that the channels lie on the surface of a large sedimentary deposit which is interpreted as an accumulation of volcanic debris flows or lahars. In spite of some similarities with Martian outflow channels, this latter difference may distinguish the Elysium channels from other types of Martian channels. Geologic relations are described which demonstrate that the debris flows formed amidst other volcanic activity in the Elysium region thereby suggesting that the magmatism was important to the generation of the mobilizing liquid. The lahars resulted from the melting of ground ice and liquefaction of subsurface materials. The intersection of this fluid reservoir with the regional fracture system lead to the rapid expulsion of a muddy slurry down the steep western slope of the province.

  15. Impact of permafrost degradation on debris flow initiation - a case study from the north Italian Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damm, Bodo; Felderer, Astrid

    2014-05-01

    ): Impact of atmospheric warming on permafrost degradation and debris flow initiation - a case study from the eastern European Alps. E&G Quaternary Science Journal 62/2: 136-149. Damm, B. & Langer, M. (2006): Kartierung und Regionalisierung von Permafrostindikatoren im Rieserfernergebiet (Südtirol/Osttirol). Mitteilungen der Österreichischen Geographischen Gesellschaft 148: 295-314. IPCC (2012): Managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaption. http://ipcc-wg2.gov/SREX/. Langer, M., Damm, B. (2008): CRYOSNOW - An approach for mapping and simulation of mountain permafrost distribution based on the spatial analyses of perennial snow patches. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 10: EGU2008-A-11263.

  16. Landslides and debris flows in Ephraim Canyon, central Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Baum, R.L.; Fleming, R.W.

    1989-01-01

    The geology of 36 km{sup 2} in Ephraim Canyon, on the west side of the Wasatch Plateau, central Utah, was mapped at a scale of 1:12,000 following the occurrence of numerous landslides in 1983. The geologic map shows the distribution of the landslides and debris flows of 1983-86, as well as older landslide deposits, other surficial deposits, and bedrock. Several of the recent landslides are described and illustrated by means of maps or photographs.

  17. Dendrogeomorphic evidence of debris flow frequency and magnitude at Mount Shasta, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hupp, C.R.

    1984-01-01

    Debris-flow deposits and woody vegetation adjacent to and growing within the channels of Whitney, Bolam, Mud, Ash, and Panthe creeks provide a 300-year record of debris-flow frequency at Mount Shasta Dendrochronologic (tree-ring) dating methods for the debris flows proved consistent with available documented records of debris flows Nine debris flows not reported in the historic record were documented and dated dendrochronologically. The oldest tree-ring date for a mudflow was about 1670 Combined geomorphic and botanical evidence shows that debris flows are a common occurrence at Mount Shasta Debris flows traveling at least 2 km have occurred at the rate of about 8 3 per century Smaller debris flows occur substantially more frequently and usually do not proceed as far downslope as larger debris flows. Cyclic scouring and filling by debris flows, in and adjacent to the stream channels, is suggested by dendrogeomorphic evidence and appears to be related to their magnitude and frequency Debris flows, small and large, may be the major surficial geomorphic agent in the vicinity of mount Shasta, sculpturing the channels and developing large alluvial fans ?? 1984 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

  18. EFFECT EVALUATION OF DEBRIS FLOW COUNTERMEASURES WITH KANAKO (CASE STUDY ON HONGQIAO GULLY, CHINA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakatani, Kana; Liu, Jinfeng; Satofuka, Yoshifumi; Mizuyama, Takahisa

    Debris flow is a natural disaster common in mountainous areas in Japan and China. It has great destructive force because of its high density and speed, and often causes great losses to human life and the economy. Therefore, countermeasures such as sabo facilities are very essential to reduce the damages. In this study, we applied GUI equipped debris flow simulator KANAKO to evaluate the effects of the debris flow countermeasures in Hongqiao Gully, Sichuan Province, China. The results show that the full dams which were constructed in 2001 still have the function for controlling debris flow to a certain degree. Because the trapped debris flow materials decrease the gully bed slope, and debris flow velocity decreases consequently. Through the comprehensive control of debris flow including trapping, drainage and deposition works, the simulation results indicate that the effects of the countermeasures in 2001 and 2006 are very good. The countermeasures can ensure residents’ life and property on the alluvial fan.

  19. Debris flow deposition and reworking by the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanites, Brian J.; Webb, Robert H.; Griffiths, Peter G.; Magirl, Christopher S.

    2006-11-01

    Flow regulation by large dams affects downstream flow competence and channel maintenance. Debris flows from 740 tributaries in Grand Canyon, Arizona, transport coarse-grained sediment onto debris fans adjacent to the Colorado River. These debris fans constrict the river to form rapids and are reworked during river flows that entrain particles and transport them downstream. Beginning in 1963, flood control operations of Glen Canyon Dam limited the potential for reworking of aggraded debris fans. We analyzed change in debris fans at the mouths of 75-Mile and Monument Creeks using photogrammetry of aerial photography taken from 1965 to 2000 and supplemented with ground surveys performed from 1987 to 2005. Our results quantify the debris fan aggradation that resulted from debris flows from 1984 to 2003. Volume, area, and river constriction increased at both debris fans. Profiles of the two debris fans show that net aggradation occurred in the middle of debris fans at stages above maximum dam releases, and surface shape shifted from concave to convex. Dam releases above power plant capacity partially reworked both debris fans, although reworking removed much less sediment than what was added by debris flow deposition. Large dam releases would be required to create additional reworking to limit the rate of debris fan aggradation in Grand Canyon.

  20. Debris flow deposition and reworking by the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yanites, B.J.; Webb, R.H.; Griffiths, P.G.; Magirl, C.S.

    2006-01-01

    Flow regulation by large dams affects downstream flow competence and channel maintenance. Debris flows from 740 tributaries in Grand Canyon, Arizona, transport coarse-grained sediment onto debris fans adjacent to the Colorado River. These debris fans constrict the river to form rapids and are reworked during river flows that entrain particles and transport them downstream. Beginning in 1963, flood control operations of Glen Canyon Dam limited the potential for reworking of aggraded debris fans. We analyzed change in debris fans at the mouths of 75-Mile and Monument Creeks using photogrammetry of aerial photography taken from 1965 to 2000 and supplemented with ground surveys performed from 1987 to 2005. Our results quantify the debris fan aggradation that resulted from debris flows from 1984 to 2003. Volume, area, and river constriction increased at both debris fans. Profiles of the two debris fans show that net aggradation occurred in the middle of debris fans at stages above maximum dam releases, and surface shape shifted from concave to convex. Dam releases above power plant capacity partially reworked both debris fans, although reworking removed much less sediment than what was added by debris flow deposition. Large dam releases would be required to create additional reworking to limit the rate of debris fan aggradation in Grand Canyon.

  1. Debris flow laterites and bauxites at Naredi, Kutch, western India

    SciTech Connect

    Chitale, D.V.

    1986-05-01

    Reworked laterites and bauxites at Naredi, India, occur as lateritic pebbly mudstone underlain by bauxitic bouldery mudtone and nodular bauxites. The boundary between lateritic pebbly mudstone and bauxitic bouldery mudstone is wavy and sharp, suggesting deposition in two distinct phases. The bouldery bauxites share a diffuse boundary with nodular bauxites. The laterite pebbles float in a yellowish-brown muddy matrix. The boulders and nodules of bauxite are embedded in a massive white clayey matrix. The pebbles and boulders are randomly oriented and are either internally massive or composed of smaller clasts. The occurrence of bauxite boulders over bauxite nodules gives an appearance of inverse bedding. Based on these characteristics, a debris-flow mechanism is proposed for the deposition of laterites and bauxits at Naredi. Deposition occurred as two debris-flow pulses. The bauxites were deposited first, followed by laterites. Smaller clasts are present within the larger clasts, which suggests that the bauxite and laterite clasts had been reworked several times before finally being deposited. The residual, insitu laterites and bauxites capping the hills around Naredi were apparently source rocks for the debris-flow deposits. Deposition is speculated to have occurred during the Miocene-Pliocene.

  2. Laboratory study of the underground sound generated by debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Ching-Jer; Shieh, Chieng-Lun; Yin, Hsiao-Yuan

    2004-03-01

    This experimental study investigates the underground sound generated by different kinds of rock motions that occur in debris flows. The experiments were divided into two parts. The first part consisted of measuring the main characteristics of the underground sound caused by friction of a rock rubbed against a bed of gravel and of that caused by a free-falling rock hitting a similar bed of gravel. In the second part a hydrophone was installed at the bottom of a laboratory channel to measure the underground sound of debris flows in that channel. The sound signals were analyzed using both the fast Fourier transform and the Gabor transform to represent the signals in both the frequency and time-frequency domains. The measurement results reveal that the frequency of the sound generated by the rock-gravel bed friction is relatively low, being mostly between 20 and 80 Hz. In contrast, the frequency range of the collision sound is relatively higher, between 10 and 500 Hz. Finally, the frequency of the underground sound caused by the debris flows in the flume is in the range of 20-300 Hz.

  3. The effect of pore water pressure on debris flow dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okura, Y.; Parker, G.; Marr, J. G.; Yu, B.; Ochiai, H.

    2003-12-01

    Pore-water likely plays an important role to reduce shear force in debris flow. In experiments, we observed pore-water pressure during flow to clarify the relationship between the flow speed and pore water pressure which would be affected by flow depth and particle size distribution. Soil materials were prepared with mixing materials of sand, silt and clay. Pore-water pressure on the flume bed, flow depth, velocity and run out distance was observed, and the following results were quantitatively obtained in this series of experiments. 1. A positive relation was observed between strain rate and pore-water pressure ratio in the flow. The strain rate and pressure ratio were dimensionless parameters of the ratios of surface velocity to flow depth and pore-water pressure head to flow depth, respectively. This relationship indicated that shear resistance decreased as the pressure potential leading to acceleration of flow velocity increased. 2. A positive relation was also observed between flow depth and pore-water pressure ratio. This indicated that the pore pressure diffusion became increasingly obstructed as the flow depth increased. 3. The pore-water pressure ratio tended to increase with the uniformity coefficient of debris flow materials. The reason for this might have been that smaller particles suspended in the flow increased pore-water pressure, and the wider range of particle distribution effectively prevented pore-water pressure diffusion. 4. There was an apparently negative correlation between the equivalent coefficient of frictions and the pressure ratios. Equivalent friction is apparent friction during flow. The most likely reason for this is that shear resistance would decrease and run out distance increase as the pressure ratio increased. These results indicated that the effect of pore water fluctuations should be one of the most important factors affecting the shear resistance in debris flows. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation

  4. EDDA 1.0: integrated simulation of debris flow erosion, deposition and property changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, H. X.; Zhang, L. M.

    2015-03-01

    Debris flow material properties change during the initiation, transportation and deposition processes, which influences the runout characteristics of the debris flow. A quasi-three-dimensional depth-integrated numerical model, EDDA (Erosion-Deposition Debris flow Analysis), is presented in this paper to simulate debris flow erosion, deposition and induced material property changes. The model considers changes in debris flow density, yield stress and dynamic viscosity during the flow process. The yield stress of the debris flow mixture determined at limit equilibrium using the Mohr-Coulomb equation is applicable to clear water flow, hyper-concentrated flow and fully developed debris flow. To assure numerical stability and computational efficiency at the same time, an adaptive time stepping algorithm is developed to solve the governing differential equations. Four numerical tests are conducted to validate the model. The first two tests involve a one-dimensional debris flow with constant properties and a two-dimensional dam-break water flow. The last two tests involve erosion and deposition, and the movement of multi-directional debris flows. The changes in debris flow mass and properties due to either erosion or deposition are shown to affect the runout characteristics significantly. The model is also applied to simulate a large-scale debris flow in Xiaojiagou Ravine to test the performance of the model in catchment-scale simulations. The results suggest that the model estimates well the volume, inundated area, and runout distance of the debris flow. The model is intended for use as a module in a real-time debris flow warning system.

  5. Topographic Controls on Landslide and Debris-Flow Mobility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCoy, S. W.; Pettitt, S.

    2014-12-01

    Regardless of whether a granular flow initiates from failure and liquefaction of a shallow landslide or from overland flow that entrains sediment to form a debris flow, the resulting flow poses hazards to downslope communities. Understanding controls on granular-flow mobility is critical for accurate hazard prediction. The topographic form of granular-flow paths can vary significantly across different steeplands and is one of the few flow-path properties that can be readily altered by engineered control structures such as closed-type check dams. We use grain-scale numerical modeling (discrete element method simulations) of free-surface, gravity-driven granular flows to investigate how different topographic profiles with the same mean slope and total relief can produce notable differences in flow mobility due to strong nonlinearities inherent to granular-flow dynamics. We describe how varying the profile shape from planar, to convex up, to concave up, as well how varying the number, size, and location of check dams along a flow path, changes flow velocity, thickness, discharge, energy dissipation, impact force and runout distance. Our preliminary results highlight an important path dependence for this nonlinear system, show that caution should be used when predicting flow dynamics from path-averaged properties, and provide some mechanics-based guidance for engineering control structures.

  6. A comparative assessment of two different debris flow propagation approaches - blind simulations on a real debris flow event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stancanelli, L. M.; Foti, E.

    2015-04-01

    A detailed comparison between the performances of two different approaches to debris flow modelling was carried out. In particular, the results of a mono-phase Bingham model (FLO-2D) and that of a two-phase model (TRENT-2D) obtained from a blind test were compared. As a benchmark test the catastrophic event of 1 October 2009 which struck Sicily causing several fatalities and damage was chosen. The predicted temporal evolution of several parameters of the debris flow (such as flow depth and propagation velocity) was analysed in order to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of the two models in reproducing the global dynamics of the event. An analysis between the models' results with survey data have been carried out, not only for the determination of statistical indicators of prediction accuracy, but also for the application of the Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) approach. Provided that the proper rheological parameters and boundary conditions are assigned, both models seem capable of reproducing the inundation areas in a reasonably accurate way. However, the main differences in the application rely on the choice of such rheological parameters. Indeed, within the more user-friendly FLO-2D model the tuning of the parameters must be done empirically, with no evidence of the physics of the phenomena. On the other hand, for the TRENT-2D the parameters are physically based and can be estimated from the properties of the solid material, thus reproducing more reliable results. A second important difference between the two models is that in the first method the debris flow is treated as a homogeneous flow, in which the total mass is kept constant from its initiation in the upper part of the basin to the deposition in a debris fan. In contrast, the second approach is suited to reproduce the erosion and deposition processes and the displaced mass can be directly related to the rainfall event. Application of both models in a highly urbanized area reveals the

  7. Debris flow impact estimation on a rigid barrier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vagnon, Federico; Segalini, Andrea

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this paper is to analyse debris flow impact against rigid and undrained barrier in order to propose a new formulation for the estimation of acting force after the flow impact to safe design protection structures. For this reason, this work concentrates on the flow impact, by performing a series of small scale tests in a specifically created flume. Flow characteristics (flow height and velocity) and applied loads (dynamic and static) on barrier were measured using four ultrasonic devices, four load cells and a contact surface pressure gauge. The results obtained were compared with main existing models and a new equation is proposed. Furthermore, a brief review of the small scale theory was provided to analyse the scale effects that can affect the results.

  8. Analyzing debris flows with the statistically calibrated empirical model LAHARZ in southeastern Arizona, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Magirl, Christopher S.; Griffiths, Peter G.; Webb, Robert H.

    2010-01-01

    Hazard-zone delineation for extreme events is essential for floodplain management near mountain fronts in arid and semiarid regions. On 31 July 2006, unprecedented debris flows occurred in the Santa Catalina Mountains of southeastern Arizona following extreme multiday precipitation (recurrence interval > 1000 years for 4-day precipitation). Most mobilized sediment contributing to debris flows was derived from shallow-seated failures of colluvium on steep slopes. A total of 435 slope failures in the southern Santa Catalina Mountains released 1.34 million Mg of sediment into the channels of 10 drainage basins. Five drainages produced debris flows that moved to the apices of alluvial fans on the southern edge of the mountain front, damaging infrastructure and aggrading channels to reduce future flood conveyance. Using the statistically calibrated, empirical debris-flow model LAHARZ and modified model coefficients developed to better match conditions in southeastern Arizona, we predicted the approximate area of deposition and travel distance in comparison to observed depositional areas and travel distance for seven debris flows. Two of the modeled debris flows represented single slope failures that terminated downslope with no additive influence of other debris flows or streamflow flooding. Five of the simulated debris flows represented the aggregation of multiple slope failures and streamflow flooding into multiple debris-flow pulses. Because LAHARZ is a debris-flow hazard-zone delineation tool, the complexity of alternating transport and deposition zones in channels with abrupt expansions and contractions reduces the applicability of the model in some drainage basins.

  9. Debris Flow Occurrence and Sediment Persistence, Upper Colorado River Valley, CO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimsley, K. J.; Rathburn, S. L.; Friedman, J. M.; Mangano, J. F.

    2016-07-01

    Debris flow magnitudes and frequencies are compared across the Upper Colorado River valley to assess influences on debris flow occurrence and to evaluate valley geometry effects on sediment persistence. Dendrochronology, field mapping, and aerial photographic analysis are used to evaluate whether a 19th century earthen, water-conveyance ditch has altered the regime of debris flow occurrence in the Colorado River headwaters. Identifying any shifts in disturbance processes or changes in magnitudes and frequencies of occurrence is fundamental to establishing the historical range of variability (HRV) at the site. We found no substantial difference in frequency of debris flows cataloged at eleven sites of deposition between the east (8) and west (11) sides of the Colorado River valley over the last century, but four of the five largest debris flows originated on the west side of the valley in association with the earthen ditch, while the fifth is on a steep hillslope of hydrothermally altered rock on the east side. These results suggest that the ditch has altered the regime of debris flow activity in the Colorado River headwaters as compared to HRV by increasing the frequency of debris flows large enough to reach the Colorado River valley. Valley confinement is a dominant control on response to debris flows, influencing volumes of aggradation and persistence of debris flow deposits. Large, frequent debris flows, exceeding HRV, create persistent effects due to valley geometry and geomorphic setting conducive to sediment storage that are easily delineated by valley confinement ratios which are useful to land managers.

  10. Debris Flow Occurrence and Sediment Persistence, Upper Colorado River Valley, CO.

    PubMed

    Grimsley, K J; Rathburn, S L; Friedman, J M; Mangano, J F

    2016-07-01

    Debris flow magnitudes and frequencies are compared across the Upper Colorado River valley to assess influences on debris flow occurrence and to evaluate valley geometry effects on sediment persistence. Dendrochronology, field mapping, and aerial photographic analysis are used to evaluate whether a 19th century earthen, water-conveyance ditch has altered the regime of debris flow occurrence in the Colorado River headwaters. Identifying any shifts in disturbance processes or changes in magnitudes and frequencies of occurrence is fundamental to establishing the historical range of variability (HRV) at the site. We found no substantial difference in frequency of debris flows cataloged at eleven sites of deposition between the east (8) and west (11) sides of the Colorado River valley over the last century, but four of the five largest debris flows originated on the west side of the valley in association with the earthen ditch, while the fifth is on a steep hillslope of hydrothermally altered rock on the east side. These results suggest that the ditch has altered the regime of debris flow activity in the Colorado River headwaters as compared to HRV by increasing the frequency of debris flows large enough to reach the Colorado River valley. Valley confinement is a dominant control on response to debris flows, influencing volumes of aggradation and persistence of debris flow deposits. Large, frequent debris flows, exceeding HRV, create persistent effects due to valley geometry and geomorphic setting conducive to sediment storage that are easily delineated by valley confinement ratios which are useful to land managers. PMID:27059223

  11. Debris flow occurrence and sediment persistence, Upper Colorado River Valley, CO

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grimsley, Kyle J; Rathburn, Sara L.; Friedman, Jonathan M.; Mangano, Joseph F.

    2016-01-01

    Debris flow magnitudes and frequencies are compared across the Upper Colorado River valley to assess influences on debris flow occurrence and to evaluate valley geometry effects on sediment persistence. Dendrochronology, field mapping, and aerial photographic analysis are used to evaluate whether a 19th century earthen, water-conveyance ditch has altered the regime of debris flow occurrence in the Colorado River headwaters. Identifying any shifts in disturbance processes or changes in magnitudes and frequencies of occurrence is fundamental to establishing the historical range of variability (HRV) at the site. We found no substantial difference in frequency of debris flows cataloged at eleven sites of deposition between the east (8) and west (11) sides of the Colorado River valley over the last century, but four of the five largest debris flows originated on the west side of the valley in association with the earthen ditch, while the fifth is on a steep hillslope of hydrothermally altered rock on the east side. These results suggest that the ditch has altered the regime of debris flow activity in the Colorado River headwaters as compared to HRV by increasing the frequency of debris flows large enough to reach the Colorado River valley. Valley confinement is a dominant control on response to debris flows, influencing volumes of aggradation and persistence of debris flow deposits. Large, frequent debris flows, exceeding HRV, create persistent effects due to valley geometry and geomorphic setting conducive to sediment storage that are easily delineated by valley confinement ratios which are useful to land managers.

  12. On the connection of permafrost and debris flow activity in Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, Thomas; Kaitna, Roland

    2016-04-01

    Debris flows represent a severe hazard in alpine regions and typically result from a critical combination of relief energy, water, and sediment. Hence, besides water-related trigger conditions, the availability of abundant sediment is a major control on debris flows activity in alpine regions. Increasing temperatures due to global warming are expected to affect periglacial regions and by that the distribution of alpine permafrost and the depth of the active layer, which in turn might lead to increased debris flow activity and increased interference with human interests. In this contribution we assess the importance of permafrost on documented debris flows in the past by connecting the modeled permafrost distribution with a large database of historic debris flows in Austria. The permafrost distribution is estimated based on a published model approach and mainly depends of altitude, relief, and exposition. The database of debris flows includes more than 4000 debris flow events in around 1900 watersheds. We find that 27 % of watersheds experiencing debris flow activity have a modeled permafrost area smaller than 5 % of total area. Around 7 % of the debris flow prone watersheds have an area larger than 5 %. Interestingly, our first results indicate that watersheds without permafrost experience significantly less, but more intense debris flow events than watersheds with modeled permafrost occurrence. Our study aims to contribute to a better understanding of geomorphic activity and the impact of climate change in alpine environments.

  13. Critical Rainfall Conditions Triggering Shallow Landslides or Debris Flows in Torrents - Analysis of Debris Flow events 2012, 2013 and 2014 in Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moser, Markus; Mehlhorn, Susanne; Janu, Stefan

    2015-04-01

    Generally, debris flows are caused by both small-scale intensive precipitation and long lasting rainfalls with lower intensity but high pre-wetting or both combined. The triggering mechanism of the debris flow events in Austria 2012, 2013 and 2014 were mass movements (rapid shallow landslides) on steep slopes in the upper catchments. Those masses slide with very high velocity into the torrent beds provoking hyperconcentrated flows or debris flows. In areas of the geologically unstable Greywacke zone, the torrents were cleared up onto the bedrock and the debris was deposited in the storage areas of existing debris flow breakers or in torrents without technical protection measures the debris caused catastrophic damage to residential buildings and other infrastructural facilities on the alluvial fan. Following the events, comprehensive documentation work was undertaken comprising precipitation analysis (rainfall data, weather radar data), identification and quantification of the landslide masses, cross profiles along the channel and of deposition in the storage areas or on the fan. The documentation and analysis of torrential events is an essential part of an integrated risk management. It supports the understanding of the occurred processes to mitigate future hazards. Unfortunately, the small-scale heavy rain events are not detected by the precipitation stations. Therefore, weather radar data (INCA-Data) analysis was used to determine the - usually very local - intensities which caused those catastrophic landslides and debris flows. Analysis results showed an agreement with the range of the previously known precipitation thresholds for debris flow triggering in the Alps.

  14. Scaling up debris-flow experiments on a centrifuge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, C.; Capart, H.; Crone, T. J.; Grinspum, E.; Hsu, L.; Kaufman, D.; Li, L.; Ling, H.; Reitz, M. D.; Smith, B.; Stark, C. P.

    2013-12-01

    Boundary forces generated by debris flows can be powerful enough to erode bedrock and cause considerable damage to infrastructure during runout. Formulation of an erosion-rate law for debris flows is therefore a high priority, and it makes sense to build such a law around laboratory experiments. However, running experiments big enough to generate realistic boundary forces is a logistical challenge to say the least [1]. One alternative is to run table-top simulations with unnaturally weak but fast-eroding pseudo-bedrock, another is to extrapolate from micro-erosion of natural substrates driven by unnaturally weak impacts; hybrid-scale experiments have also been conducted [2]. Here we take a different approach in which we scale up granular impact forces by running our experiments under enhanced gravity in a geotechnical centrifuge [3]. Using a 40cm-diameter rotating drum [2] spun at up to 100g, we generate debris flows with an effective depth of over several meters. By varying effective gravity from 1g to 100g we explore the scaling of granular flow forces and the consequent bed and wall erosion rates. The velocity and density structure of these granular flows is monitored using laser sheets, high-speed video, and particle tracking [4], and the progressive erosion of the boundary surfaces is measured by laser scanning. The force structures and their fluctuations within the granular mass and at the boundaries are explored with contact dynamics numerical simulations that mimic the lab experimental conditions [5]. In this presentation we summarize these results and discuss how they can contribute to the formulation of debris-flow erosion law. [1] Major, J. J. (1997), Journal of Geology 105: 345-366, doi:10.1086/515930 [2] Hsu, L. (2010), Ph.D. thesis, University of California, Berkeley [3] Brucks, A., et al (2007), Physical Review E 75, 032301, doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.75.032301 [4] Spinewine, B., et al (2011), Experiments in Fluids 50: 1507-1525, doi: 10.1007/s00348

  15. EDDA: integrated simulation of debris flow erosion, deposition and property changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, H. X.; Zhang, L. M.

    2014-11-01

    Debris flow material properties change during the initiation, transportation and deposition processes, which influences the runout characteristics of the debris flow. A quasi-three-dimensional depth-integrated numerical model, EDDA, is presented in this paper to simulate debris flow erosion, deposition and induced material property changes. The model considers changes in debris flow density, yield stress and dynamic viscosity during the flow process. The yield stress of debris flow mixture is determined at limit equilibrium using the Mohr-Coulomb equation, which is applicable to clear water flow, hyper-concentrated flow and fully developed debris flow. To assure numerical stability and computational efficiency at the same time, a variable time stepping algorithm is developed to solve the governing differential equations. Four numerical tests are conducted to validate the model. The first two tests involve a one-dimensional dam-break water flow and a one-dimensional debris flow with constant properties. The last two tests involve erosion and deposition, and the movement of multi-directional debris flows. The changes in debris flow mass and properties due to either erosion or deposition are shown to affect the runout characteristics significantly. The model is also applied to simulate a large-scale debris flow in Xiaojiagou Ravine to test the performance of the model in catchment-scale simulations. The results suggest that the model estimates well the volume, inundated area, and runout distance of the debris flow. The model is intended for use as a module in a real-time debris flow warning system.

  16. A two-fluid model for avalanche and debris flows.

    PubMed

    Pitman, E Bruce; Le, Long

    2005-07-15

    Geophysical mass flows--debris flows, avalanches, landslides--can contain O(10(6)-10(10)) m(3) or more of material, often a mixture of soil and rocks with a significant quantity of interstitial fluid. These flows can be tens of meters in depth and hundreds of meters in length. The range of scales and the rheology of this mixture presents significant modelling and computational challenges. This paper describes a depth-averaged 'thin layer' model of geophysical mass flows containing a mixture of solid material and fluid. The model is derived from a 'two-phase' or 'two-fluid' system of equations commonly used in engineering research. Phenomenological modelling and depth averaging combine to yield a tractable set of equations, a hyperbolic system that describes the motion of the two constituent phases. If the fluid inertia is small, a reduced model system that is easier to solve may be derived. PMID:16011934

  17. Estimated probabilities and volumes of postwildfire debris flows, a prewildfire evaluation for the upper Blue River watershed, Summit County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elliott, John G.; Flynn, Jennifer L.; Bossong, Clifford R.; Char, Stephen J.

    2011-01-01

    The subwatersheds with the greatest potential postwildfire and postprecipitation hazards are those with both high probabilities of debris-flow occurrence and large estimated volumes of debris-flow material. The high probabilities of postwildfire debris flows, the associated large estimated debris-flow volumes, and the densely populated areas along the creeks and near the outlets of the primary watersheds indicate that Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Spruce Creeks are associated with a relatively high combined debris-flow hazard.

  18. Debris flows as geomorphic agents in the Huachuca Mountains of southeastern Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wohl, E.E.; Pearthree, P.P.

    1991-01-01

    Numerous debris flows occurred in the Huachuca Mountains of southeastern Arizona during the summer rainy season of 1988 in areas that were burned by a forest fire earlier in the summer. Debris flows occurred following a major forest fire in 1977 as well, suggesting a causal link between fires and debris flows. Abundant evidence of older debris flows preserved along channels and in mountain front fans indicates that debris flows have occurred repeteadly during the late Quaternary in this environment. Soil development in sequences of debris-flow deposits indicates that debris flows probably recur over time intervals of several hundred to a thousand years in individual drainage basins in the study area. Surface runoff in the steep drainage basins of the Huachuca Mountains is greatly enhanced following forest fires, as the hillslopes are denuded of their vegetative cover. Water and sediment eroded from the hillslope regolith are rapidly introduced into the upper reaches of tributary channels by widespread rilling and slope wash during rainfall events. This influx of water and sediment destabilizes regolith previously accumulated in the channel, triggering debris flows that scour the channel to bedrock in the upper reaches. Following a debris flow, the scoured, trapezoidally-shaped channel gradually assumes a swale shape and the percentage of exposed bedrock declines, as material is introduced from the slopes. Debris flows do a tremendous amount of work in a very short time, however, and are the major channel-forming events. Where the tributary channels enter larger, trunk channels, the debris flows serve as the main source of very coarse sediment. The local slope and coarse particle distribution of the trunk channel depend on the competence of water flows in the channel to transport the material introduced by debris flows. Where the smaller channels drain directly to the mountain front, debris flows create extensive alluvial fans which dominate the morphology of the

  19. Debris flows from tributaries of the Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Webb, R.H.; Pringle, P.T.; Rink, G.R.

    1987-01-01

    A reconnaissance of 36 tributaries of the Colorado River indicates that debris flows are a major process by which sediment is transported to the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. Debris flows are slurries of sediment and water that have a water content < 40% by volume. Debris flows occur frequently in arid and semiarid regions. Slope failures commonly trigger debris flows, which can originate from any rock formation in the Grand Canyon. The largest and most frequent flows originate from the Permian Hermit Shale, the underlying Esplanade Sandstone of the Supai Group, and other formations of the Permian and Pennsylvanian Supai Group. Debris flows have reached the Colorado River on an average of once every 20 to 30 yr in the Lava-Chuar Creek drainage since about 1916. Two debris flows have reached the Colorado River in the last 25 yr in Monument Creek. The Crystal Creek drainage has had an average of one debris flow reaching the Colorado River every 50 yr, although the debris flow of 1966 has been the only flow that reached the Colorado River since 1900. Debris flows may actually reach the Colorado River more frequently in these drainages because evidence for all debris flows may not have been preserved in the channel-margin stratigraphy. Discharges were estimated for the peak flow of three debris flows that reached the Colorado River. The debris flow of 1966 in the Lava-Chuar Creek drainage had an estimated discharge of 4,000 cu ft/sec. The debris flow of 1984 in the Monument Creek drainage had a discharge estimated between 3,600 and 4,200 cu ft/sec. The debris flow of 1966 in the Crystal Creek drainage had a discharge estimated between 9,200 and 14,000 cu ft/sec. Debris flows in the Grand Canyon generally are composed of 10 to 40% sand by weight and may represent a significant source of beach-building sand along the Colorado River. The particle size distributions are very poorly sorted and the largest transported boulders were in the Crystal Creek

  20. Debris Flow as a Mechanism for Forming Martian Gullies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conway, S. J.; Balme, M. R.; Murray, J. B.; Towner, M. C.

    2009-04-01

    The current low temperatures and pressures at the martian surface are not conducive to the stability of liquid water; hence the discovery of recently active, fluvial-like gullies [1, 2] presents an apparent paradox: how can these fluvial landforms have occurred if water is not stable at the surface? To approach this problem we have compared the morphometric properties of gullies in various settings on Earth to those of gullies on Mars. We have measured debris flows in Westfjords, Iceland [3] and gullies in La Gomera, Canary Islands [4]. The Iceland elevation data were generated from differential GPS and a LiDAR survey, and the La Gomera data from differential GPS. In addition we used elevation data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) extracted along previously mapped debris flows in the Taurids Mountains, Turkey [5] and the Colorado Front Range, USA [6]. We have compared these data to preliminary analyses of stereo HiRISE images of martian gullies in four locations using a method to extract point elevation data developed by Kreslavsky [7]. In all cases the elevation along the centre channel of the debris flow or gully was used for comparison to Mars. For Iceland and La Gomera we also extracted cross-profiles for comparison with martian gullies. Simply comparing the longitudinal profiles of gullies on Mars and different situations on the Earth highlights the variability between debris flow sites on Earth. The martian gully profiles are most similar to debris flows in the Taurids Mountains and in the Colorado Front Range. The overall slope is shallower on Mars compared to the Iceland debris flows and the ephemeral water flow gullies in La Gomera. The runout or total length of gullies is also more variable and greater for Mars than for Iceland and La Gomera. Caution should be taken in interpreting the cross profiles for Mars as the error on the elevation is at least 1m and there is low sampling density in comparison to the other datasets. The v-shaped La

  1. PRESENT STATUS OF RESEARCH IN DEBRIS FLOW MODELING.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chen, Cheng-lung

    1985-01-01

    A viable rheological model should consist of both a time-independent part and a time-dependent part. A generalized viscoplastic fluid model that has both parts as well as two major rheological properties (i. e. , the normal stress effect and soil yield criteria) is shown to be sufficiently accurate, yet practical, for general use in debris flow modeling. Other rheological models, such as the Bingham plastic fluid model and the so-called Coulomb-viscous model, are compared in terms of the generalized viscoplastic fluid model.

  2. UAV remote sensing hazard assessment in Zhouqu debris flow disaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Qi; He, Haixia; Wang, Xufeng; Wu, Wei; Wang, Lei; Xu, Feng; Wang, Ping; Tang, Tong; Lei, Yu

    2011-11-01

    On August 8, 2010 morning, a large debris flow occurred in Zhouqu County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, China, which has damaged Zhouqu County and its surrounding area seriously. An UAV and airplane were sent there the day after to acquire images of disaster area; UAV image of 0.2 meter resolution and aerial remote sensing image of 1 meter resolution were acquired. NDRCC compared pre-disaster and post-disaster remote sensing images of disaster area, preliminary analyzed and judged the damage condition and disaster trend. We partitioned the coverage and affected area of debris flow into 2457 girds in high resolution remote sensing images, hazard assessment expert group were sent to implement field investigation according to each grid. The disaster scope and extent of loss were defined again combined with field investigation data. Then we assessed the physical quantity of housing, infrastructure, land resource in detail and assessed the direct economic losses. It is for the first time that remote sensing images are integrated into the national catastrophe assessment flow of China as a major data source.

  3. SCDAP/RELAP5 Modeling of Heat Transfer and Flow Losses in Lower Head Porous Debris

    SciTech Connect

    E. W. Coryell; L. J. Siefken; S. Paik

    1998-09-01

    Designs are described for implementing models for calculating the heat transfer and flow losses in porous debris in the lower head of a reactor vessel. The COUPLE model in SCDAP/RELAP5 represents both the porous and nonporous debris that results from core material slumping into the lower head. Currently, the COUPLE model has the capability to model convective and radiative heat transfer from the surfaces of nonporous debris in a detailed manner and to model only in a simplistic manner the heat transfer from porous debris. In order to advance beyond the simplistic modeling for porous debris, designs are developed for detailed calculations of heat transfer and flow losses in porous debris. Correlations are identified for convective heat transfer in porous debris for the following modes of heat transfer; (1) forced convection to liquid, (2) forced convection to gas, (3) nucleate boiling, (4) transition boiling, and (5) film boiling. Interphase heat transfer is modeled in an approximate manner. A design is also described for implementing a model of heat transfer by radiation from debris to the interstitial fluid. A design is described for implementation of models for flow losses and interphase drag in porous debris. Since the models for heat transfer and flow losses in porous debris in the lower head are designed for general application, a design is also described for implementation of these models to the analysis of porous debris in the core region. A test matrix is proposed for assessing the capability of the implemented models to calculate the heat transfer and flow losses in porous debris. The implementation of the models described in this report is expected to improve the COUPLE code calculation of the temperature distribution in porous debris and in the lower head that supports the debris. The implementation of these models is also expected to improve the calculation of the temperature and flow distribution in porous debris in the core region.

  4. Field measurement of basal forces generated by erosive debris flows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCoy, S.W.; Tucker, G.E.; Kean, J.W.; Coe, J.A.

    2013-01-01

    It has been proposed that debris flows cut bedrock valleys in steeplands worldwide, but field measurements needed to constrain mechanistic models of this process remain sparse due to the difficulty of instrumenting natural flows. Here we present and analyze measurements made using an automated sensor network, erosion bolts, and a 15.24 cm by 15.24 cm force plate installed in the bedrock channel floor of a steep catchment. These measurements allow us to quantify the distribution of basal forces from natural debris‒flow events that incised bedrock. Over the 4 year monitoring period, 11 debris‒flow events scoured the bedrock channel floor. No clear water flows were observed. Measurements of erosion bolts at the beginning and end of the study indicated that the bedrock channel floor was lowered by 36 to 64 mm. The basal force during these erosive debris‒flow events had a large‒magnitude (up to 21 kN, which was approximately 50 times larger than the concurrent time‒averaged mean force), high‒frequency (greater than 1 Hz) fluctuating component. We interpret these fluctuations as flow particles impacting the bed. The resulting variability in force magnitude increased linearly with the time‒averaged mean basal force. Probability density functions of basal normal forces were consistent with a generalized Pareto distribution, rather than the exponential distribution that is commonly found in experimental and simulated monodispersed granular flows and which has a lower probability of large forces. When the bed sediment thickness covering the force plate was greater than ~ 20 times the median bed sediment grain size, no significant fluctuations about the time‒averaged mean force were measured, indicating that a thin layer of sediment (~ 5 cm in the monitored cases) can effectively shield the subjacent bed from erosive impacts. Coarse‒grained granular surges and water‒rich, intersurge flow had very similar basal force distributions despite

  5. SCDAP/RELAP5 Modeling of Heat Transfer and Flow Losses in Lower Head Porous Debris

    SciTech Connect

    Siefken, Larry James; Coryell, Eric Wesley; Paik, Seungho; Kuo, Han Hsiung

    1999-07-01

    Designs are described for implementing models for calculating the heat transfer and flow losses in porous debris in the lower head of a reactor vessel. The COUPLE model in SCDAP/RELAP5 represents both the porous and nonporous debris that results from core material slumping into the lower head. Currently, the COUPLE model has the capability to model convective and radiative heat transfer from the surfaces of nonporous debris in a detailed manner and to model only in a simplistic manner the heat transfer from porous debris. In order to advance beyond the simplistic modeling for porous debris, designs are developed for detailed calculations of heat transfer and flow losses in porous debris. Correlations are identified for convective heat transfer in porous debris for the following modes of heat transfer; (1) forced convection to liquid, (2) forced convection to gas, (3) nucleate boiling, (4) transition boiling, and (5) film boiling. Interphase heat transfer is modeled in an approximate manner. Designs are described for models to calculate the flow losses and interphase drag of fluid flowing through the interstices of the porous debris, and to apply these variables in the momentum equations in the RELAP5 part of the code. Since the models for heat transfer and flow losses in porous debris in the lower head are designed for general application, a design is also described for implementation of these models to the analysis of porous debris in the core region. A test matrix is proposed for assessing the capability of the implemented models to calculate the heat transfer and flow losses in porous debris. The implementation of the models described in this report is expected to improve the COUPLE code calculation of the temperature distribution in porous debris and in the lower head that supports the debris. The implementation of these models is also expected to improve the calculation of the temperature and flow distribution in porous debris in the core region.

  6. Field observations of pressure fluctuations in debris flows and debris floods at the Illgraben torrent channel with implications for channel-bed erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McArdell, Brian

    2014-05-01

    The Illgraben catchment in southwestern Switzerland experiences frequent debris flows and debris floods, providing an ideal location to study the properties of debris flows. A large (2m long, 4m wide) force plate in the channel bed is outfitted with normal and shear force sensors as well as a geophone and an accelerometer. A vertical flow-parallel concrete wall immediately upstream of the large force plate is instrumented with 18 geophones and 6 force plates, each mounted on a 0.3m by 0.3m square steel plate. The flow height near the wall and over the force plate are measured using laser sensors. Three video cameras have been installed to record the passage of debris flows. While the measurement system was designed for observing debris flows, large debris floods also trigger the observation station, providing an opportunity to compare their flow properties. Debris flows tend to have steep flow fronts, with flow depths increasing from 0 to several meters over about 10 seconds; the flow front generally appears to be granular with little turbulent water visible on the surface. Debris floods tend to have undular fronts which visibly resemble flash floods, increasing from flow depths on the order of a few cm to several meters typically over several 100's of seconds. Both types of flow produce strong fluctuations in normal force on the channel bed, however the magnitude of fluctuations at the base of debris flows tend to be substantially larger than in debris floods. In debris flows the pressure fluctuations are largest at the bed and decrease in amplitude with height above the channel bed, which is consistent with the idea that the pressure fluctuations in the flow are generated at the contact between the debris flow and channel bed. Pressure fluctuations in debris floods (when the measuring system at the wall is triggered) are much smaller. Mean shear stresses on the channel bed are similar in both types of flow, however the pressure fluctuations at the base of debris

  7. On The Evaluation of Debris Flows Dynamics By Means of Mathematical Models.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arattano, M.; Franzi, L.

    When a given basin is interested by the presence of debris flow events, the prediction of the debris flows dynamic characteristics is generally done by means of the investi- gations on the past events. This analysis can be led by means of a detailed geological survey on the kind and shape of deposits on the debris fan or on the marks left by the debris flows, but this procedure cannot directly give any quantitative information about the dynamic characteristics of the debris flow itself, that have to be estimated by the application of well known formulas proposed in literature. The results of this procedure have been compared to those obtained by means of a mathematical simu- lation of a debris flow occurred in the Moscardo basin in 1996, that avails itself of the lymnographs recorded in three different gauges across the river. The comparison put into evidence the importance of time data recordings, without which the obtained results could be misleading.

  8. Finite volume methods for submarine debris flows and generated waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jihwan; Løvholt, Finn; Issler, Dieter

    2016-04-01

    Submarine landslides can impose great danger to the underwater structures and generate destructive tsunamis. Submarine debris flows often behave like visco-plastic materials, and the Herschel-Bulkley rheological model is known to be appropriate for describing the motion. In this work, we develop numerical schemes for the visco-plastic debris flows using finite volume methods in Eulerian coordinates with two horizontal dimensions. We provide parameter sensitivity analysis and demonstrate how common ad-hoc assumptions such as including a minimum shear layer depth influence the modeling of the landslide dynamics. Hydrodynamic resistance forces, hydroplaning, and remolding are all crucial terms for underwater landslides, and are hence added into the numerical formulation. The landslide deformation is coupled to the water column and simulated in the Clawpack framework. For the propagation of the tsunamis, the shallow water equations and the Boussinesq-type equations are employed to observe how important the wave dispersion is. Finally, two cases in central Norway, i.e. the subaerial quick clay landslide at Byneset in 2012, and the submerged tsunamigenic Statland landslide in 2014, are both presented for validation. The research leading to these results has received funding from the Research Council of Norway under grant number 231252 (Project TsunamiLand) and the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement 603839 (Project ASTARTE).

  9. Headwater sediment dynamics in a debris flow catchment constrained by high-resolution topographic surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loye, Alexandre; Jaboyedoff, Michel; Theule, Joshua Isaac; Liébault, Frédéric

    2016-06-01

    Debris flows have been recognized to be linked to the amounts of material temporarily stored in torrent channels. Hence, sediment supply and storage changes from low-order channels of the Manival catchment, a small tributary valley with an active torrent system located exclusively in sedimentary rocks of the Chartreuse Massif (French Alps), were surveyed periodically for 16 months using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to study the coupling between sediment dynamics and torrent responses in terms of debris flow events, which occurred twice during the monitoring period. Sediment transfer in the main torrent was monitored with cross-section surveys. Sediment budgets were generated seasonally using sequential TLS data differencing and morphological extrapolations. Debris production depends strongly on rockfall occurring during the winter-early spring season, following a power law distribution for volumes of rockfall events above 0.1 m3, while hillslope sediment reworking dominates debris recharge in spring and autumn, which shows effective hillslope-channel coupling. The occurrence of both debris flow events that occurred during the monitoring was linked to recharge from previous debris pulses coming from the hillside and from bedload transfer. Headwater debris sources display an ambiguous behaviour in sediment transfer: low geomorphic activity occurred in the production zone, despite rainstorms inducing debris flows in the torrent; still, a general reactivation of sediment transport in headwater channels was observed in autumn without new debris supply, suggesting that the stored debris was not exhausted. The seasonal cycle of sediment yield seems to depend not only on debris supply and runoff (flow capacity) but also on geomorphic conditions that destabilize remnant debris stocks. This study shows that monitoring the changes within a torrent's in-channel storage and its debris supply can improve knowledge on recharge thresholds leading to debris flow.

  10. Can the flow dynamics of debris flows be identified from seismic data?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kean, J. W.; Coe, J. A.; Smith, J. B.; Coviello, V.; McCoy, S. W.

    2014-12-01

    There is growing interest in the use of seismic and acoustic data to interpret a variety of geomorphic processes including landslides and debris flows. This measurement technique is attractive because a broad area can be monitored from a safe distance, unlike more direct methods of instrumentation, which are restricted to known flow paths and are vulnerable to damage by the flow. Previous work has shown that measurements of ground vibrations are capable of detecting the timing, speed, and location of landslides and debris flows. A remaining question is whether or not additional flow properties, such as basal stress, impact force, or flow magnitude can be inferred reliably from seismic data. This question has been difficult to answer, because detailed, independent measurements of flow dynamics are lacking. Here, we explore characteristics of debris-flow induced ground vibrations using new data from the Chalk Cliffs monitoring site in central Colorado. Monitoring included a heavily instrumented cross-section consisting of two tri-axial geophones to record ground vibrations (at 333 Hz), a small, 225 cm2 force plate to record basal impact forces (at 333 Hz), a laser distance meter to record flow stage over the plate (at 10 Hz), and a high definition camera to record flow dynamics (at 24 Hz). One geophone (A) was mounted on a boulder partially buried in colluvium; the other (B) was mounted directly to weathered bedrock typical of the site. This combination of instrumentation allowed us to compare the spectral response of different geophone installations to independently measured flow depth and basal impact force. We also compared the response of the geophones to surges that flowed over a sediment-covered bed (40-cm thick) to surges that flowed over a bare bedrock channel. Preliminary results showed that site conditions have a large effect on recorded debris-flow vibrations. The seismic signature of debris flow was very different between the geophones, with geophone B

  11. Rheological properties of simulated debris flows in the laboratory environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ling, Chi-Hai; Chen, Cheng-lung; Jan, Chyan-Deng

    1990-01-01

    Steady debris flows with or without a snout are simulated in a 'conveyor-belt' flume using dry glass spheres of a uniform size, 5 or 14 mm in diameter, and their rheological properties described quantitatively in constants in a generalized viscoplastic fluid (GVF) model. Close agreement of the measured velocity profiles with the theoretical ones obtained from the GVF model strongly supports the validity of a GVF model based on the continuum-mechanics approach. Further comparisons of the measured and theoretical velocity profiles along with empirical relations among the shear stress, the normal stress, and the shear rate developed from the 'ring-shear' apparatus determine the values of the rheological parameters in the GVF model, namely the flow-behavior index, the consistency index, and the cross-consistency index. Critical issues in the evaluation of such rheological parameters using the conveyor-belt flume and the ring-shear apparatus are thus addressed in this study.

  12. Entrainment of bed sediment by debris flows: results from large-scale experiments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reid, Mark E.; Iverson, Richard M.; Logan, Matthew; LaHusen, Richard G.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Griswold, Julie P.

    2011-01-01

    When debris flows grow by entraining sediment, they can become especially hazardous owing to increased volume, speed, and runout. To investigate the entrainment process, we conducted eight largescale experiments in the USGS debris-flow flume. In each experiment, we released a 6 m3 water-saturated debris flow across a 47-m long, ~12-cm thick bed of partially saturated sediment lining the 31º flume. Prior to release, we used low-intensity overhead sprinkling and real-time monitoring to control the bed-sediment wetness. As each debris flow descended the flume, we measured the evolution of flow thickness, basal total normal stress, basal pore-fluid pressure, and sediment scour depth. When debris flows traveled over relatively dry sediment, net scour was minimal, but when debris flows traveled over wetter sediment (volumetric water content > 0.22), debris-flow volume grew rapidly and flow speed and runout were enhanced. Data from scour sensors showed that entrainment occurred by rapid (5-10 cm/s), progressive scour rather than by mass failure at depth. Overriding debris flows rapidly generated high basal pore-fluid pressures when they loaded and deformed bed sediment, and in wetter beds these pressures approached lithostatic levels. Reduction of intergranular friction within the bed sediment thereby enhanced scour efficiency, entrainment, and runout.

  13. Debris flow grain size scales with sea surface temperature over glacial-interglacial timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Arcy, Mitch; Roda Boluda, Duna C.; Whittaker, Alexander C.; Araújo, João Paulo C.

    2015-04-01

    Debris flows are common erosional processes responsible for a large volume of sediment transfer across a range of landscapes from arid settings to the tropics. They are also significant natural hazards in populated areas. However, we lack a clear set of debris flow transport laws, meaning that: (i) debris flows remain largely neglected by landscape evolution models; (ii) we do not understand the sensitivity of debris flow systems to past or future climate changes; and (iii) it remains unclear how to interpret debris flow stratigraphy and sedimentology, for example whether their deposits record information about past tectonics or palaeoclimate. Here, we take a grain size approach to characterising debris flow deposits from 35 well-dated alluvial fan surfaces in Owens Valley, California. We show that the average grain sizes of these granitic debris flow sediments precisely scales with sea surface temperature throughout the entire last glacial-interglacial cycle, increasing by ~ 7 % per 1 ° C of climate warming. We compare these data with similar debris flow systems in the Mediterranean (southern Italy) and the tropics (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and find equivalent signals over a total temperature range of ~ 14 ° C. In each area, debris flows are largely governed by rainfall intensity during triggering storms, which is known to increase exponentially with temperature. Therefore, we suggest that these debris flow systems are transporting predictably coarser-grained sediment in warmer, stormier conditions. This implies that debris flow sedimentology is governed by discharge thresholds and may be a sensitive proxy for past changes in rainfall intensity. Our findings show that debris flows are sensitive to climate changes over short timescales (≤ 104 years) and therefore highlight the importance of integrating hillslope processes into landscape evolution models, as well as providing new observational constraints to guide this. Finally, we comment on what grain size

  14. Holocene debris flows on the Colorado Plateau: The influence of clay mineralogy and chemistry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Webb, R.H.; Griffiths, P.G.; Rudd, L.P.

    2008-01-01

    Holocene debris flows do not occur uniformly on the Colorado Plateau province of North America. Debris flows occur in specific areas of the plateau, resulting in general from the combination of steep topography, intense convective precipitation, abundant poorly sorted material not stabilized by vegetation, and the exposure of certain fine-grained bedrock units in cliffs or in colluvium beneath those cliffs. In Grand and Cataract Canyons, fine-grained bedrock that produces debris flows contains primarily single-layer clays - notably illite and kaolinite - and has low multilayer clay content. This clay-mineral suite also occurs in the colluvium that produces debris flows as well as in debris-flow deposits, although unconsolidated deposits have less illite than the source bedrock. We investigate the relation between the clay mineralogy and major-cation chemistry of fine-grained bedrock units and the occurrence of debris flows on the entire Colorado Plateau. We determined that 85 mapped fine-grained bedrock units potentially could produce debris flows, and we analyzed clay mineralogy and major-cation concentration of 52 of the most widely distributed units, particularly those exposed in steep topography. Fine-grained bedrock units that produce debris flows contained an average of 71% kaolinite and illite and 5% montmorillonite and have a higher concentration of potassium and magnesium than nonproducing units, which have an average of 51% montmorillonite and a higher concentration of sodium. We used multivariate statistics to discriminate fine-grained bedrock units with the potential to produce debris flows, and we used digital-elevation models and mapped distribution of debris-flow producing units to derive a map that predicts potential occurrence of Holocene debris flows on the Colorado Plateau. ?? 2008 Geological Society of America.

  15. Development and maintenance of a telescoping debris flow fan in response to human-induced fan surface channelization, Chalk Creek Valley Natural Debris Flow Laboratory, Colorado, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasklewicz, T.; Scheinert, C.

    2016-01-01

    Channel change has been a constant theme throughout William L. Graf's research career. Graf's work has examined channel changes in the context of natural environmental fluctuations, but more often has focused on quantifying channel change in the context of anthropogenic modifications. Here, we consider how channelization of a debris flows along a bajada has perpetuated and sustained the development of 'telescoping' alluvial fan. Two-dimensional debris-flow modeling shows the importance of the deeply entrenched channelized flow in the development of a telescoping alluvial fan. GIS analyses of repeat (five different debris flows), high-resolution (5 cm) digital elevation models (DEMs) generated from repeat terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data elucidate sediment and topographic dynamics of the new telescoping portion of the alluvial fan (the embryonic fan). Flow constriction from channelization helps to perpetuate debris-flow runout and to maintain the embryonic fan and telescoping nature of the alluvial fan complex. Embryonic fan development, in response to five debris flows, proceeds with a major portion of the flows depositing on the southern portion of the embryonic fan. The third through the fifth debris flows also begin to shift some deposition to the northern portion of the embryonic. The transfer of sediment from a higher portion of the embryonic fan to a lower portion continues currently on the embryonic fan. While channelized flow has been shown to be critical to the maintenance of the telescoping fan, the flow constriction has led to higher than background levels of sediment deposition in Chalk Creek, a tributary of the Arkansas River. A majority of the sediment from each debris flow is incorporated into Chalk Creek as opposed to being stored on the embryonic fan.

  16. Initiation of Recent Debris Flows on Mount Rainier, Washington: A Climate Warming Signal?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Copeland, E. A.; Kennard, P.; Nolin, A. W.; Lancaster, S. T.; Grant, G. E.

    2008-12-01

    The first week of November 2006 an intense rainstorm inundated the Pacific Northwest and triggered debris flows on many large volcanoes in the Cascade Range of Washington and Oregon. At Mount Rainier, Washington, 45.7 cm of rain was recorded in 36 hours; the storm was preceded by a week of light precipitation and moderate temperatures, so that rain fell on nearly-saturated ground with minimal snow cover. The November 2006 storm was exceptional in that it resulted in a 100-year flood and caused an unprecedented six-month closure of Mount Rainier National Park. It also focused inquiry as to whether debris flows from Cascade volcanoes are likely to occur more frequently in the future as glaciers recede due to climate warming, leaving unstable moraines and sediment that can act as initiation sites. We examined the recent history of debris flows from Mount Rainier using aerial photographs and field surveyed debris flow tracks. Prior to 2001, debris flows were recorded in association with rainfall or glacial outburst floods in 4 drainages, but 3 additional drainages were first impacted by debris flows in 2001, 2005, and 2006, respectively. We discovered that most of the recent debris flows initiated as small gullies in unconsolidated material at the edge of fragmented glaciers or areas of permanent snow and ice. Other initiation sites occur on steep-sided un-vegetated moraines. Of the 28 named glaciers on Mount Rainier, debris flows initiated near five glaciers in the exceptional storm of 2006 (Winthrop, Inter, Kautz-Success, Van Trump, Pyramid, and South Tahoma). Less exceptional storms, however, have also produced wide-spread debris flows: in September 2005, 15.3 cm of rain fell in 48 hours on minimal snow cover and caused debris flows in all except 2 of the glacier drainages that initiated in 2006. Debris flows from both storms initiated at elevations of 1980 to 2400 m, traveled 5 to 10 kilometers, and caused significant streambed aggradation. These results suggest a

  17. Catastrophic debris-flows: geological hazard and human influence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Ventisette, Chiara; Garfagnoli, Francesca; Ciampalini, Andrea; Battistini, Alessandro; Gigli, Giovanni; Moretti, Sandro; Casagli, Nicola

    2013-04-01

    Rainfall-induced landslides are widespread phenomena often affecting urbanized areas and causing intense damages and casualties. The management of the post-event phase requires a fast evaluation of the involved areas and triggering factors. The latter are fundamental to evaluate the stability of the area affected by landslides, in order to facilitate quick and safe activities of the Civil Protection Authorities during the emergency. On October 1st 2009, a prolonged and intense rainstorm triggered hundreds of landslides (predominantly debris flows) in an area of about 50 km2 in the north-eastern sector of Sicily (Italy). Debris flows swept the highest parts of many villages and passed over the SS114 state highway and the Messina-Catania railway, causing more than 30 fatalities. This work deals with the geological and hydro-geomorphological studies performed as a part of the post-disaster activities operated in collaboration with Civil Protection Authority, with the aim of examining landslides effects and mechanisms. The data were elaborated into a GIS platform, to evaluate the influence of urbanization on the drainage pattern and were correlated with the lithological and structural framework of the area. The case study of Giampilieri focuses the attention on the necessity of sustainable land use and reasonable urban management in areas characterized by a high hydrogeological hazard and on the tremendous destructive power of these phenomena, which are capable of causing a large number of victims in such small villages. Field surveys and stereo-photo geomorphological analysis revealed a significant human influence on determining landslide triggering causes, as well as the final amount of damage. In particular, destruction and injuries in the built-up area of Giampilieri were made even more severe by the main water flow lines made narrower due to building activity and enlargement of the urban area. The area maintains a high degree of hazard: deposits of poorly

  18. Control works in debris-flow channels: influence on morphology and sediment transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marchi, L.

    2012-04-01

    Extensive torrent control works, such as grade-control dams, debris basins, deflecting walls, etc. have been implemented in the European Alps since the last decades of 19th century. These structural measures, aimed at stabilizing channels and to control sediment transport, are also widespread in Japan and are increasingly present in other mountain regions. As debris flows are one of the most destructive processes in steep mountain channels, hydraulic works are often intended to attenuate debris-flow hazard. Multi-temporal aerial photos and historic records permit evaluating the long term effects of torrent control works on the morphological settings of the channels and the delivery of sediment. The experience arising from over one century of torrent control works in debris-flow channels of the Alps permits also to improve the management of steep headwater catchments. A basic issue in the management of debris-flow channels is the recognition of success versus failure of engineering control works. Successful debris-flow control works provide benchmarks for further implementations, whereas the failure in reducing debris-flow hazard may lead to refinements in planning and design of control works or to the choice of preferring non-structural measures for coping with debris flows. Data from historical archives on debris-flow occurrence and on the performance of control works are the basic sources of information for these analyses. Moreover, when dealing with hydraulic structures for debris-flow control, it should be reminded that the artificial morphology resulting from the construction of check dams provides only a temporary stability to the channel and adjacent banks. This stresses the importance of evaluating the state of conservation and the effectiveness of control works and implies the need for their careful and continuous maintenance. Inventories of hydraulic structures, coupled with detailed data on catchment and channel topography, sediment sources and supply

  19. Hydraulic modeling of unsteady debris-flow surges with solid-fluid interactions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iverson, Richard M.

    1997-01-01

    Interactions of solid and fluid constituents produce the unique style of motion that typifies debris flows. To simulate this motion, a new hydraulic model represents debris flows as deforming masses of granular solids variably liquefied by viscous pore fluid. The momentum equation of the model describes how internal and boundary forces change as coarse-grained surge heads dominated by grain-contact friction grade into muddy debris-flow bodies more strongly influenced by fluid viscosity and pressure. Scaling analysis reveals that pore-pressure variations can cause flow resistance in surge heads to surpass that in debris-flow bodies by orders of magnitude. Numerical solutions of the coupled momentum and continuity equations provide good predictions of unsteady, nonuniform motion of experimental debris flows from initiation through deposition.

  20. Runoff-generated debris flows: Observations and modeling of surge initiation, magnitude, and frequency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kean, Jason W.; McCoy, Scott W.; Tucker, Gregory E.; Staley, Dennis M.; Coe, Jeffrey A.

    2013-12-01

    during intense rainstorms plays a major role in generating debris flows in many alpine areas and burned steeplands. Yet compared to debris flow initiation from shallow landslides, the mechanics by which runoff generates a debris flow are less understood. To better understand debris flow initiation by surface water runoff, we monitored flow stage and rainfall associated with debris flows in the headwaters of two small catchments: a bedrock-dominated alpine basin in central Colorado (0.06 km2) and a recently burned area in southern California (0.01 km2). We also obtained video footage of debris flow initiation and flow dynamics from three cameras at the Colorado site. Stage observations at both sites display distinct patterns in debris flow surge characteristics relative to rainfall intensity (I). We observe small, quasiperiodic surges at low I; large, quasiperiodic surges at intermediate I; and a single large surge followed by small-amplitude fluctuations about a more steady high flow at high I. Video observations of surge formation lead us to the hypothesis that these flow patterns are controlled by upstream variations in channel slope, in which low-gradient sections act as "sediment capacitors," temporarily storing incoming bed load transported by water flow and periodically releasing the accumulated sediment as a debris flow surge. To explore this hypothesis, we develop a simple one-dimensional morphodynamic model of a sediment capacitor that consists of a system of coupled equations for water flow, bed load transport, slope stability, and mass flow. This model reproduces the essential patterns in surge magnitude and frequency with rainfall intensity observed at the two field sites and provides a new framework for predicting the runoff threshold for debris flow initiation in a burned or alpine setting.

  1. Runoff-generated debris flows: observations and modeling of surge initiation, magnitude, and frequency

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kean, Jason W.; McCoy, Scott W.; Tucker, Gregory E.; Staley, Dennis M.; Coe, Jeffrey A.

    2013-01-01

    Runoff during intense rainstorms plays a major role in generating debris flows in many alpine areas and burned steeplands. Yet compared to debris flow initiation from shallow landslides, the mechanics by which runoff generates a debris flow are less understood. To better understand debris flow initiation by surface water runoff, we monitored flow stage and rainfall associated with debris flows in the headwaters of two small catchments: a bedrock-dominated alpine basin in central Colorado (0.06 km2) and a recently burned area in southern California (0.01 km2). We also obtained video footage of debris flow initiation and flow dynamics from three cameras at the Colorado site. Stage observations at both sites display distinct patterns in debris flow surge characteristics relative to rainfall intensity (I). We observe small, quasiperiodic surges at low I; large, quasiperiodic surges at intermediate I; and a single large surge followed by small-amplitude fluctuations about a more steady high flow at high I. Video observations of surge formation lead us to the hypothesis that these flow patterns are controlled by upstream variations in channel slope, in which low-gradient sections act as “sediment capacitors,” temporarily storing incoming bed load transported by water flow and periodically releasing the accumulated sediment as a debris flow surge. To explore this hypothesis, we develop a simple one-dimensional morphodynamic model of a sediment capacitor that consists of a system of coupled equations for water flow, bed load transport, slope stability, and mass flow. This model reproduces the essential patterns in surge magnitude and frequency with rainfall intensity observed at the two field sites and provides a new framework for predicting the runoff threshold for debris flow initiation in a burned or alpine setting.

  2. Debris flows from tributaries of the Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Webb, Robert H.; Pringle, Patrick T.; Rink, Glenn R.

    1989-01-01

    A reconnaissance of 36 tributaries of the Colorado River indicates that debris flows are a major process by which sediment is transported to the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. Debris flows are slurries of sediment and water that have a water content of less than about 40 percent by volume. Debris flows occur frequently in arid and semiarid regions. Slope failures commonly trigger debris flows, which can originate from any rock formation in the Grand Canyon. The largest and most frequent flows originate from the Permian Hermit Shale, the underlying Esplanade Sandstone of the Supai Group, and other formations of the Permian and Pennsylvanian Supai Group. Debris flows also occur in the Cambrian Muav Limestone and underlying Bright Angel Shale and the Quaternary basalts in the western Grand Canyon. Debris-flow frequency and magnitude were studied in detail in the Lava-Chuar Creek drainage at Colorado River mile 65.5; in the Monument Creek drainage at mile 93.5; and in the Crystal Creek drainage at mile 98.2. Debris flows have reached the Colorado River on an average of once every 20 to 30 years in the Lava-Chuar Creek drainage since about 1916. Two debris flows have reached the Colorado River in the last 25 years in Monument Creek. The Crystal Creek drainage has had an average of one debris flow reaching the Colorado River every 50 years, although the debris flow of 1966 has been the only flow that reached the Colorado River since 1900. Debris flows may actually reach the Colorado River more frequently in these drainages because evidence for all debris flows may not have been preserved in the channel-margin stratigraphy. Discharges were estimated for the peak flow of three debris flows that reached the Colorado River. The debris flow of 1966 in the Lava-Chuar Creek drainage had an estimated discharge of 4,000 cubic feet per second. The debris flow of 1984 in the Monument Creek drainage had a discharge estimated between 3,600 and 4,200 cubic feet per

  3. The quantitative estimation of the vulnerability of brick and concrete building impacted by debris flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, J.; Guo, Z. X.; Wang, D.; Qian, H.

    2015-08-01

    There is little historic data about the vulnerability of the damage elements in debris flow disaster in China. Therefore, it is difficult to estimate the vulnerability of debris flow quantitatively. This paper was devoted to the research of the vulnerability of brick and concrete building impacted by debris flow which widely existed in affected area. Under two assumptions, several prototype walls of brick and concrete were constructed to simulate the damaged structures in debris flow while the iron spheres were taken as the substitute of debris flow. The failure criterion of brick and concrete building was proposed with referring to the structure standards (brick and concrete) and the damage pattern in debris flow. The quantitatively estimation of vulnerability of brick and concrete building was finally established based on Fuzzy mathematics and the proposed failure criterion. The results show that the maximum impact bending moment is the best fit to be the disaster-causing factor in vulnerability curve and formula. The experiments in this paper is the preliminary research on the vulnerability of the element impacted by debris flow. The method and conclusion will be useful for the quantitative estimation of the vulnerability in debris flow and also can be referred in other types of the vulnerable elements research.

  4. Differentiation of debris-flow and flash-flood deposits: implications for paleoflood investigations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waythomas, Christopher F.; Jarrett, Robert D.

    1993-01-01

    Debris flows and flash floods are common geomorphic processes in the Colorado Rocky Mountain Front Range and foothills. Usually, debris flows and flash floods are associated with excess summer rainfall or snowmelt, in areas were unconsolidated surficial deposits are relatively thick and slopes are steep. In the Front Range and foothills, flash flooding is limited to areas below about 2300m whereas, debris flow activity is common throughout the foothill and alpine zones and is not necessarily elevation limited. Because flash floods and debris flows transport large quantities of bouldery sediment, the resulting deposits appear somewhat similar even though such deposits were produced by different processes. Discharge estimates based on debris-flow deposits interpreted as flash-flood deposits have large errors because techniques for discharge retrodiction were developed for water floods with negligible sediment concentrations. Criteria for differentiating between debris-flow and flash-flood deposits are most useful for deposits that are fresh and well-exposed. However, with the passage of time, both debris-flow and flash-flood deposits become modified by the combined effects of weathering, colluviation, changes in surface morphology, and in some instances removal of interstitial sediment. As a result, some of the physical characteristics of the deposits become more alike. Criteria especially applicable to older deposits are needed. We differentiate flash-flood from debris-flow and other deposits using clast fabric measurements and other morphologic and sedimentologic techniques (e.g., deposit morphology, clast lithology, particle size and shape, geomorphic setting).

  5. Debris flow cartography using differential GNSS and Theodolite measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaradze, Giorgi; Guinau, Marta; Calvet, Jaume; Furdada, Gloria; Victoriano, Ane; Génova, Mar; Suriñach, Emma

    2016-04-01

    The presented results form part of a CHARMA project, which pursues a broad objective of reducing damage caused by uncontrolled mass movements, such as rockfalls, snow avalanches and debris flows. Ultimate goal of the project is to contribute towards the establishment of new scientific knowledge and tools that can help in the design and creation of early warning systems. Here we present the specific results that deal with the application of differential GNSS and classical geodetic (e.g. theodolite) methods for mapping debris and torrential flows. Specifically, we investigate the Portainé stream located in the Pallars Sobirà region of Catalonia (Spain), in the eastern Pyrenees. In the last decade more than ten debris-flow type phenomena have affected the region, causing considerable economic losses. Since early 2014, we have conducted several field campaigns within the study area, where we have employed a multi-disciplinary approach, consisting of geomorphological, dendro-chronological and geodetic methods, in order to map the river bed and reconstruct the history of the extreme flooding and debris flow events. Geodetic studies included several approaches, using the classical and satellite based methods. The former consisted of angle and distance measurements between the Geodolite 502 total station and the reflecting prisms placed on top of the control points located within the riverbed. These type of measurements are precise, although present several disadvantages such as the lack of absolute coordinates that makes the geo-referencing difficult, as well as a relatively time-consuming process that involves two persons. For this reason, we have also measured the same control points using the differential GNSS system, in order to evaluate the feasibility of replacing the total station measurements with the GNSS. The latter measuring method is fast and can be conducted by one person. However, the fact that the study area is within the riverbed, often below the trees

  6. Sedimentology, Behavior, and Hazards of Debris Flows at Mount Rainier, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scott, K.M.; Vallance, J.W.; Pringle, P.T.

    1995-01-01

    Mount Rainier is potentially the most dangerous volcano in the Cascade Range because of its great height, frequent earthquakes, active hydrothermal system, and extensive glacier mantle. Many debris flows and their distal phases have inundated areas far from the volcano during postglacial time. Two types of debris flows, cohesive and noncohesive, have radically different origins and behavior that relate empirically to clay content. The two types are the major subpopulations of debris flows at Mount Rainier. The behavior of cohesive flows is affected by the cohesion and adhesion of particles; noncohesive flows are dominated by particle collisions to the extent that particle cataclasis becomes common during near-boundary shear. Cohesive debris flows contain more than 3 to 5 percent of clay-size sediment. The composition of these flows changed little as they traveled more than 100 kilometers from Mount Rainier to inundate parts of the now-populated Puget Sound lowland. They originate as deep-seated failures of sectors of the volcanic edifice, and such failures are sufficiently frequent that they are the major destructional process of Mount Rainier's morphologic evolution. In several deposits of large cohesive flows, a lateral, megaclast-bearing facies (with a mounded or hummocky surface) contrasts with a more clay-rich facies in the center of valleys and downstream. Cohesive flows at Mount Rainier do not correlate strongly with volcanic activity and thus can recur without warning, possibly triggered by non-magmatic earthquakes or by changes in the hydrothermal system. Noncohesive debris flows contain less than 3 to 5 percent clay-size sediment. They form most commonly by bulking of sediment in water surges, but some originate directly or indirectly from shallow slope failures that do not penetrate the hydrothermally altered core of the volcano. In contrast with cohesive flows, most noncohesive flows transform both from and to other flow types and are, therefore, the

  7. Spatial estimation of debris flows-triggering rainfall and its dependence on rainfall severity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Destro, Elisa; Marra, Francesco; Nikolopoulos, Efthymios; Zoccatelli, Davide; Creutin, Jean-Dominique; Borga, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Forecasting the occurrence of landslides and debris flows (collectively termed 'debris flows' hereinafter) is fundamental for issuing hazard warnings, and focuses largely on rainfall as a triggering agent. Debris flow forecasting relies very often on the identification of combinations of depth and duration of rainfall - rainfall thresholds - that trigger widespread debris flows. Rainfall estimation errors related to the sparse nature of raingauge data are enhanced in case of convective rainfall events characterized by limited spatial extent. Such errors have been shown to cause underestimation of the rainfall thresholds and, thus, less efficient forecasts of debris flows occurrence. This work examines the spatial organization of debris flows-triggering rainfall around the debris flow initiation points using high-resolution, carefully corrected radar data for a set of short duration (<30 h) storm events occurred in the eastern Italian Alps. The set includes eleven debris-flow triggering rainfall events that occurred in the study area between 2005 and 2014. The selected events are among the most severe in the region during this period and triggered a total of 99 debris flows that caused significant damage to people and infrastructures. We show that the spatial rainfall organisation depends on the severity (measured via the estimated return time-RT) of the debris flow-triggering rainfall. For more frequent events (RT<20 yrs) the rainfall spatial pattern systematically shows that debris flow location coincides with a local minimum, whereas for less frequent events (RT>20 yrs) the triggering rainfall presents a local peak corresponding to the debris flow initiation point. Dependence of these features on rainfall duration is quite limited. The characteristics of the spatial rainfall organisation are exploited to understand the performances and results of three different rainfall interpolation techniques: nearest neighbour (NN), inverse distance weighting (IDW) and

  8. Quantifying sources of fine sediment supplied to post-fire debris flows using fallout radionuclide tracers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Hugh; Sheridan, Gary; Nyman, Petter; Child, David; Lane, Patrick; Hotchkis, Michael

    2013-04-01

    The supply of fine sediment and ash has been identified as an important factor contributing to the initiation of runoff-generated debris flows after fire. However, despite the significance of fines for post-fire debris flow generation, no investigations have sought to quantify sources of this material in debris flow affected catchments. In this study, we employ fallout radionuclides (Cs-137, excess Pb-210 and Pu-239,240) as tracers to measure proportional contributions of fine sediment (<10 μm) from hillslope surface and channel bank sources to levee and terminal fan deposits formed by post-fire debris flows in two forest catchments in southeastern Australia. While Cs-137 and excess Pb-210 have been widely used in sediment tracing studies, application of Pu as a tracer represents a recent development and was limited to only one catchment. The estimated range in hillslope surface contributions of fine sediment to individual debris flow deposits in each catchment was 22-69% and 32-74%, respectively. No systematic change in the source contributions to debris flow deposits was observed with distance downstream from channel initiation points. Instead, spatial variability in source contributions was largely influenced by the pattern of debris flow surges forming the deposits. Linking the sediment tracing with interpretation of depositional evidence allowed reconstruction of temporal sequences in sediment source contributions to debris flow surges. Hillslope source inputs dominated most elevated channel deposits such as marginal levees that were formed under peak flow conditions. This indicated the importance of hillslope runoff and sediment supply for debris flow generation in both catchments. In contrast, material stored within channels that was deposited during subsequent surges was predominantly channel-derived. The results demonstrate that fallout radionuclide tracers may provide unique information on the changing source contributions of fine sediment during debris

  9. Quantifying sources of fine sediment supplied to post-fire debris flows using fallout radionuclide tracers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Hugh G.; Sheridan, Gary J.; Nyman, Petter; Child, David P.; Lane, Patrick N. J.; Hotchkis, Michael A. C.; Jacobsen, Geraldine E.

    2012-02-01

    Fine sediment supply has been identified as an important factor contributing to the initiation of runoff-generated debris flows after fire. However, despite the significance of fines for post-fire debris flow generation, no investigations have sought to quantify sources of this material in debris flow affected catchments. In this study, we employ fallout radionuclides ( 137Cs, 210Pb ex and 239,240Pu) as tracers to measure proportional contributions of fine sediment (< 10 μm) from hillslope surface and channel bank sources to levee and terminal fan deposits formed by post-fire debris flows in two forest catchments in southeastern Australia. While 137Cs and 210Pb ex have been widely used in sediment tracing studies, application of Pu as a tracer represents a recent development and was limited to only one catchment. The ranges in estimated proportional hillslope surface contributions of fine sediment to individual debris flow deposits in each catchment were 22-69% and 32-74%. The greater susceptibility of 210Pb ex to apparent reductions in the ash content of channel deposits relative to hillslope sources resulted in its exclusion from the final analysis. No systematic change in the proportional source contributions to debris flow deposits was observed with distance downstream from channel initiation points. Instead, spatial variability in source contributions was largely influenced by the pattern of debris flow surges forming the deposits. Linking the tracing analysis with interpretation of depositional evidence allowed reconstruction of temporal sequences in sediment source contributions to debris flow surges. Hillslope source inputs dominated most elevated channel deposits such as marginal levees that were formed under peak flow conditions. This indicated the importance of hillslope runoff and fine sediment supply for debris flow generation in both catchments. In contrast, material stored within channels that was deposited during subsequent surges was predominantly

  10. Quantifying sources of fine sediment supplied to post-fire debris flows using fallout radionuclide tracers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, H. G.; Sheridan, G. J.; Nyman, P.; Child, D.; Lane, P. N.; Hotchkis, M.

    2011-12-01

    The supply of fine sediment and ash has been identified as an important factor contributing to the initiation of runoff-generated debris flows after fire. However, despite the significance of fines for post-fire debris flow generation, no investigations have sought to quantify sources of this material in debris flow affected catchments. In this study, we employ fallout radionuclides (Cs-137, excess Pb-210 and Pu-239,240) as tracers to measure proportional contributions of fine sediment (<10 μm) from hillslope surface and channel bank sources to levee and terminal fan deposits formed by post-fire debris flows in two forest catchments in southeastern Australia. While Cs-137 and excess Pb-210 have been widely used in sediment tracing studies, application of Pu as a tracer represents a recent development and was limited to only one catchment. The estimated range in proportional hillslope surface contributions of fine sediment to individual debris flow deposits in each catchment was 22-69% and 32-74%. No systematic change in the proportional source contributions to debris flow deposits was observed with distance downstream from channel initiation points. Instead, spatial variability in source contributions was largely influenced by the pattern of debris flow surges forming the deposits. Linking the tracing analysis with interpretation of depositional evidence allowed reconstruction of temporal sequences in sediment source contributions to debris flow surges. Hillslope source inputs dominated most elevated channel deposits such as marginal levees that were formed under peak flow conditions. This indicated the importance of hillslope runoff and fine sediment supply for debris flow generation in both catchments. In contrast, material stored within channels that was deposited during subsequent surges was predominantly channel-derived. The results demonstrate that fallout radionuclide tracers may provide unique information on the changing source contributions of fine

  11. Assessing debris flows using LIDAR differencing: 18 May 2005 Matata event, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bull, J. M.; Miller, H.; Gravley, D. M.; Costello, D.; Hikuroa, D. C. H.; Dix, J. K.

    2010-12-01

    The town of Matata in the Eastern Bay of Plenty (New Zealand) experienced an extreme rainfall event on the 18 May 2005. This event triggered widespread landslips and large debris flows in the Awatarariki and Waitepuru catchments behind Matata. The Light Detection and Ranging technology (LIDAR) data sets flown prior to and following this event have been differenced and used in conjunction with a detailed field study to identify the distribution of debris and major sediment pathways which, from the Awatarariki catchment, transported at least 350,000 ± 50,000 m 3 of debris. Debris flows were initially confined to stream valleys and controlled by the density and hydraulic thrust of the currents, before emerging onto the Awatarariki debris fan where a complex system of unconfined sediment pathways developed. Here, large boulders, clasts, logs and entire homes were deposited as the flows decelerated. Downstream from the debris fan, the pre-existing coastal foredune topography played a significant role in deflecting the more dilute currents that in filled lagoonal swale systems in both directions. The differenced LIDAR data have revealed several sectors characterised by significant variation in clast size, thickness and volume of debris as well as areas where post-debris flow cleanup and grading operations have resulted in man-made levees, sediment dumps, scoured channels and substantial graded areas. The application of differenced LIDAR data to a debris flow event demonstrates the techniques potential as a precise and powerful tool for hazard mapping and assessment.

  12. Distinguishing between debris flows and floods from field evidence in small watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pierson, Thomas C.

    2005-01-01

    Post-flood indirect measurement techniques to back-calculate flood magnitude are not valid for debris flows, which commonly occur in small steep watersheds during intense rainstorms. This is because debris flows can move much faster than floods in steep channel reaches and much slower than floods in low-gradient reaches. In addition, debris-flow deposition may drastically alter channel geometry in reaches where slope-area surveys are applied. Because high-discharge flows are seldom witnessed and automated samplers are commonly plugged or destroyed, determination of flow type often must be made on the basis of field evidence preserved at the site.

  13. Debris flows resulting from glacial-lake outburst floods in tibet, China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cui, P.; Dang, C.; Cheng, Z.; Scott, K.

    2010-01-01

    During the last 70 years of general climatic amelioration, 18 glacial-lake outburst floods (GLOFs) and related debris flows have occurred from 15 moraine-dammed lakes in Tibet, China. Catastrophic loss of life and property has occurred because of the following factors: the large volumes of water discharged, the steep gradients of the U-shaped channels, and the amount and texture of the downstream channel bed and bank material. The peak discharge of each GLOF exceeded 1000 m3/s. These flood discharges transformed to non-cohesive debris flows if the channels contained sufficient loose sediment for entrainment (bulking) and if their gradients were >1%. We focus on this key element, transformation, and suggest that it be included in evaluating future GLOF-related risk, the probability of transformation to debris flow and hyperconcentrated flow. The general, sequential evolution of the flows can be described as from proximal GLOFs, to sedimentladen streamflow, to hyperconcentrated flow, to non-cohesive debris flow (viscous or cohesive debris flow only if sufficient fine sediment is present), and then, distally, back to hyperconcentrated flow and sediment-laden streamflow as sediment is progressively deposited. Most of the Tibet examples transformed only to non-cohesive debris flows. The important lesson for future hazard assessment and mitigation planning is that, as a GLOF entrains (bulks) enough sediment to become a debris flow, the flow volume must increase by at least three times (the "bulking factor"). In fact, the transforming flow waves overrun and mix with downstream streamflow, in addition to adding the entrained sediment (and thus enabling addition of yet more sediment and a bulking factor in excess of three times). To effectively reduce the risk of GLOF debris flows, reducing the level of a potentially dangerous lake with a siphon or excavated spillway or installing gabions in combination with a downstream debris dam are the primary approaches.

  14. The debris flows risk in south Baikal region of Russia - high losses or low risk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shnyparkov, Aleksandr; Baburin, Vyacheslav; Sokratov, Sergey; Khismatullin, Timur

    2016-04-01

    Debris flows were previously not considered as frequent and disastrous natural hazards in the south Baikal region of Russia. The historical records list only two events resulting in reported serious economical losses in here (1903 and 1962). However, an event of June 2014 (Arshan settlement destruction) raised discussion on the debris flow danger and necessity of expensive mitigation measures in the regions. That is why debris flow risk was estimated for the region as a whole with the purpose to calculate the necessary investments into the debris flows protection. The presented results suggests that the degree of debris flows danger is still at least twice lower than is such regions as the North Caucasus in Russia and single events should not be considered as a main basis for regional land use planning.

  15. Analysis of Debris Flow Behavior Using Airborne LIDAR and Image Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, G.; Yune, C. Y.; Paik, J.; Lee, S. W.

    2016-06-01

    The frequency of debris flow events caused by severe rainstorms has increased in Korea. LiDAR provides high-resolution topographical data that can represent the land surface more effectively than other methods. This study describes the analysis of geomorphologic changes using digital surface models derived from airborne LiDAR and aerial image data acquired before and after a debris flow event in the southern part of Seoul, South Korea in July 2011. During this event, 30 houses were buried, 116 houses were damaged, and 22 human casualties were reported. Longitudinal and cross-sectional profiles of the debris flow path reconstructed from digital surface models were used to analyze debris flow behaviors such as landslide initiation, transport, erosion, and deposition. LiDAR technology integrated with GIS is a very useful tool for understanding debris flow behavior.

  16. Debris flow hazard modelling on medium scale: Valtellina di Tirano, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blahut, J.; Horton, P.; Sterlacchini, S.; Jaboyedoff, M.

    2010-11-01

    Debris flow hazard modelling at medium (regional) scale has been subject of various studies in recent years. In this study, hazard zonation was carried out, incorporating information about debris flow initiation probability (spatial and temporal), and the delimitation of the potential runout areas. Debris flow hazard zonation was carried out in the area of the Consortium of Mountain Municipalities of Valtellina di Tirano (Central Alps, Italy). The complexity of the phenomenon, the scale of the study, the variability of local conditioning factors, and the lacking data limited the use of process-based models for the runout zone delimitation. Firstly, a map of hazard initiation probabilities was prepared for the study area, based on the available susceptibility zoning information, and the analysis of two sets of aerial photographs for the temporal probability estimation. Afterwards, the hazard initiation map was used as one of the inputs for an empirical GIS-based model (Flow-R), developed at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). An estimation of the debris flow magnitude was neglected as the main aim of the analysis was to prepare a debris flow hazard map at medium scale. A digital elevation model, with a 10 m resolution, was used together with landuse, geology and debris flow hazard initiation maps as inputs of the Flow-R model to restrict potential areas within each hazard initiation probability class to locations where debris flows are most likely to initiate. Afterwards, runout areas were calculated using multiple flow direction and energy based algorithms. Maximum probable runout zones were calibrated using documented past events and aerial photographs. Finally, two debris flow hazard maps were prepared. The first simply delimits five hazard zones, while the second incorporates the information about debris flow spreading direction probabilities, showing areas more likely to be affected by future debris flows. Limitations of the modelling arise mainly from

  17. Development of a remotely controlled debris flow monitoring system in the Dolomites (Acquabona, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tecca, Pia R.; Galgaro, Antonio; Genevois, Rinaldo; Deganutti, Andrea M.

    2003-06-01

    Direct measurements of the hydrological conditions for the occurrence of debris flows and of flow behaviour are of the outmost importance for developing effective flow prevention techniques. An automated and remotely controlled monitoring system was installed in Acquabona Creek in the Dolomites, Italian Eastern Alps, where debris flows occur every year. Its present configuration consists of three on-site stations, located in the debris-flow initiation area, in the lower channel and in the retention basin. The monitoring system is equipped with sensors for measuring rainfall, pore-water pressure in the mobile channel bottom, ground vibrations, debris flow depth, total normal stress and fluid pore-pressure at the base of the flow. Three video cameras take motion pictures of the events at the initiation zone, in the lower channel and in the deposition area. Data from the on-site stations are radio-transmitted to an off-site station and stored in a host PC, from where they are telemetrically downloaded and used by the Padova University for the study of debris flows. The efficiency of the sensors and of the whole monitoring system has been verified by the analysis of data collected so far. Examples of these data are presented and briefly discussed. If implemented at the numerous debris-flow sites in the Dolomitic Region, the technology used, derived from the development of this system, will provide civil defence and warn residents of impending debris flows.

  18. Elements of an improved model of debris-flow motion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iverson, R.M.

    2009-01-01

    A new depth-averaged model of debris-flow motion describes simultaneous evolution of flow velocity and depth, solid and fluid volume fractions, and pore-fluid pressure. Non-hydrostatic pore-fluid pressure is produced by dilatancy, a state-dependent property that links the depth-averaged shear rate and volumetric strain rate of the granular phase. Pore-pressure changes caused by shearing allow the model to exhibit rate-dependent flow resistance, despite the fact that the basal shear traction involves only rate-independent Coulomb friction. An analytical solution of simplified model equations shows that the onset of downslope motion can be accelerated or retarded by pore-pressure change, contingent on whether dilatancy is positive or negative. A different analytical solution shows that such effects will likely be muted if downslope motion continues long enough, because dilatancy then evolves toward zero, and volume fractions and pore pressure concurrently evolve toward steady states. ?? 2009 American Institute of Physics.

  19. Triggering conditions and mobility of debris flows associated to complex earthflows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malet, J.-P.; Laigle, D.; Remaître, A.; Maquaire, O.

    2005-03-01

    Landslides on black marl slopes of the French Alps are, in most cases, complex catastrophic failures in which the initial structural slides transform into slow-moving earthflows. Under specific hydrological conditions, these earthflows can transform into debris flows. Due to their sediment volume and their high mobility, debris flow induced by landslides are far much dangerous than these resulting from continuous erosive processes. A fundamental point to correctly delineate the area exposed to debris flows on the alluvial fans is therefore to understand why and how some earthflows transform into debris flow while most of them stabilize. In this paper, a case of transformation from earthflow to debris flow is presented and analysed. An approach combining geomorphology, hydrology, geotechnics and rheology is adopted to model the debris flow initiation (failure stage) and its runout (postfailure stage). Using the Super-Sauze earthflow (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France) as a case study, the objective is to characterize the hydrological and mechanical conditions leading to debris flow initiation in such cohesive material. Results show a very good agreement between the observed runout distances and these calculated using the debris flow modeling code Cemagref 1-D. The deposit thickness in the depositional area and the velocities of the debris flows are also well reproduced. Furthermore, a dynamic slope stability analysis shows that conditions in the debris source area under average pore water pressures and moisture contents are close to failure. A small excess of water can therefore initiate failure. Seepage analysis is used to estimate the volume of debris that can be released for several hydroclimatic conditions. The failed volumes are then introduced in the Cemagref 1-D runout code to propose debris flow hazard scenarios. Results show that clayey earthflow can transform under 5-year return period rainfall conditions into 1-km runout debris flow of volumes ranging

  20. Hazard Analysis for Post-Fire Debris-Flow Potential in Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Youberg, A.; Koestner, K. A.; Schiefer, E.; Neary, D. G.

    2011-12-01

    Several large, devastating wildfires occurred in Arizona during the past 2 years, after a 4-year period without any large wildfires. In June, 2010, the human-caused Schultz Fire near Flagstaff burned 6,100 ha of mostly steep terrain. Subsequent rains from the 4th wettest monsoon on record produced numerous debris flows, significant erosion, and substantial flooding of the downslope residential areas. In May and June of 2011, 3 very large human-caused wildfires (Wallow, Horseshoe 2, and Monument Fires) burned over 320,000 ha, posing serious threats to communities below burned slopes. The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams, in need of a rapid method to assess the potential for post-fire debris flows, turned to models developed by the USGS for this purpose [Cannon and others, 2010, GSA Bull, 122(1-2), 127-144]. These models, while providing quick results, have not been evaluated for use in Arizona's varied physiographic provinces. Here we use data from the Schultz Fire to compare basin responses with those predicted by the USGS post-fire debris-flow models. Data from the Schultz Fire includes detailed field documentation of debris-flow occurrence and runout distances, 1:12,000 stereo aerial photographs, high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) and tipping-bucket rainfall data. These data document debris-flow producing storms, basin response, and the extent of debris-flow runout, and provide estimates of debris-flow volumes. The hydrologic responses from 30 small, steep, upper basins burned by the Schultz Fire were assessed for debris or flood flow occurrences. Nineteen basins produced debris flows during a July 20th storm that had a peak 10-minute intensity of 24 mm. A second storm on August 16th, with a peak 10-minute intensity of 15 mm, produced additional debris flows in several of the same basins. Of the 30 basins assessed, 19 were completely burned; four at high severity and 12 at moderate to high severity. The basin with the smallest burned area

  1. Calibration of numerical models for small debris flows in Yosemite Valley, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bertolo, P.; Wieczorek, G.F.

    2005-01-01

    This study compares documented debris flow runout distances with numerical simulations in the Yosemite Valley of California, USA, where about 15% of historical events of slope instability can be classified as debris flows and debris slides (Wieczorek and Snyder, 2004). To model debris flows in the Yosemite Valley, we selected six streams with evidence of historical debris flows; three of the debris flow deposits have single channels, and the other three split their pattern in the fan area into two or more channels. From field observations all of the debris flows involved coarse material, with only very small clay content. We applied the one dimensional DAN (Dynamic ANalysis) model (Hungr, 1995) and the two-dimensional FLO2D model (O'Brien et al., 1993) to predict and compare the runout distance and the velocity of the debris flows observed in the study area. As a first step, we calibrated the parameters for the two softwares through the back analysis of three debris- flows channels using a trial-and-error procedure starting with values suggested in the literature. In the second step we applied the selected values to the other channels, in order to evaluate their predictive capabilities. After parameter calibration using three debris flows we obtained results similar to field observations We also obtained a good agreement between the two models for velocities. Both models are strongly influenced by topography: we used the 30 m cell size DTM available for the study area, that is probably not accurate enough for a highly detailed analysis, but it can be sufficient for a first screening. European Geosciences Union ?? 2005 Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

  2. Debris-flow hazards caused by hydrologic events at Mount Rainier, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vallance, James W.; Cunico, Michelle L.; Schilling, Steve P.

    2003-01-01

    At 4393 m, ice-clad Mount Rainier has great potential for debris flows owing to its precipitous slopes and incised steep valleys, the large volume of water stored in its glaciers, and a mantle of loose debris on its slopes. In the past 10,000 years, more than sixty Holocene lahars have occurred at Mount Rainier (Scott et al., 1985), and, in addition more than thirty debris flows not related to volcanism have occurred in historical time (Walder and Driedger, 1984). Lahars at Mount Rainier can be classed in 3 groups according to their genesis: (1) flank collapse of hydrothermally altered, water-saturated rock; (2) eruption-related release of water and loose debris; and (3) hydrologic release of water and debris (Scott et al., 1985). Lahars in the first two categories are commonly voluminous and are generally related to unrest and explosions that occur during eruptive episodes. Lahars in the third category, distinguished here as debris flows, are less voluminous than the others but occur frequently at Mount Rainier, often with little or no warning. Historically at Mount Rainier, glacial outburst floods, torrential rains, and stream capture have caused small- to moderate-size debris flows (Walder and Driedger, 1984). Such debris flows are most likely to occur in drainages that have large glaciers in them. Less commonly, a drainage diversion has triggered a debris flow in an unglaciated drainage basin. For example, the diversion of Kautz Glacier meltwater into Van Trump basin triggered debris flows on the south side of Rainier in August 2001. On the basis of historical accounts, debris flows having hydrologic origins are likely to be unheralded, and have occurred as seldom as once in 8 years and as often as four times per year at Mount Rainier (Walder and Driedger, 1984). Such debris flows are most likely to occur during periods of hot dry weather or during periods of intense rainfall, and therefore must occur during the summer and fall. They are likely to begin at or

  3. Resistance formulas in hydraulics-based models for routing debris flows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chen, Cheng-lung; Ling, Chi-Hai

    1997-01-01

    The one-dimensional, cross-section-averaged flow equations formulated for routing debris flows down a narrow valley are identical to those for clear-water flow, except for the differences in the values of the flow parameters, such as the momentum (or energy) correction factor, resistance coefficient, and friction slope. Though these flow parameters for debris flow in channels with cross-sections of arbitrary geometric shape can only be determined empirically, the theoretical values of such parameters for debris flow in wide channels exist. This paper aims to derive the theoretical resistance coefficient and friction slope for debris flow in wide channels using a rheological model for highly-concentrated, rapidly-sheared granular flows, such as the generalized viscoplastic fluid (GVF) model. Formulating such resistance coefficient or friction slope is equivalent to developing a generally applicable resistance formula for routing debris flows. Inclusion of a nonuniform term in the expression of the resistance formula proves useful in removing the customary assumption that the spatially varied resistance at any section is equal to what would take place with the same rate of flow passing the same section under conditions of uniformity. This in effect implies an improvement in the accuracy of unsteady debris-flow computation.

  4. Can Wet Rocky Granular Flows Become Debris Flows Due to Fine Sediment Production by Abrasion?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arabnia, O.; Sklar, L. S.; Bianchi, G.; Mclaughlin, M. K.

    2015-12-01

    Debris flows are rapid mass movements in which elevated pore pressures are sustained by a viscous fluid matrix with high concentrations of fine sediments. Debris flows may form from coarse-grained wet granular flows as fine sediments are entrained from hillslope and channel material. Here we investigate whether abrasion of the rocks within a granular flow can produce sufficient fine sediments to create debris flows. To test this hypothesis experimentally, we used a set of 4 rotating drums ranging from 0.2 to 4.0 m diameter. Each drum has vanes along the boundary ensure shearing within the flow. Shear rate was varied by changing drum rotational velocity to maintain a constant Froude Number across drums. Initial runs used angular clasts of granodiorite with a tensile strength of 7.6 MPa, with well-sorted coarse particle size distributions linearly scaled with drum radius. The fluid was initially clear water, which rapidly acquired fine-grained wear products. After each 250 m tangential distance, we measured the particle size distributions, and then returned all water and sediment to the drums for subsequent runs. We calculate particle wear rates using statistics of size and mass distributions, and by fitting the Sternberg equation to the rate of mass loss from the size fraction > 2mm. Abundant fine sediments were produced in the experiments, but very little change in the median grain size was detected. This appears to be due to clast rounding, as evidenced by a decrease in the number of stable equilibrium resting points. We find that the growth in the fine sediment concentration in the fluid scales with unit drum power. This relationship can be used to estimate fine sediment production rates in the field. We explore this approach at Inyo Creek, a steep catchment in the Sierra Nevada, California. There, a significant debris flow occurred in July 2013, which originated as a coarse-grained wet granular flow. We use surveys to estimate flow depth and velocity where super

  5. Remote Sensing of Debris Flow Deposition and Reworking by the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanites, B. J.; Webb, R. H.; Griffiths, P. G.; Magirl, C. S.

    2005-12-01

    Debris flows from 740 tributaries transport sediment ranging from clay to large (>3m) boulders into the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, Arizona. The resulting debris fans constrict the river to form rapids. Debris fans and rapids are in turn altered by the river, which entrains particles and transports them downstream. River regulation in Grand Canyon began with the closure of Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, and the geomorphic character of the debris fans has been adjusting to the change in flow regime ever since. Previous studies have suggested that the debris fans have and will continue to aggrade in response to reduced discharge on the Colorado River. In order to monitor and evaluate changes in debris fans, we created a time series of digital terrain models for two frequently aggraded debris fans (75-Mile Wash and Monument Creek) using ground surveys and photogrammetry acquired between 1984 and 2005. Two-dimensional photogrammetric analysis was extended to include years 1965 and 1973. Debris fan volume, surface area, and river constriction confirm that these two debris fans have recently aggraded owing to multiple debris flows that occurred from 1984 through 2003. Debris fan volumes increased at 75-Mile Wash by over 10,000 m3 and at Monument Creek by almost 8000 m3. Some of this aggradation is likely the effect of the preferential growth of small, non-resolvable plants and settling of sediments in topographical lows. Aggradation has also altered the geometry of the fans. Profiles of the surface models show maximum aggradation near the middle of the debris fan and a shift of surface morphology from a concave to a convex profile. Although small controlled-flood releases partially reworked both fans at the edges, reworking removed far less sediment than was added by debris-flow deposition. This is partly the result of the geography of debris-flow deposition, as material deposited in the middle of the fan can be reworked only by large floods that overtop the debris fans

  6. Measurement of debris flow properties in the field at an instrumented wall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McArdell, B. W.; Fritschi, B.

    2011-12-01

    Debris flows remain a significant hazard in mountainous areas. To gain a better understanding of their internal flow properties, for example to better evaluate debris flow runout models, we installed a 14 m long 2.5 m tall vertically-oriented wall in the bank of the debris flow torrent at the Illgraben catchment in Switzerland, which experiences several debris flows per year. In the section of the wall oriented parallel to the flow direction, we installed an array of instrumentation including 18 geophones (3 vertical columns of 6 sensors) and 6 force plates (1 column), each installed on a 0.3 m square steel plate. Additional instrumentation includes a laser distance-measuring sensor installed near the force plate array to determine the flow depth, and temperature sensors in the wall to estimate the heat flux, and a video camera. In a previous publication we suggested that entrainment by debris flows is related to the large pressure fluctuations which are present at the leading edge of the debris flow. Herein, using the force plates, we show that the pressure profile is approximately linear indicating a hydrostatic or lithostatic pressure profile. The pressure fluctuations around the mean, in contrast, show a maximum value at about 1/3 of the flow depth above the channel bed. While part of this effect may be an artifact of the geometry of the wall, it may indicate something about how the pressure fluctuations propagate through the flow. Although few reliable basal fluid pore pressure measurements are available, the large fluctuation pressures observed at the front of debris flows appears to occur in the not-fully-saturated debris flow front.

  7. Monitoring debris flow induced channel morphodynamics with terrestrial laser scanning, Chalk Cliffs, CO (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasklewicz, T. A.; Staley, D. M.

    2010-12-01

    Debris flows are important geomorphic agents in alpine drainages. They have been linked with channel initiation in headwater streams, connectivity of organic material and sediment through drainage basins, and as hazards to human development in and adjacent to steep watersheds. Debris flows also significantly alter channel morphometry at a variety of spatial scales. Of particular interest are topographic changes associated with multiple surge fronts within a debris flow as well as between several debris flows. An unnamed tributary stream to Chalk Creek, CO has over the last decade experienced one to four debris flow events annually. Four field sampling campaigns were conducted in the summer and fall of 2009. A Leica ScanStation 2, in conjunction with a robust local control network, were used to capture channel morphodynamics along five stream reaches prior to the debris flow season and after three debris flows. Point cloud data from the scanner permit the generation of two centimeter planimetric resolution digital terrain models (DTM). DTM-of-difference analyses and measures of slope, roughness, sediment transport volumes and channel dimensions were employed to detect spatial and temporal morphometric changes. The first debris flow occurred on unsaturated bed material and resulted in aggradation along 3 of the 5 reaches. One reach, a bedrock step, remained relatively unchanged, while the final reach saw significant erosion along boulder steps in the channel and an associated mass failure adjacent to the stream bank through this section. The second debris flow resulted in net aggradation along all of the reaches. The third and largest debris flow took place on saturated bed materials. The flow produced net erosion along all reaches. Significant channel changes were associated with the headward erosion of debris flow snouts and bank failures associated with undercutting of angle-of-repose slopes during debris flow erosion. Analysis of the potential relationships

  8. Debris flow impact on mitigation barriers: a new method for particle-fluid-structure interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marchelli, Maddalena; Pirulli, Marina; Pudasaini, Shiva P.

    2016-04-01

    Channelized debris-flows are a type of mass movements that involve water-charged, predominantly coarse-grained inorganic and organic material flowing rapidly down steep confined pre-existing channels (Van Dine, 1985). Due to their rapid movements and destructive power, structural mitigation measures have become an integral part of counter measures against these phenomena, to mitigate and prevent damages resulting from debris-flow impact on urbanized areas. In particular, debris barriers and storage basins, with some form of debris-straining structures incorporated into the barrier constructed across the path of a debris-flow, have a dual role to play: (1) to stimulate deposition by presenting a physical obstruction against flow, and (2) to guarantee that during normal conditions stream water and bedload can pass through the structure; while, during and after an extreme event, the water that is in the flow and some of the fine-grained sediment can escape. A new method to investigate the dynamic interactions between the flowing mass and the debris barrier is presented, with particular emphasis on the effect of the barrier in controlling the water and sediment content of the escaping mass. This aspect is achieved by implementing a new mechanical model into an enhanced two-phase dynamical mass flow model (Pudasaini, 2012), in which solid particles mixture and viscous fluid are taken into account. The complex mechanical model is defined as a function of the energy lost during impact, the physical and geometrical properties of the debris barrier, separate but strongly interacting dynamics of boulder and fluid flows during the impact, particle concentration distribution, and the slope characteristics. The particle-filtering-process results in a large variation in the rheological properties of the fluid-dominated escaping mass, including the substantial reduction in the bulk density, and the inertial forces of the debris-flows. Consequently, the destructive power and run

  9. Debris-flow origin for the Simud/Tiu deposit on Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tanaka, K.L.

    1999-01-01

    A late Hesperian smooth plains deposit on Mars interpreted as a debris flow extends more than 2000 km from Hydraotes Chaos, through Simud and Tiu Valles, and into Chryse Planitia. The Simud/Tiu deposit widens out to >1000 km and embays streamlined landforms and knobs made up of sedimentary and perhaps volcanic deposits that were carved by earlier channeling activity. Morphologic features of the Simud/Tiu deposit observed in Viking and Pathfinder images are generally consistent with a debris-flow origin, but some of the deposit's salient features are not readily explained by catastrophic flooding or ice flow. Internal depressions appear to be bounded by linear scarps along flow margins where differential shearing may have occurred and in areas where flow spreading may have produced zones of extensional breakup and thinning within the flow. Possible flow lobes within the deposit may have formed by successive flow surges within the flow unit. The Pathfinder landing site is on the Simud/Tiu deposit, and the observations there are consistent with debris flow. The low, longitudinal ridges at the site may have formed by clast interactions as the flow ground to a halt. Imbricated, planar rocks on the ridges, such as in the Rock Garden, also may have been emplaced by debris or ice flow. However, stream energy calculations at Ares Vallis and channel geology indicate that flooding probably was incapable of emplacing the meter-size boulders observed at the Pathfinder site. Dewatering of pressurized zones in the debris flow or underlying material may be responsible for mud eruptions that formed a couple of patches of low pancakelike shields up to 5 km in diameter and for probable water flows that formed two small rille channels a few kilometers long. Local irregular grooves may be cracks that resulted from later desiccation and contraction of the flow material. The debris-flow unit apparently coalesced from outflows of water-fluidized debris originating from beneath chaotic and

  10. Alpine debris flows triggered by a 28 July 1999 thunderstorm in the central Front Range, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Godt, J.W.; Coe, J.A.

    2007-01-01

    On 28 July 1999, about 480 alpine debris flows were triggered by an afternoon thunderstorm along the Continental Divide in Clear Creek and Summit counties in the central Front Range of Colorado. The thunderstorm produced about 43??mm of rain in 4??h, 35??mm of which fell in the first 2??h. Several debris flows triggered by the storm impacted Interstate Highway 70, U.S. Highway 6, and the Arapahoe Basin ski area. We mapped the debris flows from color aerial photography and inspected many of them in the field. Three processes initiated debris flows. The first process initiated 11% of the debris flows and involved the mobilization of shallow landslides in thick, often well vegetated, colluvium. The second process, which was responsible for 79% of the flows, was the transport of material eroded from steep unvegetated hillslopes via a system of coalescing rills. The third, which has been termed the "firehose effect," initiated 10% of the debris flows and occurred where overland flow became concentrated in steep bedrock channels and scoured debris from talus deposits and the heads of debris fans. These three processes initiated high on steep hillsides (> 30??) in catchments with small contributing areas (< 8000??m2), however, shallow landslides occurred on slopes that were significantly less steep than either overland flow process. Based on field observations and examination of soils mapping of the northern part of the study area, we identified a relation between the degree of soil development and the process type that generated debris flows. In general, areas with greater soil development were less likely to generate runoff and therefore less likely to generate debris flows by the firehose effect or by rilling. The character of the surficial cover and the spatially variable hydrologic response to intense rainfall, rather than a threshold of contributing area and topographic slope, appears to control the initiation process in the high alpine of the Front Range. Because

  11. Debris Flow Damage Incurred to Buildings: An In-Situ Back Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jalayer, Fatemeh; Aronica, Giuseppe T.; Recupero, Antonino; Carozza, Stefano; Manfredi, Gaetano

    2016-04-01

    The flash-flood debris event of the October 1st 2009 in the area of Messina, Sicily, Italy has led to loss of life and significant damage to the constructed environment. Focusing the attention on an eighteenth masonry building (damaged and upgraded after the Messina-Reggio Calabria Earthquake of 1906) located in the village of Scaletta Zanclea, we have strived to reconstruct analytically the damages incurred to this building due to the debris flow event of 2009. In order to re-construct the damages incurred to the building due to the flash flood/debris flow event, hydrostatic and hydrodynamic force envelopes, calculated via a 2D hydrodynamic finite element model specifically designed for debris flow spatial propagation, have been applied to the building in question (assuming perfect coherence between static and dynamic maxima). The hydrograph for the solid discharge is then estimated by scaling up the liquid volume to the estimated debris volume. The hydrodynamic model used for the debris flow propagation proved to be well suited for these specific applications. The debris flow diffusion is simulated by solving the differential equations for a single-phase 2D flow employing triangular mesh elements, taking into account also the channeling of the flow through the building. The damage to the building is modeled, based on the maximum hydraulic actions caused by the debris flow, using 2D finite shell elements, modeling the boundary conditions provided by the openings, floor slab, orthogonal wall panels and the foundation. The finite element approach showed its capability in describing the complex geometries of the urban environments as the distributed nature of the 2D code allows to derive a reliable spatial distribution of debris flow actions. The reconstruction of the event and the damages to the case-study building confirms the location of the damages induced by the event.

  12. Lava Falls Rapid in Grand Canyon; effects of late Holocene debris flows on the Colorado River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Webb, Robert H.; Melis, Theodore S.; Griffiths, Peter G.; Elliott, John G.; Cerling, Thure E.; Poreda, Robert J.; Wise, Thomas W.; Pizzuto, James E.

    1999-01-01

    Lava Falls Rapid is the most formidable reach of whitewater on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon and is one of the most famous rapids in the world. Debris flows in 1939, 1954, 1955, 1966, and 1995, as well as prehistoric events, completely changed flow through the rapid. Floods cleared out much of the increased constrictions, but releases from Glen Canyon Dam, including the 1996 controlled flood, are now required to remove the boulders deposited by the debris flows.

  13. Morphometric differences in debris flow and mixed flow fans in eastern Death Valley, CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasklewicz, T. A.; Whitworth, J.

    2004-12-01

    Geomorphological features are best examined through direct measurement and parameterization of accurate topographic data. Fine-scale data are therefore required to produce a complete set of elevation data. Airborne Laser Swath Mapping (ALSM) data provide high-resolution data over large spatially continuous areas. The National Center for Advanced Laser Mapping (NCALM) collected ALSM data for an area along the eastern side of Death Valley extending from slightly north of Badwater to Mormon Point. The raw ALSM data were post-processed and delivered by NCALM in one-meter grid nodes that we converted to one-meter raster data sets. ALSM data are used to assess variations in the dimensions of surficial features found in 32 alluvial fans (21 debris flow and 11 mixed flow fans). Planimetric curvature of the fan surfaces is used to develop a topographic signature to distinguish debris flow from mixed flow fans. These two groups of fans are identified from field analysis of near vertical exposures along channels as well as surficial exposures at proximal, medial, and distal fan locations. One group of fans exhibited debris flow characteristics (DF), while the second group contained a mixture of fluid and debris flows (MF). Local planimetric curvature of the alluvial fan surfaces was derived from the one-meter DEM. The local curvature data were reclassified into concave and convex features. This sequence corresponds to two broad classes of fan features: channels and interfluves. Thirty random points were generated inside each fan polygon. The length of the nearest concave-convex (channel-interfluve) couplet was measured at each point and the percentage of convex and concave pixels in a 10m box centered on the random point was also recorded. Plots and statistical analyses of the data show clear indication that local planimetric curvature can be used as a topographic signature to distinguish between the varying formative processes in alluvial fans. Significant differences in the

  14. Numerical modelling study of gully recharge and debris flows in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Yvonne; Johnson, Edward; Chaikina, Olga

    2015-04-01

    In high mountains, debris flows are a major process responsible for transferring sediment to more downstream fluvial reaches. This sediment transfer begins on mountain hillslopes where various mass wasting processes move sediment from hillslopes to uppermost reaches of the channel system (these reaches are herein referred to as gullies and only experience water flow during high intensity precipitation events). Sediment recharge into gullies, which has received minimal attention in the scientific literature, refers to the transfer of sediment and other debris from surrounding hillslopes into gullies (Jakob and Oden, 2005). Debris flow occurrence and debris flow volumes depend on some precipitation threshold as well as volumes of material contained in the particular gully. For example, if one debris flow has removed all of the accumulated material from the gully, then any subsequent debris flow will be smaller if enough time has not yet passed for notable sediment recharge. Herein, we utilize the numerical model of landscape development, LandMod (Martin, 1998; Dadson and Church, 2005; Martin, 2007), to explore connections between hillslope processes, gully recharge rates, and transfer of sediment to downstream channel reaches in the Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. Hillslope processes in the model include shallow landsliding, bedrock failures and weathering. The updated debris flow algorithm is based on extensive field data available for debris flows in Haida Gwaii (e.g., Rood, 1984; Oden, 1994; Jakob and Oden, 2005), as well as theoretical considerations based on debris flow studies. The most significant model extension is the calculation of gully recharge rates; for each gully, the total accumulated sediment in gullies at each time step is determined using a power-law relation for area-normalized recharge rate versus elapsed time since the last debris flow. Thus, when the stochastic driver for debris flow occurrence triggers an event, the amount of stored material is

  15. Three occurred debris flows in North-Eastern Italian Alps: documentation and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boreggio, Mauro; Gregoretti, Carlo; Degetto, Massimo; Bernard, Martino

    2015-04-01

    Three occurred events of debris flows are documented and modeled by back-analysis. The three debris flows events are those occurred at Rio Lazer on the 4th of November 1966, at Fiames on the 5th of July 2006 and at Rovina di Cancia on the 18th of July 2009. All the three sites are located in the North-Eastern Italian Alps. In all the events, runoff entrained sediments present on natural channels and formed a solid-liquid wave that routed downstream. The first event concerns the routing of debris flow on an inhabited fan. Map of deposition pattern of sediments are built by using post-events photos through stereoscopy techniques. The second event concerns the routing of debris flow along the main channel descending from Pomagagnon Fork. Due to the obstruction of the cross-section debris flow deviated from the original path on the left side and routed downstream by cutting a new channel on the fan. It dispersed in multiple paths when met the wooden area. Map of erosion and deposition depths are built after using a combination of Lidar and GPS data. The third event concerns the routing of debris flow in the Rovina di Cancia channel that filled the reservoir built at the end of the channel and locally overtopped the retaining wall on the left side. A wave of mud and debris inundated the area downstream the overtopping point. Map of erosion and deposition depths are obtained by subtracting two GPS surveys, pre and post event. All the three occurred debris flows are simulated by modeling runoff that entrained debris flow for determining the solid-liquid hydrograph downstream the triggering areas. The routing of the solid-liquid hydrograph was simulated by a bi-phase cell model based on the kinematic approach. The comparison between simulated and measured erosion and deposition depths is satisfactory. The same parameters for computing erosion and deposition were used for the three occurred events.

  16. The enormous Chillos Valley Lahar: An ash-flow-generated debris flow from Cotopaxi Volcano, Ecuador

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mothes, P.A.; Hall, M.L.; Janda, R.J.

    1998-01-01

    The Chillos Valley Lahar (CVL), the largest Holocene debris flow in area and volume as yet recognized in the northern Andes, formed on Cotopaxi volcano's north and northeast slopes and descended river systems that took it 326 km north-northwest to the Pacific Ocean and 130+ km east into the Amazon basin. In the Chillos Valley, 40 km downstream from the volcano, depths of 80-160 m and valley cross sections up to 337000m2 are observed, implying peak flow discharges of 2.6-6.0 million m3/s. The overall volume of the CVL is estimated to be ???3.8 km3. The CVL was generated approximately 4500 years BP by a rhyolitic ash flow that followed a small sector collapse on the north and northeast sides of Cotopaxi, which melted part of the volcano's icecap and transformed rapidly into the debris flow. The ash flow and resulting CVL have identical components, except for foreign fragments picked up along the flow path. Juvenile materials, including vitric ash, crystals, and pumice, comprise 80-90% of the lahar's deposit, whereas rhyolitic, dacitic, and andesitic lithics make up the remainder. The sand-size fraction and the 2- to 10-mm fraction together dominate the deposit, constituting ???63 and ???15 wt.% of the matrix, respectively, whereas the silt-size fraction averages less than ???10 wt.% and the clay-size fraction less than 0.5 wt.%. Along the 326-km runout, these particle-size fractions vary little, as does the sorting coefficient (average = 2.6). There is no tendency toward grading or improved sorting. Limited bulking is recognized. The CVL was an enormous non-cohesive debris flow, notable for its ash-flow origin and immense volume and peak discharge which gave it characteristics and a behavior akin to large cohesive mudflows. Significantly, then, ash-flow-generated debris flows can also achieve large volumes and cover great areas; thus, they can conceivably affect large populated regions far from their source. Especially dangerous, therefore, are snowclad volcanoes

  17. Characteristics of debris flows of noneruptive origin on Mount Shasta, northern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blodgett, James C.; Poeschel, Karen R.; Osterkamp, Waite R.

    1996-01-01

    Studies of Mount Shasta indicate that eruptive activity has occurred, on the average, once every 800 years. Debris flows and deposits of non- eruptive origin, in addition to those associated with eruptive activity (lava flows, pyroclastic flows, and ash fall), inundate the fans and channels and can endanger people or property on the flanks of the mountain. This study evaluates the source and characteristics of historical noneruptive debris flows in the vicinity of Mount Shasta. At least 70 debris flows of noneruptive origin that occurred during the last 1,000 years have been identified in various stream channels on Mount Shasta. Of the four areas around the mountain, the most active are the McCloud River and The Whaleback-Ash Creek Butte depression; the Sacramento River area is the least active. Between 1900 and 1985, 37 debris flows occurred on different streams, with an average interval of 2.3 years between flows. Since 1900, Mud Creek (nine flows) and Whitney Creek (six flows) have been the most active channels. The path followed by a debris flow is not always at the lowest point in the channel, and the extent of downstream movement depends on the size of the flow. Former channels are inundated by the new flows and deposits, and new channels are eroded. In time, most of the entire channel between valley walls is subject to reworking. Most debris-flow deposits ranged in thickness from 0.4 to 2.5 meters. Thickness tends to decrease in a downstream direction. The deposits are generally of a convex shape, highest in the middle and lowest near the original valley wall. The ratio of water to solids in the slurry- sediment mixture of debris flows averages 68 percent by volume.

  18. Predicting spatial distribution of postfire debris flows and potential consequences for native trout in headwater streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sedell, Edwin R; Gresswell, Bob; McMahon, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation and degradation and invasion of nonnative species have restricted the distribution of native trout. Many trout populations are limited to headwater streams where negative effects of predicted climate change, including reduced stream flow and increased risk of catastrophic fires, may further jeopardize their persistence. Headwater streams in steep terrain are especially susceptible to disturbance associated with postfire debris flows, which have led to local extirpation of trout populations in some systems. We conducted a reach-scale spatial analysis of debris-flow risk among 11 high-elevation watersheds of the Colorado Rocky Mountains occupied by isolated populations of Colorado River Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii pleuriticus). Stream reaches at high risk of disturbance by postfire debris flow were identified with the aid of a qualitative model based on 4 primary initiating and transport factors (hillslope gradient, flow accumulation pathways, channel gradient, and valley confinement). This model was coupled with a spatially continuous survey of trout distributions in these stream networks to assess the predicted extent of trout population disturbances related to debris flows. In the study systems, debris-flow potential was highest in the lower and middle reaches of most watersheds. Colorado River Cutthroat Trout occurred in areas of high postfire debris-flow risk, but they were never restricted to those areas. Postfire debris flows could extirpate trout from local reaches in these watersheds, but trout populations occupy refugia that should allow recolonization of interconnected, downstream reaches. Specific results of our study may not be universally applicable, but our risk assessment approach can be applied to assess postfire debris-flow risk for stream reaches in other watersheds.

  19. Wildfire impacts on the processes that generate debris flows in burned watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parise, M.; Cannon, S.H.

    2012-01-01

    Every year, and in many countries worldwide, wildfires cause significant damage and economic losses due to both the direct effects of the fires and the subsequent accelerated runoff, erosion, and debris flow. Wildfires can have profound effects on the hydrologic response of watersheds by changing the infiltration characteristics and erodibility of the soil, which leads to decreased rainfall infiltration, significantly increased overland flow and runoff in channels, and movement of soil. Debris-flow activity is among the most destructive consequences of these changes, often causing extensive damage to human infrastructure. Data from the Mediterranean area and Western United States of America help identify the primary processes that result in debris flows in recently burned areas. Two primary processes for the initiation of fire-related debris flows have been so far identified: (1) runoff-dominated erosion by surface overland flow; and (2) infiltration-triggered failure and mobilization of a discrete landslide mass. The first process is frequently documented immediately post-fire and leads to the generation of debris flows through progressive bulking of storm runoff with sediment eroded from the hillslopes and channels. As sediment is incorporated into water, runoff can convert to debris flow. The conversion to debris flow may be observed at a position within a drainage network that appears to be controlled by threshold values of upslope contributing area and its gradient. At these locations, sufficient eroded material has been incorporated, relative to the volume of contributing surface runoff, to generate debris flows. Debris flows have also been generated from burned basins in response to increased runoff by water cascading over a steep, bedrock cliff, and incorporating material from readily erodible colluvium or channel bed. Post-fire debris flows have also been generated by infiltration-triggered landslide failures which then mobilize into debris flows. However

  20. Cosmogenic 3He ages and frequency of late Holocene debris flows from Prospect Canyon, Grand Canyon, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cerling, T.E.; Webb, R.H.; Poreda, R.J.; Rigby, A.D.; Melis, T.S.

    1999-01-01

    Lava Falls Rapid, which was created and is maintained by debris flows from Prospect Canyon, is the most formidable reach of whitewater on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon and is one of the most famous rapids in the world. Debris flows enter the Colorado River at tributary junctures, creating rapids. The frequency of debris flows is an important consideration when management of regulated rivers involves maintenance of channel morphology. We used cosmogenic 3He, 14C, and historical photographs to date 12 late Holocene and historic debris flows from Prospect Canyon. The highest and oldest deposits from debris flows on the debris fan yielded a 3He date of about 3 ka, which indicates predominately late Holocene aggradation of one of the largest debris fans in Grand Canyon. The deposit, which has a 25-m escarpment caused by river reworking, crossed the Colorado River and raised its base level by 30 m for an indeterminate although likely short period. We mapped depositional surfaces of 11 debris flows that occurred after 3 ka. Two deposits inset against the highest deposit yielded 3He ages of about 2.2 ka, and at least two others followed shortly afterwards. At least one of these debris flows also dammed the Colorado River. The most recent prehistoric debris flow occurred no more than 0.5 ka. The largest historic debris flow, which constricted the river by 80%, occurred in 1939. Five other debris flows occurred after 1939; these debris flows constricted the Colorado River by 35-80%. Assuming the depositional volumes of late Holocene debris flows can be modeled using a lognormal distribution, we calculated recurrence intervals of 15 to more than 2000 years for debris flows from Prospect Canyon.

  1. The effects of groundwater abstraction on low flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Graaf, I. E. M.; van Beek, L. P. H.; Wada, Y.; Bierkens, M. F. P.

    2012-04-01

    In regions with frequent water stress and large aquifer systems, groundwater often constitutes an essential source of water. If groundwater abstraction exceeds groundwater recharge over a long time and over large areas persistent groundwater depletion can occur. The resulting lowering of groundwater levels can have negative effects on agricultural productivity but also on natural streamflow and associated wetlands and ecosystems, in particular during low-flow events when the groundwater contribution through baseflow is relatively large. In this study we focus on the effects of global groundwater abstraction on low-flow magnitude, frequency and duration for the major rivers of the world for the period 1960-2000. As a basis, we use the large-scale hydrological model PCR-GLOBWB that calculates all major water balance terms on a daily time step at a 0.5ox0.5o resolution. Currently, PCR-GLOBWB represents groundwater and the associated baseflow by means of a linear reservoir that is parameterized using global lithological data and drainage density. It simulates renewable groundwater storage within each 0.5o cell. Lateral flow between cells is not considered. The specific runoff from the model is subsequently transformed into discharge by means of a kinematic wave routing scheme. In this study we perform a sensitivity analysis in which we evaluate the effects of total water demand for the period 1960-2000 (Wada et al., 2011: doi:10.5194/hess-15-3785-2011). This demand is preferentially met by renewable groundwater storage, secondly by surface water. Any remainder is assumed to stem from non- renewable (i.e. fossil) groundwater resources. Thus, groundwater abstractions act as a direct sink of (renewable) groundwater storage, whereas surface water abstractions act as a direct sink of streamflow. The resulting response is non-trivial as abstractions are variably taken from both groundwater and surface water, where return-flows contribute to a single source: return flow from

  2. GIS-based modeling of debris flow processes in an Alpine catchment, Antholz valley, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandmeier, Christine; Damm, Bodo; Terhorst, Birgit

    2010-05-01

    Debris flows are frequent natural hazards in mountain regions, which seriously can threat human lives and economic values. In the European Alps the occurrence of debris flows might even increase with respect to climate change, including permafrost degradation, glacier retreat and variable precipitation patterns. Thus, detailed understanding of process parameters and spatial distribution of debris flows is necessary to take appropriate protection measures for risk assessment. In this context, numerical models have been developed and applied successfully for simulation and prediction of debris-flow hazards and related process areas. In our study a GIS-based model is applied in an alpine catchment to address the following questions: Where are potential initiating areas of debris flows? How much material can be mobilized? What is the influence of topography and precipitation? The study area is located in the Antholz valley in the eastern Alps of Northern Italy. The investigated catchment of the Klammbach creek comprises 6.5 km² and is divided into two sub-catchments. Geologically it is dominated by metamorphic rock and altitudes range between 1310 and 3270 m. In summer 2005 a debris flow of more than 100000 m³ took place, originating from a steep, sparsely vegetated debris cone in the western part of the catchment. According to a regional study, the lower permafrost boundary in this area has risen by 250 m. In a first step, during a field survey, geomorphological mapping was performed, several channel cross-sections were measured and sediment samples were taken. Using mapping results and aerial images, a geomorphological map was created. In further steps, results from the field work, the geomorphological map and existing digital data sets, including a digital elevation model with 2.5 m resolution, are used to derive input data for the modeling of debris flow processes. The model framework ‘r.debrisflow' based on GRASS GIS is applied (Mergili, 2008*), as it is

  3. Implementation of the RAMMS DEBRIS FLOW to Italian case studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vennari, Carmela; Mc Ardell, Brian; Parise, Mario; Santangelo, Nicoletta; Santo, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    RAMMS (RApid Mass MovementS) Debris Flow runout model solves 2D shallow-water equation using the Voellmy friction law. The model has been developed by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), and the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF). It requires as input the following data: topography, release area or hydrograph, and the friction parameters μ and ξ. Deposition height, velocity, pressure and momentum are the most important outcomes, also in terms of Max values. The model was applied primarily in Alpine catchments to simulate debris flow runout. Beside the Alps, alluvial events are very common even in torrential catchments of the Southern Apennines of Italy, and contribute to build alluvial fans mainly located at the foothill of carbonate and volcanic mountains. During the last decades several events occurred in these areas, often highly populated, and caused serious damage to society and to people. Several case studies have been selected from a database on alluvial events in torrential catchments of Campania region, aimed at applying the RAMMS model to back-analyze the documented events, and to simulate future similar scenarios in different triggering conditions. In order to better understand the obtained data and choose the best results, field data are mandatories. For this reason we focused our attention on torrential events for which field data concerning deposition area and deposition height were available. We simulated different scenarios, with variable peak discharge and friction parameters, reproducing also the influence of anthropogenic structures. To choose the best results, observed data and predicted data were compared in an objective way, by means of a quantitative analysis. Predicted and observed deposition areas were compared in a GIS environment, and the best test was evaluated by computing several statistics accuracy derived from the confusion matrix, including the sensitivity, that

  4. The perfect debris flow? Aggregated results from 28 large-scale experiments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iverson, Richard M.; Logan, Matthew; LaHusen, Richard G.; Berti, Matteo

    2010-01-01

    Aggregation of data collected in 28 controlled experiments reveals reproducible debris-flow behavior that provides a clear target for model tests. In each experiment ∼10 m3 of unsorted, water-saturated sediment composed mostly of sand and gravel discharged from behind a gate, descended a steep, 95-m flume, and formed a deposit on a nearly horizontal runout surface. Experiment subsets were distinguished by differing basal boundary conditions (1 versus 16 mm roughness heights) and sediment mud contents (1 versus 7 percent dry weight). Sensor measurements of evolving flow thicknesses, basal normal stresses, and basal pore fluid pressures demonstrate that debris flows in all subsets developed dilated, coarse-grained, high-friction snouts, followed by bodies of nearly liquefied, finer-grained debris. Mud enhanced flow mobility by maintaining high pore pressures in flow bodies, and bed roughness reduced flow speeds but not distances of flow runout. Roughness had these effects because it promoted debris agitation and grain-size segregation, and thereby aided growth of lateral levees that channelized flow. Grain-size segregation also contributed to development of ubiquitous roll waves, which had diverse amplitudes exhibiting fractal number-size distributions. Despite the influence of these waves and other sources of dispersion, the aggregated data have well-defined patterns that help constrain individual terms in a depth-averaged debris-flow model. The patterns imply that local flow resistance evolved together with global flow dynamics, contradicting the hypothesis that any consistent rheology applied. We infer that new evolution equations, not new rheologies, are needed to explain how characteristic debris-flow behavior emerges from the interactions of debris constituents.

  5. Soil volume estimation in debris flow areas using lidar data in the 2014 Hiroshima, Japan rainstorm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miura, H.

    2015-10-01

    Debris flows triggered by the rainstorm in Hiroshima, Japan on August 20th, 2014 produced extensive damage to the built-up areas in the northern part of Hiroshima city. In order to consider various emergency response activities and early-stage recovery planning, it is important to evaluate the distribution of the soil volumes in the debris flow areas immediately after the disaster. In this study, automated nonlinear mapping technique is applied to light detection and ranging (LiDAR)-derived digital elevation models (DEMs) observed before and after the disaster to quickly and accurately correct geometric locational errors of the data. The soil volumes generated from the debris flows are estimated by subtracting the pre- and post-event DEMs. The geomorphologic characteristics in the debris flow areas are discussed from the distribution of the estimated soil volumes.

  6. The Time-Frequency Signatures of Advanced Seismic Signals Generated by Debris Flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, C. R.; Huang, C. J.; Lin, C. R.; Wang, C. C.; Kuo, B. Y.; Yin, H. Y.

    2014-12-01

    The seismic monitoring is expected to reveal the process of debris flow from the initial area to alluvial fan, because other field monitoring techniques, such as the video camera and the ultrasonic sensor, are limited by detection range. For this reason, seismic approaches have been used as the detection system of debris flows over the past few decades. The analysis of the signatures of the seismic signals in time and frequency domain can be used to identify the different phases of debris flow. This study dedicates to investigate the different stages of seismic signals due to debris flow, including the advanced signal, the main front, and the decaying tail. Moreover, the characteristics of the advanced signals forward to the approach of main front were discussed for the warning purpose. This study presents a permanent system, composed by two seismometers, deployed along the bank of Ai-Yu-Zi Creek in Nantou County, which is one of the active streams with debris flow in Taiwan. The three axes seismometer with frequency response of 7 sec - 200 Hz was developed by the Institute of Earth Sciences (IES), Academia Sinica for the purpose to detect debris flow. The original idea of replacing the geophone system with the seismometer technique was for catching the advanced signals propagating from the upper reach of the stream before debris flow arrival because of the high sensitivity. Besides, the low frequency seismic waves could be also early detected because of the low attenuation. However, for avoiding other unnecessary ambient vibrations, the sensitivity of seismometer should be lower than the general seismometer for detecting teleseism. Three debris flows with different mean velocities were detected in 2013 and 2014. The typical triangular shape was obviously demonstrated in time series data and the spectrograms of the seismic signals from three events. The frequency analysis showed that enormous debris flow bearing huge boulders would induce low frequency seismic

  7. Mobility statistics and automated hazard mapping for debris flows and rock avalanches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griswold, Julia P.; Iverson, Richard M.

    2008-01-01

    Power-law equations that are physically motivated and statistically tested and calibrated provide a basis for forecasting areas likely to be inundated by debris flows, rock avalanches, and lahars with diverse volumes. The equations A=α1V2/3 and B=α2V2/3 are based on the postulate that the maximum valley cross-sectional area (A) and total valley planimetric area (B) likely to be inundated by a flow depend only on its volume (V) and the topography of the flow path. Testing of these equations involves determining whether or not they fit data for documented flows satisfactorily, and calibration entails determining best-fit values of the coefficients α1 and α2 for debris flows, rock avalanches, and lahars. This report describes statistical testing and calibration of the equations by using field data compiled from many sources, and it describes application of the equations to delineation of debris-flow hazard zones. Statistical results show that for each type of flow (debris flows, rock avalanches, and lahars), the dependence of A and B on V is described well by power laws with exponents equal to 2/3. This value of the exponent produces fits that are effectively indistinguishable from the best fits obtained by using adjustable power-law exponents. Statistically calibrated values of the coefficients α1 and α2 provide scale-invariant indices of the relative mobilities of rock avalanches (α1 = 0.2, α2 = 20), nonvolcanic debris flows (α1 = 0.1, α2 = 20), and lahars (α1 = 0.05, α2 = 200). These values show, for example, that a lahar of specified volume can be expected to inundate a planimetric area ten times larger than that inundated by a rock avalanche or nonvolcanic debris flow of the same volume. The utility of the calibrated debris-flow inundation equations A=0.1V2/3 and B=20V2/3 is demonstrated by using them within the GIS program LAHARZ to delineate nested hazard zones for future debris flows in an area bordering the Umpqua River in the south-central Oregon

  8. Catastrophic debris flows transformed from landslides in volcanic terrains : mobility, hazard assessment and mitigation strategies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scott, Kevin M.; Macias, Jose Luis; Naranjo, Jose Antonio; Rodriguez, Sergio; McGeehin, John P.

    2001-01-01

    Communities in lowlands near volcanoes are vulnerable to significant volcanic flow hazards in addition to those associated directly with eruptions. The largest such risk is from debris flows beginning as volcanic landslides, with the potential to travel over 100 kilometers. Stratovolcanic edifices commonly are hydrothermal aquifers composed of unstable, altered rock forming steep slopes at high altitudes, and the terrain surrounding them is commonly mantled by readily mobilized, weathered airfall and ashflow deposits. We propose that volcano hazard assessments integrate the potential for unanticipated debris flows with, at active volcanoes, the greater but more predictable potential of magmatically triggered flows. This proposal reinforces the already powerful arguments for minimizing populations in potential flow pathways below both active and selected inactive volcanoes. It also addresses the potential for volcano flank collapse to occur with instability early in a magmatic episode, as well as the 'false-alarm problem'-the difficulty in evacuating the potential paths of these large mobile flows. Debris flows that transform from volcanic landslides, characterized by cohesive (muddy) deposits, create risk comparable to that of their syneruptive counterparts of snow and ice-melt origin, which yield noncohesive (granular) deposits, because: (1) Volcano collapses and the failures of airfall- and ashflow-mantled slopes commonly yield highly mobile debris flows as well as debris avalanches with limited runout potential. Runout potential of debris flows may increase several fold as their volumes enlarge beyond volcanoes through bulking (entrainment) of sediment. Through this mechanism, the runouts of even relatively small collapses at Cascade Range volcanoes, in the range of 0.1 to 0.2 cubic kilometers, can extend to populated lowlands. (2) Collapse is caused by a variety of triggers: tectonic and volcanic earthquakes, gravitational failure, hydrovolcanism, and

  9. Analysis of Geomorphic and Hydrologic Characteristics of Mount Jefferson Debris Flow, Oregon, November 6, 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sobieszczyk, Steven; Uhrich, Mark A.; Piatt, David R.; Bragg, Heather M.

    2008-01-01

    On November 6, 2006, a rocky debris flow surged off the western slopes of Mount Jefferson into the drainage basins of Milk and Pamelia Creeks in Oregon. This debris flow was not a singular event, but rather a series of surges of both debris and flooding throughout the day. The event began during a severe storm that brought warm temperatures and heavy rainfall to the Pacific Northwest. Precipitation measurements near Mount Jefferson at Marion Forks and Santiam Junction showed that more than 16.1 centimeters of precipitation fell the week leading up to the event, including an additional 20.1 centimeters falling during the 2 days afterward. The flooding associated with the debris flow sent an estimated 15,500 to 21,000 metric tons, or 9,800 to 13,000 cubic meters, of suspended sediment downstream, increasing turbidity in the North Santiam River above Detroit Lake to an estimated 35,000 to 55,000 Formazin Nephelometric Units. The debris flow started small as rock and ice calved off an upper valley snowfield, but added volume as it eroded weakly consolidated deposits from previous debris flows, pyroclastic flows, and glacial moraines. Mud run-up markings on trees indicated that the flood stage of this event reached depths of at least 2.4 meters. Velocity calculations indicate that different surges of debris flow and flooding reached 3.9 meters per second. The debris flow reworked and deposited material ranging in size from sand to coarse boulders over a 0.1 square kilometer area, while flooding and scouring as much as 0.45 square kilometer. Based on cross-sectional transect measurements recreating pre-event topography and other field measurements, the total volume of the deposit ranged from 100,000 to 240,000 cubic meters.

  10. Probabilistic rainfall thresholds for triggering debris flows in a human-modified landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giannecchini, Roberto; Galanti, Yuri; D'Amato Avanzi, Giacomo; Barsanti, Michele

    2016-03-01

    In the Carrara Marble Basin (CMB; Apuan Alps, Italy) quarrying has accumulated widespread and thick quarry waste, lying on steep slopes and invading valley bottoms. The Apuan Alps are one of the rainiest areas in Italy and rainstorms often cause landslides and debris flows. The stability conditions of quarry waste are difficult to assess, owing to its textural, geotechnical and hydrogeological variability. Therefore, empirical rainfall thresholds may be effective in forecasting the possible occurrence of debris flows in the CMB. Three types of thresholds were defined for three rain gauges of the CMB and for the whole area: rainfall intensity-rainfall duration (ID), cumulated event rainfall-rainfall duration (ED), and cumulated event rainfall normalized by the mean annual precipitation-rainfall intensity (EMAPI). The rainfall events recorded from 1950 to 2005 was analyzed and compared with the occurrence of debris flows involving the quarry waste. They were classified in events that triggered one or more debris flows and events that did not trigger debris flows. This dataset was fitted using the logistic regression method that allows us to define a set of thresholds, corresponding to different probabilities of failure (from 10% to 90%) and therefore to different warning levels. The performance of the logistic regression in defining probabilistic thresholds was evaluated by means of contingency tables, skill scores and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. These analyses indicate that the predictive capability of the three types of threshold is acceptable for each rain gauge and for the whole CMB. The best compromise between the number of correct debris flow predictions and the number of wrong predictions is obtained for the 40% probability thresholds. The results obtained can be tested in an experimental debris flows forecasting system based on rainfall thresholds, and could have implications for the debris flow hazard and risk assessment in the CMB.

  11. Development of the Assessment Items of Debris Flow Using the Delphi Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byun, Yosep; Seong, Joohyun; Kim, Mingi; Park, Kyunghan; Yoon, Hyungkoo

    2016-04-01

    In recent years in Korea, Typhoon and the localized extreme rainfall caused by the abnormal climate has increased. Accordingly, debris flow is becoming one of the most dangerous natural disaster. This study aimed to develop the assessment items which can be used for conducting damage investigation of debris flow. Delphi method was applied to classify the realms of assessment items. As a result, 29 assessment items which can be classified into 6 groups were determined.

  12. Modeling four occurred debris flow events in the Dolomites area (North-Eastern Italian Alps)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boreggio, Mauro; Gregoretti, Carlo; Degetto, Massimo; Bernard, Martino

    2016-04-01

    Four occurred debris flows in the Dolomites area (North-Eastern Italian Alps) are modeled by back-analysis. The four debris flows events are those occurred at Rio Lazer (Trento) on the 4th of November 1966, at Fiames (Belluno) on the 5th of July 2006, at Rovina di Cancia (Belluno) on the 18th of July 2009 and at Rio Val Molinara (Trento) on the 15th of August 2010. In all the events, runoff entrained sediments present on natural channels and formed a solid-liquid wave that routed downstream. The first event concerns the routing of debris flow on an inhabited fan. The second event the deviation of debris flow from the usual path due to an obstruction with the excavation of a channel in the scree and the downstream spreading in a wood. The third event concerns the routing of debris flow in a channel with an ending the reservoir, its overtopping and final spreading in the inhabited area. The fourth event concerns the routing of debris flow along the main channel downstream the initiation area until spreading just upstream a village. All the four occurred debris flows are simulated by modeling runoff that entrained debris flow for determining the solid-liquid hydrograph. The routing of the solid-liquid hydrograph is simulated by a bi-phase cell model based on the kinematic approach. The comparison between simulated and measured erosion and deposition depths is satisfactory. Nearly the same parameters for computing erosion and deposition were used for all the four occurred events. The maps of erosion and deposition depths are obtained by comparing the results of post-event surveys with the pre-event DEM. The post-event surveys were conducted by using different instruments (LiDAR and GPS) or the combination photos-single points depth measurements (in this last case it is possible obtaining the deposition/erosion depths by means of stereoscopy techniques).

  13. A Detailed Study of Debris Flow Source Areas in the Northern Colorado Front Range.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arana-Morales, A.; Baum, R. L.; Godt, J.

    2014-12-01

    Nearly continuous, heavy rainfall occurred during 9-13 September 2013 causing flooding and widespread landslides and debris flows in the northern Colorado Front Range. Whereas many recent studies have identified erosion as the most common process leading to debris flows in the mountains of Colorado, nearly all of the debris flows mapped in this event began as small, shallow landslides. We mapped the boundaries of 415 September 2013 debris flows in the Eldorado Springs and Boulder 7.5-minute quadrangles using 0.5-m-resolution satellite imagery. We characterized the landslide source areas of six debris flows in the field as part of an effort to identify what factors controlled their locations. Four were on a dip slope in sedimentary rocks in the Pinebrook Hills area, near Boulder, and the other two were in granitic rocks near Gross Reservoir. Although we observed no obvious geomorphic differences between the source areas and surrounding non-landslide areas, we noted several characteristics that the source areas all had in common. Slopes of the source areas ranged from 28° to 35° and most occurred on planar or slightly concave slopes that were vegetated with grass, small shrubs, and sparse trees. The source areas were shallow, irregularly shaped, and elongated downslope: widths ranged from 4 to 9 m, lengths from 6 to 40 m and depths ranged from 0.7 to 1.2 m. Colluvium was the source material for all of the debris flows and bedrock was exposed in the basal surface of all of the source areas. We observed no evidence for concentrated surface runoff upslope from the sources. Local curvature and roughness of bedrock and surface topography, and depth distribution and heterogeneity of the colluvium appear to have controlled the specific locations of these shallow debris-flow source areas. The observed distribution and characteristics of the source areas help guide ongoing efforts to model initiation of the debris flows.

  14. Debris-flow hazards in the blue ridge of Central Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wieczorek, G.F.; Morgan, B.A.; Campbell, R.H.

    2000-01-01

    The June 27, 1995, storm in Madison County, Virginia produced debris flows and floods that devastated a small (130 km2) area of the Blue Ridge in the eastern United States. Although similar debris-flow inducing storm events may return only approximately once every two thousand years to the same given locale, these events affecting a similar small-sized area occur about every three years somewhere in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains. From physical examinations and mapping of debris-flow sources, paths, and deposits in Madison County, we develop methods for identifying areas subject to debris flows using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. We examined the rainfall intensity and duration characteristics of the June 27, 1995, and other storms, in the Blue Ridge of central Virginia, and have defined a minimum threshold necessary to trigger debris flows in granitic rocks. In comparison with thresholds elsewhere, longer and more intense rainfall is necessary to trigger debris flows in the Blue Ridge.

  15. Setting up the critical rainfall line for debris flows via support vector machines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Y. F.; Chan, C. H.; Chang, C. H.

    2015-10-01

    The Chi-Chi earthquake in 1999 caused tremendous landslides which triggered many debris flows and resulted in significant loss of public lives and property. To prevent the disaster of debris flow, setting a critical rainfall line for each debris-flow stream is necessary. Firstly, 8 predisposing factors of debris flow were used to cluster 377 streams which have similar rainfall lines into 7 groups via the genetic algorithm. Then, support vector machines (SVM) were applied to setup the critical rainfall line for debris flows. SVM is a machine learning approach proposed based on statistical learning theory and has been widely used on pattern recognition and regression. This theory raises the generalized ability of learning mechanisms according to the minimum structural risk. Therefore, the advantage of using SVM can obtain results of minimized error rates without many training samples. Finally, the experimental results confirm that SVM method performs well in setting a critical rainfall line for each group of debris-flow streams.

  16. Processing the ground vibration signal produced by debris flows: the methods of amplitude and impulses compared

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arattano, M.; Abancó, C.; Coviello, V.; Hürlimann, M.

    2014-12-01

    Ground vibration sensors have been increasingly used and tested, during the last few years, as devices to monitor debris flows and they have also been proposed as one of the more reliable devices for the design of debris flow warning systems. The need to process the output of ground vibration sensors, to diminish the amount of data to be recorded, is usually due to the reduced storing capabilities and the limited power supply, normally provided by solar panels, available in the high mountain environment. There are different methods that can be found in literature to process the ground vibration signal produced by debris flows. In this paper we will discuss the two most commonly employed: the method of impulses and the method of amplitude. These two methods of data processing are analyzed describing their origin and their use, presenting examples of applications and their main advantages and shortcomings. The two methods are then applied to process the ground vibration raw data produced by a debris flow occurred in the Rebaixader Torrent (Spanish Pyrenees) in 2012. The results of this work will provide means for decision to researchers and technicians who find themselves facing the task of designing a debris flow monitoring installation or a debris flow warning equipment based on the use of ground vibration detectors.

  17. Probability and volume of potential postwildfire debris flows in the 2011 Wallow burn area, eastern Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruddy, Barbara C.

    2011-01-01

    This report presents a preliminary emergency assessment of the debris-flow hazards from drainage basins burned in 2011 by the Wallow wildfire in eastern Arizona. Empirical models derived from statistical evaluation of data collected from recently burned drainage basins throughout the intermountain western United States were used to estimate the probability of debris-flow occurrence and debris-flow volumes for selected drainage basins. Input for the models include measures of burn severity, topographic characteristics, soil properties, and rainfall total and intensity for a (1) 10-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainfall and (2) 25-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainfall. Estimated debris-flow probabilities in the drainage basins of interest ranged from less than 1 percent in response to both the 10-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainfall and the 25-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainfall to a high of 41 percent in response to the 25-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainfall. The low probabilities in all modeled drainage basins are likely due to extensive low-gradient hillslopes, burned at low severities, and large drainage-basin areas (greater than 25 square kilometers). Estimated debris-flow volumes ranged from a low of 24 cubic meters to a high of greater than 100,000 cubic meters, indicating a considerable hazard should debris flows occur

  18. Debris flow susceptibility mapping using a qualitative heuristic method and Flow-R along the Yukon Alaska Highway Corridor, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blais-Stevens, A.; Behnia, P.

    2016-02-01

    This research activity aimed at reducing risk to infrastructure, such as a proposed pipeline route roughly parallel to the Yukon Alaska Highway Corridor (YAHC), by filling geoscience knowledge gaps in geohazards. Hence, the Geological Survey of Canada compiled an inventory of landslides including debris flow deposits, which were subsequently used to validate two different debris flow susceptibility models. A qualitative heuristic debris flow susceptibility model was produced for the northern region of the YAHC, from Kluane Lake to the Alaska border, by integrating data layers with assigned weights and class ratings. These were slope angle, slope aspect, surficial geology, plan curvature, and proximity to drainage system. Validation of the model was carried out by calculating a success rate curve which revealed a good correlation with the susceptibility model and the debris flow deposit inventory compiled from air photos, high-resolution satellite imagery, and field verification. In addition, the quantitative Flow-R method was tested in order to define the potential source and debris flow susceptibility for the southern region of Kluane Lake, an area where documented debris flow events have blocked the highway in the past (e.g. 1988). Trial and error calculations were required for this method because there was not detailed information on the debris flows for the YAHC to allow us to define threshold values for some parameters when calculating source areas, spreading, and runout distance. Nevertheless, correlation with known documented events helped define these parameters and produce a map that captures most of the known events and displays debris flow susceptibility in other, usually smaller, steep channels that had not been previously documented.

  19. Model simulations of flood and debris flow timing in steep catchments after wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rengers, Francis; Mcguire, Luke; Kean, Jason W.; Staley, Dennis M.; Hobley, D.E.J

    2016-01-01

    Debris flows are a typical hazard on steep slopes after wildfire, but unlike debris flows that mobilize from landslides, most post-wildfire debris flows are generated from water runoff. The majority of existing debris-flow modeling has focused on landslide-triggered debris flows. In this study we explore the potential for using process-based rainfall-runoff models to simulate the timing of water flow and runoff-generated debris flows in recently burned areas. Two different spatially distributed hydrologic models with differing levels of complexity were used: the full shallow water equations and the kinematic wave approximation. Model parameter values were calibrated in two different watersheds, spanning two orders of magnitude in drainage area. These watersheds were affected by the 2009 Station Fire in the San Gabriel Mountains, CA, USA. Input data for the numerical models were constrained by time series of soil moisture, flow stage, and rainfall collected at field sites, as well as high-resolution lidar-derived digital elevation models. The calibrated parameters were used to model a third watershed in the burn area, and the results show a good match with observed timing of flow peaks. The calibrated roughness parameter (Manning's $n$) was generally higher when using the kinematic wave approximation relative to the shallow water equations, and decreased with increasing spatial scale. The calibrated effective watershed hydraulic conductivity was low for both models, even for storms occurring several months after the fire, suggesting that wildfire-induced changes to soil-water infiltration were retained throughout that time. Overall the two model simulations were quite similar suggesting that a kinematic wave model, which is simpler and more computationally efficient, is a suitable approach for predicting flood and debris flow timing in steep, burned watersheds.

  20. Upland Processes and Controls on September 2013 Debris Flows, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patton, A. I.; Rathburn, S. L.; Bilderback, E. L.

    2015-12-01

    The extreme rainstorms that occurred in Colorado in September 2013 initiated numerous debris flows in the northern Front Range. These flows delivered sediment to upland streams, impacted buildings and infrastructure in and near Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), and underscored the importance of ongoing hazards in mountainous areas. Slope failures occurred primarily at elevations above 2600 m on south facing slopes >40 degrees. The 2013 failures provide a valuable opportunity to better understand site-specific geomorphic variables that control slope failure in the interior United States and the frequency of debris flows in steep terrain. Slope characteristics including soil depth, vegetation type and prevalence, contributing area, slope convexity/concavity and soil texture were compared between 11 debris flow sites and 30 control sites that did not fail in RMNP. This analysis indicates that slope morphology is the primary controlling factor: 45% of the debris flow sites initiated in or below a colluvial hollow and 36% of the failed sites initiated in other areas of convergent hillslope topography. Only one of the 30 control sites (3%) was located within a colluvial hollow and only two control sites (6%) were located in other areas of convergent topography. Difference in the average maximum soil thickness between debris flow sites (0.9 m) and control sites (0.7 m) is not significant but may reflect the difficulty of using a soil probe in glacially derived soils. Additional research includes field mapping and geochronologic study at one 2013 debris deposit with evidence of multiple mass movements. Preliminary results from the mapping indicate that up to six debris flows have occurred at this site. Radiocarbon analysis of organic material and 10Be analysis of quartz from boulders in old debris levees indicate the timing of past events in this area. Future land management in RMNP will utilize this understanding of controls on slope failure and event frequency.

  1. Investigating the self-organization of debris flows: theory, modelling, and empirical work

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Elverfeldt, Kirsten; Keiler, Margreth; Elmenreich, Wilfried; Fehárvári, István; Zhevzhyk, Sergii

    2014-05-01

    Here we present the conceptual framework of an interdisciplinary project on the theory, empirics, and modelling of the self-organisation mechanisms within debris flows. Despite the fact that debris flows are causing severe damages in mountainous regions such as the Alps, the process behaviour of debris flows is still not well understood. This is mainly due to the process dynamics of debris flows: Erosion and material entrainment are essential for their destructive power, and because of this destructiveness it is nearly impossible to measure and observe these mechanisms in action. Hence, the interactions between channel bed and debris flow remain largely unknown whilst this knowledge is crucial for the understanding of debris flow behaviour. Furthermore, while these internal parameter interactions are changing during an event, they are at the same time governing the temporal and spatial evolution of a given event. This project aims at answering some of these unknowns by means of bringing theory, empirical work, and modelling of debris flows together. It especially aims at explaining why process types are switching along the flow path during an event, e.g. the change from a debris flow to a hyperconcentrated flow and back. A second focus is the question of why debris flows sometimes exhibit strong erosion and sediment mobilisation during an event and at other times they do not. A promising theoretical framework for the analysis of these observations is that of self-organizing systems, and especially Haken's theory of synergetics. Synergetics is an interdisciplinary theory of open systems that are characterized by many individual, yet interacting parts, resulting in spatio-temporal structures. We hypothesize that debris flows can successfully be analysed within this theoretical framework. In order to test this hypothesis, an innovative modelling approach is chosen in combination with detailed field work. In self-organising systems the interactions of the system

  2. Effects of Debris Flows on Stream Ecosystems of the Klamath Mountains, Northern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cover, M. R.; Delafuente, J. A.; Resh, V. H.

    2006-12-01

    We examined the long-term effects of debris flows on channel characteristics and aquatic food webs in steep (0.04-0.06 slope), small (4-6 m wide) streams. A large rain-on-snow storm event in January 1997 resulted in numerous landslides and debris flows throughout many basins in the Klamath Mountains of northern California. Debris floods resulted in extensive impacts throughout entire drainage networks, including mobilization of valley floor deposits and removal of vegetation. Comparing 5 streams scoured by debris flows in 1997 and 5 streams that had not been scoured as recently, we determined that debris-flows decreased channel complexity by reducing alluvial step frequency and large woody debris volumes. Unscoured streams had more diverse riparian vegetation, whereas scoured streams were dominated by dense, even-aged stands of white alder (Alnus rhombiflia). Benthic invertebrate shredders, especially nemourid and peltoperlid stoneflies, were more abundant and diverse in unscoured streams, reflecting the more diverse allochthonous resources. Debris flows resulted in increased variability in canopy cover, depending on degree of alder recolonization. Periphyton biomass was higher in unscoured streams, but primary production was greater in the recently scoured streams, suggesting that invertebrate grazers kept algal assemblages in an early successional state. Glossosomatid caddisflies were predominant scrapers in scoured streams; heptageniid mayflies were abundant in unscoured streams. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were of similar abundance in scoured and unscoured streams, but scoured streams were dominated by young-of-the-year fish while older juveniles were more abundant in unscoured streams. Differences in the presence of cold-water (Doroneuria) versus warm-water (Calineuria) perlid stoneflies suggest that debris flows have altered stream temperatures. Debris flows have long-lasting impacts on stream communities, primarily through the cascading effects of

  3. Probabilistic forecasts of debris-flow hazard at the regional scale with a combination of models.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malet, Jean-Philippe; Remaître, Alexandre

    2015-04-01

    Debris flows are one of the many active slope-forming processes in the French Alps, where rugged and steep slopes mantled by various slope deposits offer a great potential for triggering hazardous events. A quantitative assessment of debris-flow hazard requires the estimation, in a probabilistic framework, of the spatial probability of occurrence of source areas, the spatial probability of runout areas, the temporal frequency of events, and their intensity. The main objective of this research is to propose a pipeline for the estimation of these quantities at the region scale using a chain of debris-flow models. The work uses the experimental site of the Barcelonnette Basin (South French Alps), where 26 active torrents have produced more than 150 debris-flow events since 1850 to develop and validate the methodology. First, a susceptibility assessment is performed to identify the debris-flow prone source areas. The most frequently used approach is the combination of environmental factors with GIS procedures and statistical techniques, integrating or not, detailed event inventories. Based on a 5m-DEM and derivatives, and information on slope lithology, engineering soils and landcover, the possible source areas are identified with a statistical logistic regression model. The performance of the statistical model is evaluated with the observed distribution of debris-flow events recorded after 1850 in the study area. The source areas in the three most active torrents (Riou-Bourdoux, Faucon, Sanières) are well identified by the model. Results are less convincing for three other active torrents (Bourget, La Valette and Riou-Chanal); this could be related to the type of debris-flow triggering mechanism as the model seems to better spot the open slope debris-flow source areas (e.g. scree slopes), but appears to be less efficient for the identification of landslide-induced debris flows. Second, a susceptibility assessment is performed to estimate the possible runout distance

  4. Debris Flow Hazard Map Simulation using FLO-2D For Selected Areas in the Philippines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khallil Ferrer, Peter; Llanes, Francesca; dela Resma, Marvee; Realino, Victoriano, II; Obrique, Julius; Ortiz, Iris Jill; Aquino, Dakila; Narod Eco, Rodrigo; Mahar Francisco Lagmay, Alfredo

    2014-05-01

    On December 4, 2012, Super Typhoon Bopha wreaked havoc in the southern region of Mindanao, leaving 1,067 people dead and causing USD 800 million worth of damage. Classified as a Category 5 typhoon by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), Bopha brought intense rainfall and strong winds that triggered landslides and debris flows, particularly in Barangay (village) Andap, New Bataan municipality, in the southern Philippine province of Compostela Valley. The debris flow destroyed school buildings and covered courts and an evacuation center. Compostela Valley also suffered the most casualties of any province: 612 out of a total of 1,067. In light of the disaster in Compostela, measures were immediately devised to improve available geohazard maps to raise public awareness about landslides and debris flows. A debris flow is a very rapid to extremely rapid flow of saturated non-plastic debris in a steep channel. They are generated when heavy rainfall saturates sediments, causing them to flow down river channels within an alluvial fan situated at the base of the slope of a mountain drainage network. Many rural communities in the Philippines, such as Barangay Andap, are situated at the apex of alluvial fans and in the path of potential debris flows. In this study, we conducted simulations of debris flows to assess the risks in inhabited areas throughout the Philippines and validated the results in the field, focusing on the provinces of Pangasinan and Aurora as primary examples. Watersheds that drain in an alluvial fan using a 10-m resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)-derived Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was first delineated, and then a 1 in 100-year rain return rainfall scenario for the watershed was used to simulate debris flows using FLO-2D, a flood-routing software. The resulting simulations were used to generate debris flow hazard maps which are consistent with danger zones in alluvial fans delineated previously from satellite imagery and available DEMs. The

  5. A process for fire-related debris flow initiation, Cerro Grande fire, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, S.H.; Bigio, E.R.; Mine, E.

    2001-01-01

    In this study we examine factors that pertain to the generation of debris flows from a basin recently burned by wildfire. Throughout the summer 2000 thunderstorm season, we monitored rain gauges, channel cross-sections, hillslope transects, and nine sediment-runoff traps deployed in a steep, 0??15 km2 basin burned by the May 2000 Cerro Grande fire in New Mexico. Debris flows were triggered in the monitored basin during a rainstorm on July 16, 2000, in response to a maximum 30 min rainfall intensity of 31 mm h-1 (return period of approximately 2 years). Eleven other storms occurred before and after the July storm; these storms resulted in significant runoff, but did not generate debris flows. The debris flows generated by the July 16 storm initiated on a broad, open hillslope as levee-lined rills. The levees were composed of gravel- and cobble-sized material supported by an abundant fine-grained matrix. Debris-flow deposits were observed only on the hillslopes and in the first and second-order drainages of the monitored basin. No significant amounts of channel incision were measured following the passage of the debris flows, indicating that most of the material in the flows originated from the hillslopes. Sediment-runoff concentrations of between 0??23 and 0??81 kg 1-1 (with a mean of 0-42 kg 1-1) were measured from the hillslope traps following the debris-flow-producing storm. These concentrations, however, were not unique to the July 16 storm. The materials entrained by the July 16 storm contained a higher proportion of silt- plus clay-sized materials in the <2 mm fraction than the materials collected from storms that produced comparable sediment-runoff concentrations but not debris flows. The difference in materials demonstrates the critical role of the availability of fine-grained wood ash mantling the hillslopes in the runoff-dominated generation of post-wildfire debris flows. The highest sediment-runoff concentrations, again not unique to debris-flow

  6. Debris flows on Belding Creek, Salmonberry River basin, northern Oregon Coast Range

    SciTech Connect

    Burris, L.M. . Dept. of Geology)

    1993-04-01

    Belding Creek, a tributary of the Salmonberry River, has experienced repeated debris flow episodes. The Salmonberry River flows through Paleocene Tillamook Basalt and is located at longitude 45[degree]43 minutes in the Northern Oregon Coast Range. On January 9, 1990, a debris flow initiated on a first order tributary of Belding Creek during a heavy precipitation event. A month later another debris flow initiated on a different first order stream under similar conditions. Both debris flows traveled for a distance of approximately 2.1 km and poured into the main Belding Creek channel washing out Belding Road which crosses the stream. Numerical data was obtained from the youngest flow deposit. The debris flow material density is 2.5 g/cm[sup 3]. It traveled at an average velocity of 2.9 m/s with a shear strength of 2.5 [times] 10[sup 4] dn/cm[sup 2], a friction angle of 4[degree], and a cohesion value of 1.4 [times] 10[sup 4] dn/cm[sup 3]. Less than 3% of the fine sediments deposited are clay and silt. Deposits from previous, older debris flow events are in and adjacent to the Belding Creek stream channel. Similar processes are evident in other major tributaries of the Salmonberry River, although these other stream channels have not shown recent activity. Each stream in the area that has experienced past debris flows similar to Belding Creek has a landslide feature at the top and follows regional lineation patterns.

  7. Evidence for debris flow gully formation initiated by shallow subsurface water on Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lanza, N.L.; Meyer, G.A.; Okubo, C.H.; Newsom, Horton E.; Wiens, R.C.

    2010-01-01

    The morphologies of some martian gullies appear similar to terrestrial features associated with debris flow initiation, erosion, and deposition. On Earth, debris flows are often triggered by shallow subsurface throughflow of liquid water in slope-mantling colluvium. This flow causes increased levels of pore pressure and thus decreased shear strength, which can lead to slide failure of slope materials and subsequent debris flow. The threshold for pore pressure-induced failure creates a distinct relationship between the contributing area supplying the subsurface flow and the slope gradient. To provide initial tests of a similar debris flow initiation hypothesis for martian gullies, measurements of the contributing areas and slope gradients were made at the channel heads of martian gullies seen in three HiRISE stereo pairs. These gullies exhibit morphologies suggestive of debris flows such as leveed channels and lobate debris fans, and have well-defined channel heads and limited evidence for multiple flows. Our results show an area-slope relationship for these martian gullies that is consistent with that observed for terrestrial gullies formed by debris flow, supporting the hypothesis that these gullies formed as the result of saturation of near-surface regolith by a liquid. This model favors a source of liquid that is broadly distributed within the source area and shallow; we suggest that such liquid could be generated by melting of broadly distributed icy materials such as snow or permafrost. This interpretation is strengthened by observations of polygonal and mantled terrain in the study areas, which are both suggestive of near-surface ice. ?? 2009 Elsevier Inc.

  8. New debris flow mitigation measures in southern Gansu, China: a case study of the Zhouqu Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiong, Muqi; Meng, Xingmin; Li, Yajun

    2014-05-01

    A devastating debris flow occurred in Zhouqu of Gansu Province, China, on 8th August 2010, resulting in a catastrophic disaster, with 1463 people being perished. The debris flow valleys, as other numerous debris valleys in the mountainous region, had preventive engineering constructions, such as check dames, properly designed based on common engineering practices for safe guiding the town located right on the debris flow fan. However, failures of such preventive measures often cause even heavier disasters than those that have no human interactions, as the mitigations give a false safety impression. Given such a weird situation and in order to explore a much more effective disaster prevention strategy against debris flows in the mountainous region, this paper makes a comparative study based on two cases in the area of which one had preventive structures and one hasn't. The result shows that inappropriate mitigation measures that have commonly been applying in the disaster reduction practices in the region are of questionable. It is concluded that going with the nature and following with the natural rules are the best strategy for disaster reduction in the region. Key words: debris flow disasters, disaster reduction strategy, preventive measures

  9. Impact of uncertainty in rainfall estimation on the identification of rainfall thresholds for debris flow occurrence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolopoulos, Efthymios I.; Crema, Stefano; Marchi, Lorenzo; Marra, Francesco; Guzzetti, Fausto; Borga, Marco

    2014-09-01

    Estimation of rainfall intensity-duration thresholds, used for the identification of debris flow/landslide triggering rainfall events, has been traditionally based on raingauge observations. The main drawback of using information from gauges is that the measurement stations are usually located far away from the debris flow initiation areas. In complex terrain where debris flows take place, the spatial variability of rainfall can be very high and this translates in large uncertainty of raingauge-based estimates of debris flow triggering rainfall. This work focuses on the assessment of the impact of rainfall estimation uncertainty on identification and use of rainfall thresholds for debris flow occurrence. The Upper Adige River basin, Northern Italy, is the area of study. A detailed database of more than 400 identified debris flow initiation points during the period 2000-2010 and a raingauge network of 100 stations comprise the database used for this work. The methodology examines the intensity-duration thresholds derived from a set of raingauges that are assumed to be located at debris flow initiation points (DFRs) and an equivalent set of raingauges assumed to have the role of the closest (to debris flow) available measurement (MRs). A set of reference rainfall thresholds is used to identify the rainfall events at DFRs that “triggered” debris flows (i.e. exceed the threshold). For these same events, the corresponding rainfall thresholds are derived from MR observations. Comparison between the rainfall thresholds derived from DFRs and MRs revealed that uncertainty in rainfall estimation has a major impact on estimated intensity-duration thresholds. Specifically, the results showed that thresholds estimated from MR observations are consistently underestimated. Evaluation of the estimated thresholds for warning procedures showed that while detection is high, the main issue is the high false alarm ratio, which limits the overall accuracy of the procedure. Overall

  10. Debris flows from failures Neoglacial-age moraine dams in the Three Sisters and Mount Jefferson wilderness areas, Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Connor, J. E.; Hardison, J.H.; Costa, J.E.

    2001-01-01

    The highest concentration of lakes dammed by Neoglacial moraines in the conterminous United States is in the Mount Jefferson and Three Sisters Wilderness Areas in central Oregon. Between 1930 and 1980, breakouts of these lakes have resulted in 11 debris flows. The settings and sequences of events leading to breaching and the downstream flow behavior of the resulting debris flows provide guidance on the likelihood and magnitude of future lake breakouts and debris flows.

  11. The importance of entrainment and bulking on debris flow runout modeling: examples from the Swiss Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, F.; McArdell, B. W.; Huggel, C.; Vieli, A.

    2015-11-01

    This study describes an investigation of channel-bed entrainment of sediment by debris flows. An entrainment model, developed using field data from debris flows at the Illgraben catchment, Switzerland, was incorporated into the existing RAMMS debris-flow model, which solves the 2-D shallow-water equations for granular flows. In the entrainment model, an empirical relationship between maximum shear stress and measured erosion is used to determine the maximum potential erosion depth. Additionally, the average rate of erosion, measured at the same field site, is used to constrain the erosion rate. The model predicts plausible erosion values in comparison with field data from highly erosive debris flow events at the Spreitgraben torrent channel, Switzerland in 2010, without any adjustment to the coefficients in the entrainment model. We find that by including bulking due to entrainment (e.g., by channel erosion) in runout models a more realistic flow pattern is produced than in simulations where entrainment is not included. In detail, simulations without entrainment show more lateral outflow from the channel where it has not been observed in the field. Therefore the entrainment model may be especially useful for practical applications such as hazard analysis and mapping, as well as scientific case studies of erosive debris flows.

  12. Debris Flow Monitoring in the Acquabona Watershed on the Dolomites (Italian Alps)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berti, M.; Genevois, R.; LaHusen, R.; Simoni, A.; Tecca, P. R.

    2000-09-01

    In 1997 a field monitoring system was installed in Acquabona Creek in the Dolomites (Eastern Italian Alps) to observe the hydrologic conditions for debris flow occurrence and some dynamic properties of debris flow. The monitoring system consists of three remote stations: an upper one located at the head of a deeply-incised channel and two others located downstream. The system is equipped with sensors for measuring rainfall, pore pressures in the mobile channel bottom, ground vibrations, debris flow depth, total normal stress and fluid pore-pressure at the base of the flow. Two video cameras record events at the upper channel station and one video is installed at the lowermost station. During summer 1998, three debris flows (volumes from less than 1000 m3 up to 9000 m3) occurred at Acquabona. The following results were obtained from a preliminary analysis of the data: 1) All of the flows were triggered by rainfalls of less than 1 hour duration, with peak rainfall intensities ranging from 4.8 to 14.7 mm / 10 minute. 2) Debris flows initiated in several reaches of the channel, including the head of the talus slope. 3) The initial surges of the mature flows had a higher solid concentration and a lower velocity (up to 4 m/s) than succeeding, more dilute surges (more than 7 m/s). 4) Total normal stress and pore fluid pressures measured at the base of the flow. (mean depth about 1.1 m) were similar (about 15 kPa), indicating a completely liquefied flow. 5) Peak flows entrained debris at a rate of about 6 m 3/m of channel length and channel bed scouring was proportional to the local slope gradient and was still evident in the lower channel where the slope was 7°.

  13. Debris flow monitoring in the Acquabona watershed on the Dolomites (Italian Alps)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berti, M.; Genevois, R.; LaHusen, R.; Simoni, A.; Tecca, P.R.

    2000-01-01

    In 1997 a field monitoring system was installed in Acquabona Creek in the Dolomites (Eastern Italian Alps) to observe the hydrologic conditions for debris flow occurrence and some dynamic properties of debris flow. The monitoring system consists of three remote stations: an upper one located at the head of a deeply-incised channel and two others located downstream. The system is equipped with sensors for measuring rainfall, pore pressures in the mobile channel bottom, ground vibrations, debris flow depth, total normal stress and fluid pore-pressure at the base of the flow. Two video cameras record events at the upper channel station and one video is installed at the lowermost station. During summer 1998, three debris flows (volumes from less than 1000 m3 up to 9000 m3) occurred at Acquabona. The following results were obtained from a preliminary analysis of the data: 1) All of the flows were triggered by rainfalls of less than 1 hour duration, with peak rainfall intensities ranging from 4.8 to 14.7 mm / 10 minute. 2) Debris flows initiated in several reaches of the channel, including the head of the talus slope. 3) The initial surges of the mature flows had a higher solid concentration and a lower velocity (up to 4 m/s) than succeeding, more dilute surges (more than 7 m/s). 4) Total normal stress and pore fluid pressures measured at the base of the flow (mean depth about 1.1 m) were similar (about 15 kPa), indicating a completely liquefied flow. 5) Peak flows entrained debris at a rate of about 6 m3/m of channel length and channel bed scouring was proportional to the local slope gradient and was still evident in the lower channel where the slope was 7??. ?? 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Peculiar debris-flow event of June 2013 in Livingstone mountain range (Alberta, Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franz, Martin; Rudaz, Benjamin; Humair, Florian; Jaboyedoff, Michel; Froese, Corey

    2014-05-01

    Heavy precipitations occurred in western Alberta in mid-June 2013, which lead to several floods. In particular, this event produced a lot of debris-flow in the area of Mount Livingstone Alberta, Canada (N50° 8' 24.20", W114° 24' 19.69"). The area is mainly composed of folded Devonian to Jurassic carbonates. The peculiarity of the event is that the initiations of the debris-flows were located high in scree slopes, with reduced contributing area. No debris-flow deposits anterior to that event are visible, which contrasts with the number of simultaneous events (~30) triggered by this specific precipitation period (up to 220 mm in 36 hours). Fieldwork was carried out in July, less than one month after this event. Extensive photographic and Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) data was acquired. In-line grain-size distribution, fine matrix sampling and cross-sections of the debris flow channel were performed at the initiation zone, the propagation zone and deposition area. Samples are analyzed by sieving as well as using laser diffraction methods for fine materials. Morphologic characterization is performed through pre-event HR-DEM (1m cell size) and TLS point-cloud comparison, along with cross-sections. Volumes can thus be calculated. The pristine debris-flow lobes, levees and source areas allowed the dynamic of the different debris-flow pulses to be reconstructed. Comparison between 2012 and 2013 field photographs emphasize the radical morphologic change caused by this single event on an apparently dormant erosion context. The conditions of initiation of the debris flows are compared with literature values, in term of slope, contributing area and saturation of the scree material. Preliminary analysis indicates that these debris-flows started at unusually low slopes in regard to the contributing area. This reinforces the extreme character of this event, attributed to two identified causes: the accumulation and weathering of rock debris in the scree slopes over time and

  15. Predicting debris flow occurrence in Eastern Italian Alps based on hydrological and geomorphological modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolopoulos, Efthymios I.; Borga, Marco; Destro, Elisa; Marchi, Lorenzo

    2015-04-01

    Most of the work so far on the prediction of debris flow occurrence is focused on the identification of critical rainfall conditions. However, findings in the literature have shown that critical rainfall thresholds cannot always accurately identify debris flow occurrence, leading to false detections (positive or negative). One of the main reasons for this limitation is attributed to the fact that critical rainfall thresholds do not account for the characteristics of underlying land surface (e.g. geomorphology, moisture conditions, sediment availability, etc), which are strongly related to debris flow triggering. In addition, in areas where debris flows occur predominantly as a result of channel bed failure (as in many Alpine basins), the triggering factor is runoff, which suggests that identification of critical runoff conditions for debris flow prediction is more pertinent than critical rainfall. The primary objective of this study is to investigate the potential of a triggering index (TI), which combines variables related to runoff generation and channel morphology, for predicting debris flows occurrence. TI is based on a threshold criterion developed on past works (Tognacca et al., 2000; Berti and Simoni, 2005; Gregoretti and Dalla Fontana, 2008) and combines information on unit width peak flow, local channel slope and mean grain size. Estimation of peak discharge is based on the application of a distributed hydrologic model, while local channel slope is derived from a high-resolution (5m) DEM. Scaling functions of peak flows and channel width with drainage area are adopted since it is not possible to measure channel width or simulate peak flow at all channel nodes. TI values are mapped over the channel network thus allowing spatially distributed prediction but instead of identifying debris flow occurrence on single points, we identify their occurrence with reference to the tributary catchment involved. Evaluation of TI is carried out for five different basins

  16. Evolution of a natural debris flow: In situ measurements of flow dynamics, video imagery, and terrestrial laser scanning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCoy, S.W.; Kean, J.W.; Coe, J.A.; Staley, D.M.; Wasklewicz, T.A.; Tucker, G.E.

    2010-01-01

    Many theoretical and laboratory studies have been undertaken to understand debris-flow processes and their associated hazards. However, complete and quantitative data sets from natural debris flows needed for confirmation of these results are limited. We used a novel combination of in situ measurements of debris-flow dynamics, video imagery, and pre- and postflow 2-cm-resolution digital terrain models to study a natural debris-flow event. Our field data constrain the initial and final reach morphology and key flow dynamics. The observed event consisted of multiple surges, each with clear variation of flow properties along the length of the surge. Steep, highly resistant, surge fronts of coarse-grained material without measurable pore-fluid pressure were pushed along by relatively fine-grained and water-rich tails that had a wide range of pore-fluid pressures (some two times greater than hydrostatic). Surges with larger nonequilibrium pore-fluid pressures had longer travel distances. A wide range of travel distances from different surges of similar size indicates that dynamic flow properties are of equal or greater importance than channel properties in determining where a particular surge will stop. Progressive vertical accretion of multiple surges generated the total thickness of mapped debris-flow deposits; nevertheless, deposits had massive, vertically unstratified sedimentological textures. ?? 2010 Geological Society of America.

  17. Physical Limits on the Predictability of Erosion and Sediment Transport by Landslides and Debris Flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iverson, R. M.

    2015-12-01

    Episodic landslides and debris flows play a key role in sculpting many steep landscapes, and they also pose significant natural hazards. Field evidence, laboratory experiments, and theoretical analyses show that variations in the quantity, speed, and distance of sediment transport by landslides and debris flows can depend strongly on nuanced differences in initial conditions. Moreover, initial conditions themselves can be strongly dependent on the geological legacy of prior events. The scope of these dependencies is revealed by the results of landslide dynamics experiments [Iverson et al., Science, 2000], debris-flow erosion experiments [Iverson et al., Nature Geosci., 2011], and numerical simulations of the highly destructive 2014 Oso, Washington, landslide [Iverson et al., Earth Planet. Sci. Let., 2015]. In each of these cases, feedbacks between basal sediment deformation and pore-pressure generation cause the speed and distance of sediment transport to be very sensitive to subtle differences in the ambient sediment porosity and water content. On the other hand, the onset of most landslides and debris flows depends largely on pore-water pressure distributions and only indirectly on sediment porosity and water content. Thus, even if perfect predictions of the locations and timing of landslides and debris flows were available, the dynamics of the events - and their consequent hazards and sediment transport - would be difficult to predict. This difficulty is a manifestation of the nonlinear physics involved, rather than of poor understanding of those physics. Consequently, physically based models for assessing the hazards and sediment transport due to landslides and debris flows must take into account both evolving nonlinear dynamics and inherent uncertainties about initial conditions. By contrast, landscape evolution models that use prescribed algebraic formulas to represent sediment transport by landslides and debris flows lack a sound physical basis.

  18. Quick Analysis Method for Estimating Debris Flow Prone Area Caused by Overflow from Landslide dam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimizu, T.; Uchida, T.; Yamakoshi, T.; Yoshino, K.; Kisa, H.; Ishizuka, T.; Kaji, A.

    2012-04-01

    When earthquake or torrential rainfall cause deep catastrophic landslides, landslide dams can be formed in mountainous region. If water overflows from the landslide dams, large scale debris flow can occurs and possibly causes serious disasters in the downward region. Debris flow caused by the overflow from landslide dam is possible to affect the larger area than normal debris flow and flash flood. It is important for both a decision maker and resident in the area to recognize the disaster prone area as early as possible. For that reason, it is important to establish a quick analysis method for estimating debris flow prone area caused by overflow from landslide dams under the emergency situation. This situation requires the method to have both accuracy and speed for release. Nonetheless these two factors have trade-off relationship. We recently developed the quick analysis method to estimate debris flow disaster prone area caused by overflow from landslide dams. The method including the ways of efficient survey and numerical simulation programs called QUAD-L (QUick Analysis system for Debris flow caused by Landslide dam overflow). Our quick analysis system was actually applied to show the area for evacuation against debris flow caused by overflow from landslide dam formed by the 2011 Typhoon Talas which hit mainly the central region of Japan on September 2-4th, 2011. In addition to background of this application, since May 1st, 2011, Erosion and Sediment Control (SABO) Department of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan (MLIT) launched a new scheme using above-mentioned quick analysis method.

  19. In situ measurements of post-fire debris flows in southern California: Comparisons of the timing and magnitude of 24 debris-flow events with rainfall and soil moisture conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kean, J.W.; Staley, D.M.; Cannon, S.H.

    2011-01-01

    Debris flows often occur in burned steeplands of southern California, sometimes causing property damage and loss of life. In an effort to better understand the hydrologic controls on post-fire debris-flow initiation, timing and magnitude, we measured the flow stage, rainfall, channel bed pore fluid pressure and hillslope soil-moisture accompanying 24 debris flows recorded in five different watersheds burned in the 2009 Station and Jesusita Fires (San Gabriel and Santa Ynez Mountains). The measurements show substantial differences in debris-flow dynamics between sites and between sequential events at the same site. Despite these differences, the timing and magnitude of all events were consistently associated with local peaks in short duration (< = 30 min) rainfall intensity. Overall, debris-flow stage was best cross-correlated with time series of 5-min rainfall intensity, and lagged the rainfall by an average of just 5 min. An index of debris-flow volume was also best correlated with short-duration rainfall intensity, but found to be poorly correlated with storm cumulative rainfall and hillslope soil water content. Post-event observations of erosion and slope stability modeling suggest that the debris flows initiated primarily by processes related to surface water runoff, rather than shallow landslides. By identifying the storm characteristics most closely associated with post-fire debris flows, these measurements provide valuable guidance for warning operations and important constraints for developing and testing models of post-fire debris flows. copyright. 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  20. Sediment budgets and channel scouring of two alpine debris-flow torrents (SE France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theule, J. I.; Liébault, F.; Loye, A.; Jaboyedoff, M.; Laigle, D.

    2011-12-01

    Steep mountain catchments typically experience sediment pulses from hillslopes which are stored in headwater channels and flushed out by debris-flows. Event-based sediment budget monitoring in two active debris-flow torrents in the French Alps (Manival and Réal) during a two-year period gave insights about catchment-scale sediment routing during rainfall forcings of moderate intensity. This study allowed for further investigation on channel scour relationships with gradient. The monitoring was based on intensive topographic resurveys of low- and high-order channels using different techniques (cross-section surveys with total station and high-resolution channel surveys with terrestrial and airborne laser scanning). For the Manival Torrent, sediment outputs from the main channel were obtained by a sediment trap. Two debris-flows were observed in the Manival and three in the Réal, as well as several bedload transport flow events. Sediment budget reconstitution of the five debris-flows revealed that most of the debris-flow volumes were supplied by channel scouring (always more than 92%). Bedload transport during autumn contributed to the sediment recharge of high-order channels by the deposition of large gravel wedges. This process is recognized as being fundamental for debris-flow occurrence during the subsequent spring and summer. A time shift of scour-and-fill sequences was observed between low- and high-order channels, revealing the discontinuous sediment transfer in the catchment during common flow events. A conceptual model of sediment routing for different event magnitude was proposed. Significant channel scouring by debris-flows took place in alluvial reaches. Throughout the torrent channel, the upstream channel gradient (from a local reach) is identified to play a role in debris-flow scour. Maximum scours normally occur between slopes ranging from 0.18 to 0.20 (depending on sediment availability at the time of occurrence). It is found that above this

  1. Emergency Assessment of Postfire Debris-Flow Hazards for the 2009 Station Fire, San Gabriel Mountains, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Rupert, Michael G.; Michael, John A.; Staley, Dennis M.; Worstell, Bruce B.

    2009-01-01

    This report presents an emergency assessment of potential debris-flow hazards from basins burned by the 2009 Station fire in Los Angeles County, southern California. Statistical-empirical models developed for postfire debris flows are used to estimate the probability and volume of debris-flow production from 678 drainage basins within the burned area and to generate maps of areas that may be inundated along the San Gabriel mountain front by the estimated volume of material. Debris-flow probabilities and volumes are estimated as combined functions of different measures of basin burned extent, gradient, and material properties in response to both a 3-hour-duration, 1-year-recurrence thunderstorm and to a 12-hour-duration, 2-year recurrence storm. Debris-flow inundation areas are mapped for scenarios where all sediment-retention basins are empty and where the basins are all completely full. This assessment provides critical information for issuing warnings, locating and designing mitigation measures, and planning evacuation timing and routes within the first two winters following the fire. Tributary basins that drain into Pacoima Canyon, Big Tujunga Canyon, Arroyo Seco, West Fork of the San Gabriel River, and Devils Canyon were identified as having probabilities of debris-flow occurrence greater than 80 percent, the potential to produce debris flows with volumes greater than 100,000 m3, and the highest Combined Relative Debris-Flow Hazard Ranking in response to both storms. The predicted high probability and large magnitude of the response to such short-recurrence storms indicates the potential for significant debris-flow impacts to any buildings, roads, bridges, culverts, and reservoirs located both within these drainages and downstream from the burned area. These areas will require appropriate debris-flow mitigation and warning efforts. Probabilities of debris-flow occurrence greater than 80 percent, debris-flow volumes between 10,000 and 100,000 m3, and high

  2. Dynamic characteristics of debris flows at Jiangjia Ravine in southwestern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, K.

    2013-12-01

    Jiangjia ravine in the uplift block of eastern of Xiaojiang giant fault, southwestern China undergoes frequent debris flows with intensity tectonic activity and frequently earthquake. The debris flows at Jiangjia often move in the form of intermittent surges. Spatial and temporal characteristics of the surges as well as their separation and superposition were described in details. It is observed that there are two kinds of flow depth profile, linear and non-linear, for a debris-flow surge in Lagrange and Euler reference frames. A power relationship between the depth-averaged velocity and flow-depth of the surges is inferred from the different profile functions in the two frames. In addition, some internal dynamic characteristics were observed by a series of impact force measurements associated with major debris flows since 1975, especially the real-time and long-duration measurement on August 25, 2004 by a system consisting of three strain sensors installed at different flow depths. The impulse is generally saw-toothed due to boulders in the fluid, and can be decomposed into long-term and random components of the measured data. These were interpreted as, respectively, the fluid pressure and grain impact loading. The measured data reveal the vertical distinction of grain distribution in the surge, which indicates that large grains are prone to concentrate in the surface and middle parts of the flow. It is also found that the peak grain impacts at different depths were non-synchronous within the debris flows. The impact loadings are far greater than, and not proportional to the fluid pressures. Keywords: debris flow; Jiangjia ravine; impact force; surge; velocity

  3. Refractive index matched suspensions as a tool for investigating entrainment by avalanches and debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, Belinda; Ancey, Christophe

    2015-04-01

    Geophysical gravity flows such as avalanches and debris flows are complicated mixtures of fluid and solids, often containing particle sizes of many orders of magnitude. In a debris flow, for example, the composition varies from head to tail, and from bottom to top due to particle size segregation and recirculation. In addition the solid components may have different masses and mechanical properties. For this reason, a complete understanding of substrate entrainment by this type of flow is still out of reach. A common strategy for advancing our understanding of the physics of processes like entrainment is to use a greatly simplified laboratory model of a debris flow, and take internal and bulk measurements. This idealized technique forms the basis of this study, in which a two-phase, monodisperse suspension of PMMA beads in a refractive-index matched suspending fluid flowed down a flume, encountering an entrainable region of the same suspension on the way. This study represents the first attempt of taking continuous internal velocity measurements inside a flowing, entraining model avalanche or debris flow in the laboratory. Interior PIV measurements of flow velocity were taken in the entrainable region, along with surface height measurements, to shed some light on the entrainment mechanisms and to see how the bulk flow responded. Further, some differential pressure measurements were made in the entrainable bed to see if pore-pressure peaks had any correlation with significant events during entrainment. We present our preliminary findings and discuss the suitability of the method to entrainment investigations.

  4. Onset of submarine debris flow deposition far from original giant landslide.

    PubMed

    Talling, P J; Wynn, R B; Masson, D G; Frenz, M; Cronin, B T; Schiebel, R; Akhmetzhanov, A M; Dallmeier-Tiessen, S; Benetti, S; Weaver, P P E; Georgiopoulou, A; Zühlsdorff, C; Amy, L A

    2007-11-22

    Submarine landslides can generate sediment-laden flows whose scale is impressive. Individual flow deposits have been mapped that extend for 1,500 km offshore from northwest Africa. These are the longest run-out sediment density flow deposits yet documented on Earth. This contribution analyses one of these deposits, which contains ten times the mass of sediment transported annually by all of the world's rivers. Understanding how this type of submarine flow evolves is a significant problem, because they are extremely difficult to monitor directly. Previous work has shown how progressive disintegration of landslide blocks can generate debris flow, the deposit of which extends downslope from the original landslide. We provide evidence that submarine flows can produce giant debris flow deposits that start several hundred kilometres from the original landslide, encased within deposits of a more dilute flow type called turbidity current. Very little sediment was deposited across the intervening large expanse of sea floor, where the flow was locally very erosive. Sediment deposition was finally triggered by a remarkably small but abrupt decrease in sea-floor gradient from 0.05 degrees to 0.01 degrees. This debris flow was probably generated by flow transformation from the decelerating turbidity current. The alternative is that non-channelized debris flow left almost no trace of its passage across one hundred kilometres of flat (0.2 degrees to 0.05 degrees) sea floor. Our work shows that initially well-mixed and highly erosive submarine flows can produce extensive debris flow deposits beyond subtle slope breaks located far out in the deep ocean. PMID:18033295

  5. Debris Flow Gullies at the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, Alaska: Implications for Analogous Features on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooper, D. M.; Dinwiddie, C. L.; Mcginnis, R. N.; Smart, K. J.; Roberts, M.

    2011-12-01

    Debris flows with fresh-appearing gullies or erosion tracks occur on the slopes of several mid- to high-latitude dune fields in both Martian hemispheres. These features originate in alcoves near dune crests, become channelized down lee faces, and terminate with depositional fans. They bear a striking resemblance to small meltwater-induced debris flows observed on the lee slopes of large dunes at the 67 degrees N latitude Great Kobuk Sand Dunes (GKSD), Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska. The high-latitude, cold-climate GKSD are an optimal terrestrial system within which to conduct a Mars analog study focused on understanding the integrated factors that cause alluvial debris flows to initiate on the lee slopes of aeolian dunes. Debris flow processes in the GKSD are activated by seasonal thawing and consist of a mixture of sand and liquid water cascading down the dune slipface. A distinguishing environmental attribute that separates cold-climate dune fields from temperate and warm-climate dune fields is the seasonal and prolonged occurrence of snow and ice. Cold region dunes often include niveo-aeolian deposits composed of interbedded sand, snow, and ice. The GKSD are variably affected by snowcover for ~70% of each year, which likely has direct analogy to hydrocryospheric factors that influence debris flow development on Mars. Melting and/or sublimation of snow and ice during warm periods cause distinctive morphologic and sedimentologic phenomena ascribed as denivation features or forms, including spongy and hummocky surfaces, tensional cracks, deformed strata, slumping, and compressional structures. We observed small debris flows, niveo-aeolian deposits, and denivation features in the GKSD during fieldwork in March 2010. Wind-transported sand and snow accumulated on the lee slopes of large transverse, longitudinal, and barchanoid dunes. Snow banks with intercalated sand layers are especially prominent and thickest near the top of westward-facing lee slopes at the

  6. Micromorphology of a debris flow deposit: evidence of basal shearing, hydrofracturing, liquefaction and rotational deformation during emplacement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Emrys

    2006-04-01

    Micromorphological analysis has been applied to a very coarse debris flow deposit and associated sand-dominated glaciofluvial sediments exposed in Westend Wood Quarry, Carstairs, Central Scotland. The microstructures present (folds, faults, plasmic fabrics) within this diamicton and underlying predominantly sandy sediments are interpreted in terms of sedimentary processes active during emplacement of the debris flow. These processes include the formation of a basal shear zone, the deformation and mixing of fine-grained sediments incorporated into the base of overriding debris flow. Features associated with liquefaction, sediment remobilisation and water escape are also present and developed in response to increasing overburden pressure during debris flow emplacement. These microstructures have also been recorded elsewhere within subglacial diamictons, and an evaluation is made between microstructures in palaeo-debris flow deposits and those found in modern debris flows.

  7. Removing the impact of water abstractions on flow duration curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masoero, Alessandro; Ganora, Daniele; Galeati, Giorgio; Laio, Francesco; Claps, Pierluigi

    2015-04-01

    Changes and interactions between human system and water cycle are getting increased attention in the scientific community. Commonly discharge data needed for water resources studies were collected close to urban or industrial settlements, thus in environments where the interest for surveying was not merely scientific, but also for socio-economical purposes. Working in non-natural environments we must take into account human impacts, like the one due to water intakes for irrigation or hydropower generation, while assessing the actual water availability and variability in a river. This can became an issue in alpine areas, where hydropower exploitation is heavy and it is common to have water abstraction before a gauge station. To have a gauge station downstream a water intake can be useful to survey the environmental flow release and to record the maximum flood values, which should not be affected by the water abstraction. Nevertheless with this configuration we are unable to define properly the water volumes available in the river, information crucial to assess low flows and investigate drought risk. This situation leads to a substantial difference between observed data (affected by the human impact) and natural data (as would have been without abstraction). A main issue is how to correct these impacts and restore the natural streamflow values. The most obvious and reliable solution would be to ask for abstraction data to water users, but these data are hard to collect. Usually they are not available, because not public or not even collected by the water exploiters. A solution could be to develop a rainfall-run-off model of the basin upstream the gauge station, but this approach needs a great number of data and parameters Working in a regional framework and not on single case studies, our goal is to provide a consistent estimate of the non-impacted statistics of the river (i.e. mean value, L-moments of variation and skewness). We proposed a parsimonious method, based

  8. Positive feedback and momentum growth during debris-flow entrainment of wet bed sediment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iverson, R.M.; Reid, M.E.; Logan, M.; LaHusen, R.G.; Godt, J.W.; Griswold, J.P.

    2011-01-01

    Debris flows typically occur when intense rainfall or snowmelt triggers landslides or extensive erosion on steep, debris-mantled slopes. The flows can then grow dramatically in size and speed as they entrain material from their beds and banks, but the mechanism of this growth is unclear. Indeed, momentum conservation implies that entrainment of static material should retard the motion of the flows if friction remains unchanged. Here we use data from large-scale experiments to assess the entrainment of bed material by debris flows. We find that entrainment is accompanied by increased flow momentum and speed only if large positive pore pressures develop in wet bed sediments as the sediments are overridden by debris flows. The increased pore pressure facilitates progressive scour of the bed, reduces basal friction and instigates positive feedback that causes flow speed, mass and momentum to increase. If dryer bed sediment is entrained, however, the feedback becomes negative and flow momentum declines. We infer that analogous feedbacks could operate in other types of gravity-driven mass flow that interact with erodible beds. ?? 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  9. A new hierarchical Bayesian approach to analyse environmental and climatic influences on debris flow occurrence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jomelli, Vincent; Pavlova, Irina; Eckert, Nicolas; Grancher, Delphine; Brunstein, Daniel

    2015-12-01

    How can debris flow occurrences be modelled at regional scale and take both environmental and climatic conditions into account? And, of the two, which has the most influence on debris flow activity? In this paper, we try to answer these questions with an innovative Bayesian hierarchical probabilistic model that simultaneously accounts for how debris flows respond to environmental and climatic variables. In it, full decomposition of space and time effects in occurrence probabilities is assumed, revealing an environmental and a climatic trend shared by all years/catchments, respectively, clearly distinguished from residual "random" effects. The resulting regional and annual occurrence probabilities evaluated as functions of the covariates make it possible to weight the respective contribution of the different terms and, more generally, to check the model performances at different spatio-temporal scales. After suitable validation, the model can be used to make predictions at undocumented sites and could be used in further studies for predictions under future climate conditions. Also, the Bayesian paradigm easily copes with missing data, thus making it possible to account for events that may have been missed during surveys. As a case study, we extract 124 debris flow event triggered between 1970 and 2005 in 27 catchments located in the French Alps from the French national natural hazard survey and model their variability of occurrence considering environmental and climatic predictors at the same time. We document the environmental characteristics of each debris flow catchment (morphometry, lithology, land cover, and the presence of permafrost). We also compute 15 climate variables including mean temperature and precipitation between May and October and the number of rainy days with daily cumulative rainfall greater than 10/15/20/25/30/40 mm day- 1. Application of our model shows that the combination of environmental and climatic predictors explained 77% of the overall

  10. Evaluating the use of high-resolution numerical weather forecast for debris flow prediction.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolopoulos, Efthymios I.; Bartsotas, Nikolaos S.; Borga, Marco; Kallos, George

    2015-04-01

    The sudden occurrence combined with the high destructive power of debris flows pose a significant threat to human life and infrastructures. Therefore, developing early warning procedures for the mitigation of debris flows risk is of great economical and societal importance. Given that rainfall is the predominant factor controlling debris flow triggering, it is indisputable that development of effective debris flows warning procedures requires accurate knowledge of the properties (e.g. duration, intensity) of the triggering rainfall. Moreover, efficient and timely response of emergency operations depends highly on the lead-time provided by the warning systems. Currently, the majority of early warning systems for debris flows are based on nowcasting procedures. While the latter may be successful in predicting the hazard, they provide warnings with a relatively short lead-time (~6h). Increasing the lead-time is necessary in order to improve the pre-incident operations and communication of the emergency, thus coupling warning systems with weather forecasting is essential for advancing early warning procedures. In this work we evaluate the potential of using high-resolution (1km) rainfall fields forecasted with a state-of-the-art numerical weather prediction model (RAMS/ICLAMS), in order to predict the occurrence of debris flows. Analysis is focused over the Upper Adige region, Northeast Italy, an area where debris flows are frequent. Seven storm events that generated a large number (>80) of debris flows during the period 2007-2012 are analyzed. Radar-based rainfall estimates, available from the operational C-band radar located at Mt Macaion, are used as the reference to evaluate the forecasted rainfall fields. Evaluation is mainly focused on assessing the error in forecasted rainfall properties (magnitude, duration) and the correlation in space and time with the reference field. Results show that the forecasted rainfall fields captured very well the magnitude and

  11. Field Reconnaissance of Debris Flows Triggered by a July 21, 2007, Thunderstorm in Alpine, Colorado, and Vicinity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coe, Jeffrey A.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Wait, T.C.; Kean, Jason W.

    2007-01-01

    On the evening of July 21, 2007, a slow-moving thunderstorm triggered about 45 debris flows on steep mountainsides near the community of Alpine, Colorado. Most of the debris flows were initiated by surface-water runoff that eroded and entrained loose sediment in previously existing channels. About 12 of the debris-flow channels were located in the lower half of Weldon Gulch upslope from Alpine, which is on a debris fan at the mouth of the Gulch. Most of these channels were deeply incised by the flows, and many of the resulting oversteepened channel banks are now failing and beginning to refill the channels with sediment. Debris flows that emerged from the mouth of Weldon Gulch primarily flowed onto the eastern half of the debris fan and closed roads and damaged vehicles and structures. Debris-flow deposits on the fan generally become finer grained and thinner with distance from the head of the fan. Given the existing conditions in Weldon Gulch, it is estimated that the debris-flow hazard on the fan has neither decreased nor increased as a result of the July 21 debris flows. Preventive measures that need to be considered by Alpine residents and government officials concerned with safety on the fan include: (1) establishing a channel and(or) catchment/diversion structure on the fan that routes future water and debris flows in a manner that protects existing roads and structures, and (2) maintaining vigilance during rainstorms by watching and listening for unusual flows of water or debris that may indicate debris-flow activity upstream, particularly during the summer months when thunderstorms are common in the area.

  12. SCDAP/RELAP5 modeling of heat transfer and flow losses in lower head porous debris. Revision 1

    SciTech Connect

    Siefken, L.J.; Coryell, E.W.; Paik, S.; Kuo, H.

    1999-05-01

    Designs are described for implementing models for calculating the heat transfer and flow losses in porous debris in the lower head of a reactor vessel. The COUPLE model in SCDAP/RELAP5 represents both the porous and nonporous debris that results from core material slumping into the lower head. Currently, the COUPLE model has the capability to model convective and radiative heat transfer from the surfaces of nonporous debris in a detailed manner and to model only in a simplistic manner the heat transfer from porous debris. In order to advance beyond the simplistic modeling for porous debris, designs are developed for detailed calculations of heat transfer and flow losses in porous debris. Correlations are identified for convective heat transfer in porous debris for the following modes of heat transfer; (1) forced convection to liquid, (2) forced convection to gas, (3) nucleate boiling, (4) transition boiling, and (5) film boiling. Interphase heat transfer is modeled in an approximate ma nner. Designs are described for models to calculate the flow losses and interphase drag of fluid flowing through the interstices of the porous debris, and to apply these variables in the momentum equations in the RELAP5 part of the code. Since the models for heat transfer and flow losses in porous debris in the lower head are designed for general application, a design is also described for implementation of these models to the analysis of porous debris in the core region. A test matrix is proposed for assessing the capability of the implemented models to calculate the heat transfer and flow losses in porous debris. The implementation of the models described in this report is expected to improve the COUPLE code calculation of the temperature distribution in porous debris and in the lower head that supports the debris. The implementation of these models is also expected to improve the calculation of the temperature and flow distribution in porous debris in the core region.

  13. A real time debris flow forecasting system for North Vancouver, British Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakob, M.

    2009-04-01

    This paper details the scientific basis and results for the development of a real-time operational hydro-meteorological debris flow warning system for the North Shore Mountains of Vancouver. The main component of the warning system is a multivariate statistical model that demonstrates that the 4 week antecedent rainfall, the two day antecedent rainfall and the 48 hour storm rainfall intensity explain if a given storm will result in a debris flow or not. Discriminant functions were developed that allow real-time calculation of discriminant scores and thus the relative likelihood of a storm resulting in shallow landslides. A 48 hour forecast of spatially distributed rainfall on the North Shore Mountains is made through a high resolution climatic model generated by the Geophysical Disaster Computational Fluid Dynamic Centre at the University of British Columbia. This step is an integral part in predicting threshold exceedence well before debris flows would likely occur and thus allowing sufficient time to provide warning. The system would have two levels of warning. The first is based on a lower threshold exceedences and is called ‘Debris Flow Watch'. The second would be based on a higher threshold and is called ‘Debris Flow Warning". There will be at least several hours time to react to those exceedences before shallow landsliding is likely to occur.

  14. Debris-flow hazards on tributary junction fans, Chitral, Hindu Kush Range, northern Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, M. Asif; Haneef, M.; Khan, Anwar S.; Tahirkheli, Tazeem

    2013-01-01

    The Chitral district of northern Pakistan lies in the eastern Hindu Kush Range. The population in this high-relief mountainous terrain is restricted to tributary-junction fans in the Chitral valley. Proximity to steep valley slopes renders these fans prone to hydrogeomorphic hazards, including landslides, floods and debris flows. This paper focuses on debris-flow hazards on tributary-junction fans in Chitral. Using field observations, satellite-image analyses and a preliminary morphometry, the tributary-junction fans in the Chitral valley are classified into (1) discrete and (2) composite. The discrete fans are modern-day active landforms and include debris cones associated with ephemeral gullies, debris fans associated with ephemeral channels and alluvial fans formed by perennial streams. The composite fans are a collage of sediment deposits of widely different ages and formed by diverse alluvial-fan forming processes. These include fans formed predominantly during MIS-2/Holocene interglacial stages superimposed by modern-day alluvial and debris fans. Composite fans are turned into relict fans when entrenched by modern-day perennial streams. These deeply incised channels discharge their sediment load directly into the trunk river without significant spread on fan surface. In comparison, when associated with ephemeral streams, active debris fans develop directly at composite-fan surfaces. Major settlements in Chitral are located on composite fans, as they provide large tracts of leveled land with easy accesses to water from the tributary streams. These fan surfaces are relatively more stable, especially when they are entrenched by perennial streams (e.g., Chitral, Ayun, and Reshun). When associated with ephemeral streams (e.g., Snowghar) or a combination of ephemeral and perennial streams (e.g., Drosh), these fans are subject to frequent debris-flow hazards. Fans associated with ephemeral streams are prone to high-frequency (˜10 years return period) debris-flow

  15. Debris-flow Dynamics Inferred From Aggregated Results of 28 Large-scale Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iverson, R. M.; Logan, M.; Lahusen, R. G.; Berti, M.

    2008-12-01

    Key features of debris-flow dynamics are revealed by identifying reproducible trends in data collected during 28 large-scale experiments with closely controlled initial and boundary conditions. In each experiment, 10 m3 of water-saturated sediment consisting mostly of sand and gravel discharges abruptly from behind a vertical headgate, descends a ~90 m concrete flume inclined 31 degrees, and forms a deposit on a nearly horizontal runout surface. The experiments are grouped into three sets of 8 to 11 replicates distinguished by differing mud contents (1% vs. 7% by dry weight) and basal boundary roughnesses (1 mm vs. 20 mm characteristic amplitude). Aggregation of sensor data from each set of replicates reveals universal patterns, as well as variances, in evolution of flow velocities, depths, basal normal stresses, and basal pore pressures. The patterns show that debris flows consistently develop blunt, coarse-grained, high-friction flow fronts pushed from behind by nearly liquefied, finer-grained debris. This flow architecture yields lobate deposits bounded by coarse-grained snouts and lateral levees. The aggregated data also show that imposed differences in basal boundary conditions and debris compositions produce systematic -- and sometimes surprising -- differences in flow dynamics and deposits. For example, flows on rough beds run out further than flows on smooth beds, despite the fact that flows on smooth beds attain greater velocities. This counterintuitive behavior results from enhanced grain-size segregation in the presence of a rough bed; segregation accentuates development of lateral levees that channelize flow and retard depletion of downstream momentum by lateral spreading. Another consistent finding is that flows with significant mud content are more mobile (attain greater velocities and runouts) than flows lacking much mud. This behavior is evident despite the fact that mud measurably increases the viscosity and yield strength of the fluid component

  16. Map showing alpine debris flows triggered by a July 28, 1999 thunderstorm in the central Front Range of Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Godt, Jonathan W.; Coe, Jeffrey A.

    2003-01-01

    This 1:24,000-scale map shows an inventory of debris flows that were triggered above timberline by a thunderstorm in the central Front Range of Colorado. We have classified the debris flows into two categories based on the style of initiation processes in the debris-flow source areas: 1) soil slip, and 2) non-soil slip erosive processes. This map and associated digital data are part of a larger study of the debris-flow event, results of which we plan to present in a forthcoming paper.

  17. Estimation of the annual flow and stock of marine debris in South Korea for management purposes.

    PubMed

    Jang, Yong Chang; Lee, Jongmyoung; Hong, Sunwook; Mok, Jin Yong; Kim, Kyoung Shin; Lee, Yun Jeong; Choi, Hyun-Woo; Kang, Hongmook; Lee, Sukhui

    2014-09-15

    The annual flow and stock of marine debris in the Sea of Korea was estimated by summarizing previous survey results and integrating them with other relevant information to underpin the national marine debris management plan. The annual inflow of marine debris was estimated to be 91,195 tons [32,825 tons (36% of the total) from sources on land and 58,370 tons (64%) from ocean sources]. As of the end of 2012, the total stock of marine debris on all South Korean coasts (12,029 tons), the seabed (137,761 tons), and in the water column (2451 tons) was estimated to be 152,241 tons. In 2012, 42,595 tons of marine debris was collected from coasts, seabeds, and the water column. This is a very rare case study that estimated the amount of marine debris at a national level, the results of which provide essential information for the development of efficient marine debris management policies. PMID:25038983

  18. A novel mechanical model for phase-separation in debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pudasaini, Shiva P.

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the physics of phase-separation between solid and fluid phases as a two-phase mass moves down slope is a long-standing challenge. Here, I propose a fundamentally new mechanism, called 'separation-flux', that leads to strong phase-separation in avalanche and debris flows. This new model extends the general two-phase debris flow model (Pudasaini, 2012) to include a separation-flux mechanism. The new flux separation mechanism is capable of describing and controlling the dynamically evolving phase-separation, segregation, and/or levee formation in a real two-phase, geometrically three-dimensional debris flow motion and deposition. These are often observed phenomena in natural debris flows and industrial processes that involve the transportation of particulate solid-fluid mixture material. The novel separation-flux model includes several dominant physical and mechanical aspects that result in strong phase-separation (segregation). These include pressure gradients, volume fractions of solid and fluid phases and their gradients, shear-rates, flow depth, material friction, viscosity, material densities, boundary structures, gravity and topographic constraints, grain shape, size, etc. Due to the inherent separation mechanism, as the mass moves down slope, more and more solid particles are brought to the front, resulting in a solid-rich and mechanically strong frontal surge head followed by a weak tail largely consisting of the viscous fluid. The primary frontal surge head followed by secondary surge is the consequence of the phase-separation. Such typical and dominant phase-separation phenomena are revealed here for the first time in real two-phase debris flow modeling and simulations. However, these phenomena may depend on the bulk material composition and the applied forces. Reference: Pudasaini, Shiva P. (2012): A general two-phase debris flow model. J. Geophys. Res., 117, F03010, doi: 10.1029/2011JF002186.

  19. Experimental investigation on debris flow propagation and deposition in a downstream river by multiple tributaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stancanelli, L.; Lanzoni, S.; Foti, E.

    2012-12-01

    Debris flow risk assessment has been widely studied by many authors since it still represents one of the main cause of fatalities due to natural disasters. Thought in the last decades several improvements in the understanding of debris flow dynamics have been achieved, it must be said that the range of phenomena that can occur is so wide that a comprehensive vision is still missing. The present contribution aims at obtaining information regarding the interaction of multiple debris flows which propagate and deposit in the same river. Such a study has been inspired by a real case in which such an interaction enhanced the dramatic effects in terms of fatalities and damages. In particular, the aim of the research is to analyze experimentally the geometry of debris flow deposits conveyed in a main channel by two lateral tributaries, considering the influence of different parameters such as: slope, confluence angle and main channel discharge. The experimental set up includes a main channel (length 12 m, width 0,5m, height 0,70m) and two different lateral channels (length 3 m, width 0,3m, height 0,30m) located on the left side of the main channel, at an interaxis of about 1,2m. Six different acoustic level sensors and four pressure transducers have been installed along the experiment apparatus so that to monitor flow levels and pressures during both the propagation and deposition phases of the debris flow. At the end of each experiment a survey of the river bed has been carried out and the geometries of the observed deposition fans have been compared for the various experimental configurations investigated in the tests. A set of 20 experiments has been conducted by considering three different configurations of the confluence angle (90°-60°-45°), two different slopes of the tributary channels (15° e 17°), and three different trigger conditions (i.e., debris flows occurring simultaneously in the tributaries, or occurring first either in the upstream or in the

  20. Particle size reduction in debris flows: Laboratory experiments compared with field data from Inyo Creek, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arabnia, O.; Sklar, L. S.; Mclaughlin, M. K.

    2014-12-01

    Rock particles in debris flows are reduced in size through abrasion and fracture. Wear of coarse sediments results in production of finer particles, which alter the bulk material rheology and influence flow dynamics and runout distance. Particle wear also affects the size distribution of coarse particles, transforming the initial sediment size distribution produced on hillslopes into that delivered to the fluvial channel network. A better understanding of the controls on particle wear in debris flows would aid in the inferring flow conditions from debris flow deposits, in estimating the initial size of sediments entrained in the flow, and in modeling debris flow dynamics and mapping hazards. The rate of particle size reduction with distance traveled should depend on the intensity of particle interactions with other particles and the flow boundary, and on rock resistance to wear. We seek a geomorphic transport law to predict rate of particle wear with debris flow travel distance as a function of particle size distribution, flow depth, channel slope, fluid composition and rock strength. Here we use four rotating drums to create laboratory debris flows across a range of scales. Drum diameters range from 0.2 to 4.0 m, with the largest drum able to accommodate up to 2 Mg of material, including boulders. Each drum has vanes along the boundary to prevent sliding. Initial experiments use angular clasts of durable granodiorite; later experiments will use less resistant rock types. Shear rate is varied by changing drum rotational velocity. We begin experiments with well-sorted coarse particle size distributions, which are allowed to evolve through particle wear. The fluid is initially clear water, which rapidly acquires fine-grained wear products. After each travel increment all coarse particles (mass > 0.4 g) are weighed individually. We quantify particle wear rates using statistics of size and mass distributions, and by fitting various comminution functions to the data

  1. Friction in debris flows: inferences from large-scale flume experiments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iverson, Richard M.; LaHusen, Richard G.

    1993-01-01

    A recently constructed flume, 95 m long and 2 m wide, permits systematic experimentation with unsteady, nonuniform flows of poorly sorted geological debris. Preliminary experiments with water-saturated mixtures of sand and gravel show that they flow in a manner consistent with Coulomb frictional behavior. The Coulomb flow model of Savage and Hutter (1989, 1991), modified to include quasi-static pore-pressure effects, predicts flow-front velocities and flow depths reasonably well. Moreover, simple scaling analyses show that grain friction, rather than liquid viscosity or grain collisions, probably dominates shear resistance and momentum transport in the experimental flows. The same scaling indicates that grain friction is also important in many natural debris flows.

  2. Debris-flow deposits and watershed erosion rates near southern Death Valley, CA, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, K.M.; Menges, C.M.

    2003-01-01

    Debris flows from the steep, granitic hillslopes of the Kingston Range, CA are commensurate in age with nearby fluvial deposits. Quaternary chronostratigraphic differentiation of debris-flow deposits is based upon time-dependent characteristics such as relative boulder strength, derived from Schmidt Hammer measurements, degree of surface desert varnish, pedogenesis, and vertical separation. Rock strength is highest for Holocene-aged boulders and decreases for Pleistocene-aged boulders weathering to grus. Volumes of age-stratified debris-flow deposits, constrained by deposit thickness above bedrock, GPS surveys, and geologic mapping, are greatest for Pleistocene deposits. Shallow landslide susceptibility, derived from a topographically based GIS model, in conjunction with deposit volumes produces watershed-scale erosion rates of ???2-47 mm ka-1, with time-averaged Holocene rates exceeding Pleistocene rates. ?? 2003 Millpress.

  3. Automated, reproducible delineation of zones at risk from inundation by large volcanic debris flows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schilling, Steve P.; Iverson, Richard M.

    1997-01-01

    Large debris flows can pose hazards to people and property downstream from volcanoes. We have developed a rapid, reproducible, objective, and inexpensive method to delineate distal debris-flow hazard zones. Our method employs the results of scaling and statistical analyses of the geometry of volcanic debris flows (lahars) to predict inundated valley cross-sectional areas (A) and planimetric areas (B) as functions of lahar volume. We use a range of specified lahar volumes to evaluate A and B. In a Geographic Information System (GIS) we employ the resulting range of predicted A and B to delineate gradations in inundation hazard, which is highest near the volcano and along valley thalwegs and diminishes as distances from the volcano and elevations above valley floors increase. Comparison of our computer-generated hazard maps with those constructed using traditional, field-based methods indicates that our method can provide an accurate means of delineating lahar hazard zones.

  4. Conditions for generation of fire-related debris flows, Capulin Canyon, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, S.H.; Reneau, S.L.

    2000-01-01

    Comparison of the responses of three drainage basins burned by the Dome fire of 1996 in New Mexico is used to identify the hillslope, channel and fire characteristics that indicate a susceptibility specifically to wildfire-related debris flow. Summer thunderstorms generated three distinct erosive responses from each of three basins. The Capulin Canyon basin showed widespread erosive sheetwash and rilling from hillslopes, and severe flooding occurred in the channel; the North Tributary basin exhibited extensive erosion of the mineral soil to a depth of 5 cm and downslope movement of up to boulder-sized material, and at least one debris flow occurred in the channel; negligible surface runoff was observed in the South Tributary basin. The negligible surface runoff observed in the South Tributary basin is attributed to the limited extent and severity of the fire in that basin. The factors that best distinguish between debris-flow producing and flood-producing drainages are drainage basin morphology and lithology. A rugged drainage basin morphology, an average 12 per cent channel gradient, and steep, rough hillslopes coupled with colluvium and soil weathered from volcaniclastic and volcanic rocks promoted the generation of debris flows. A less rugged basin morphology, an average gradient of 5 per cent, and long, smooth slopes mantled with pumice promoted flooding. Flood and debris-flow responses were produced without the presence of water-repellent soils. The continuity and severity of the burn mosaic, the condition of the riparian vegetation, the condition of the fibrous root mat, accumulations of dry ravel and colluvial material in the channel and on hillslopes, and past debris-flow activity, appeared to have little bearing on the distinctive responses of the basins. Published in 2000 by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

  5. Precipitation thresholds and debris flow warning: comparing gauge versus weather radar detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marra, Francesco; Borga, Marco; Creutin, Jean-Dominique

    2013-04-01

    Methods relying on rainfall thresholds for debris-flow warning have a long tradition in geomorphology. Usually, the precipitation thresholds are developed based on rain gauge and debris flows data. However, it is well known that extreme rainfall sampling errors over rugged topography may lead to biased precipitation thresholds. At least two reasons contribute to such sampling errors: i) the regions of complex topography have low rain gauge densities; ii) orography may enhance intense precipitation at very localized places. We studied six storm events that triggered several debris flows each over the Trentino-Alto Adige Region, in the central Italian Alps, between 2005 and 2010. The region is monitored by i) a rain gauge network with an average density of 1/100 km2 and ii) a C-band radar instrument. Radar data have been accurately corrected for errors due to ground clutter contamination, beam blockages, vertical profile of reflectivity, attenuation and wet radome in order to obtain a high quality set of radar-based rainfall fields. We characterized the variability of each rainfall event using space (horizontal) and time variograms and we investigated the altitude (vertical) distribution of rainfall using hypsometric rainfall moments. We also defined the local severity of the rainfall accumulations over the debris flow areas for different time accumulations. We used the radar precipitation fields to represent space-time rainfall variability and we simulated gauge sampling with a stochastic model accounting for sub-grid variability of precipitation and for gauge measurement errors. We show that rain gauges systematically underestimate the local severity over the proven debris flow triggering locations. This leads to biased precipitation thresholds. In this respect gauge spatial sampling appears inappropriate both in the horizontal and in the vertical dimensions while the usual gauge time sampling looks appropriate. Moreover, this shows the potential of rainfall

  6. Predicting the probability and volume of postwildfire debris flows in the intermountain western United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, S.H.; Gartner, J.E.; Rupert, M.G.; Michael, J.A.; Rea, A.H.; Parrett, C.

    2010-01-01

    Empirical models to estimate the probability of occurrence and volume of postwildfire debris flows can be quickly implemented in a geographic information system (GIS) to generate debris-flow hazard maps either before or immediately following wildfires. Models that can be used to calculate the probability of debris-flow production from individual drainage basins in response to a given storm were developed using logistic regression analyses of a database from 388 basins located in 15 burned areas located throughout the U.S. Intermountain West. The models describe debris-flow probability as a function of readily obtained measures of areal burned extent, soil properties, basin morphology, and rainfall from short-duration and low-recurrence-interval convective rainstorms. A model for estimating the volume of material that may issue from a basin mouth in response to a given storm was developed using multiple linear regression analysis of a database from 56 basins burned by eight fires. This model describes debris-flow volume as a function of the basin gradient, aerial burned extent, and storm rainfall. Applications of a probability model and the volume model for hazard assessments are illustrated using information from the 2003 Hot Creek fire in central Idaho. The predictive strength of the approach in this setting is evaluated using information on the response of this fire to a localized thunderstorm in August 2003. The mapping approach presented here identifies those basins that are most prone to the largest debris-flow events and thus provides information necessary to prioritize areas for postfire erosion mitigation, warnings, and prefire management efforts throughout the Intermountain West.

  7. Debris flow occurrence future changes in high populated mountains (French Alps).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlova, I.; Jomelli, V.; Brunstein, D.; Grancher, D.

    2010-03-01

    The growth of tourism in recent decades, the dense population and more than 100 large ski areas create a high potential for damage to people, settlements and associated infrastructures in the French Alps. Increasing demographic pressures in mountainous regions and recent catastrophic events have renewed interest in various gravitational hazards predetermination in European countries. Results of the models considering the A2 hypothesis (IPCC 2007) showed that the most significant climatic trends for the end of the century will be a decrease in intense rainy events and an increase in temperature. As it is known that debris flows are often triggered by intense rainy events, a change in global climate in the future could have an impact on the frequency of this process. Our approach is to link the current (1960ies-2000ies) or future climate and the occurrence of debris flows based on statistical modeling. Regional climatic scenarios were computed from the ARPEGE model developed by the Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques of Météo-France. We developed new models using the simulated current climatic data with debris flows. Then we compared the probabilities of the occurrence of debris flows in the current period and in the coming century. Probabilistic models for the end of the twenty-first century were computed by interchanging meteorological parameters used in the statistical models established for the current period by meteorological data simulated for the future period. The future changes should have impacts on the occurrence of debris flows. We expect a decrease in about 10-30% of debris flows occurrence probabilities. From a spatial point of view, the increase in temperature should result in a shift of the 0°C isotherm to a higher elevation which, in turn, should result in a 20% reduction of the number of slopes affected by the process compared to the current period.

  8. Debris-flow runout predictions based on the average channel slope (ACS)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prochaska, A.B.; Santi, P.M.; Higgins, J.D.; Cannon, S.H.

    2008-01-01

    Prediction of the runout distance of a debris flow is an important element in the delineation of potentially hazardous areas on alluvial fans and for the siting of mitigation structures. Existing runout estimation methods rely on input parameters that are often difficult to estimate, including volume, velocity, and frictional factors. In order to provide a simple method for preliminary estimates of debris-flow runout distances, we developed a model that provides runout predictions based on the average channel slope (ACS model) for non-volcanic debris flows that emanate from confined channels and deposit on well-defined alluvial fans. This model was developed from 20 debris-flow events in the western United States and British Columbia. Based on a runout estimation method developed for snow avalanches, this model predicts debris-flow runout as an angle of reach from a fixed point in the drainage channel to the end of the runout zone. The best fixed point was found to be the mid-point elevation of the drainage channel, measured from the apex of the alluvial fan to the top of the drainage basin. Predicted runout lengths were more consistent than those obtained from existing angle-of-reach estimation methods. Results of the model compared well with those of laboratory flume tests performed using the same range of channel slopes. The robustness of this model was tested by applying it to three debris-flow events not used in its development: predicted runout ranged from 82 to 131% of the actual runout for these three events. Prediction interval multipliers were also developed so that the user may calculate predicted runout within specified confidence limits. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Debris Flows and Record Floods from Extreme Mesoscale Convective Thunderstorms over the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Magirl, Christopher S.; Shoemaker, Craig; Webb, Robert H.; Schaffner, Mike; Griffiths, Peter G.; Pytlak, Erik

    2007-01-01

    Ample geologic evidence indicates early Holocene and Pleistocene debris flows from the south side of the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona, but few records document historical events. On July 31, 2006, an unusual set of atmospheric conditions aligned to produce record floods and an unprecedented number of debris flows in the Santa Catalinas. During the week prior to the event, an upper-level area of low pressure centered near Albuquerque, New Mexico generated widespread heavy rainfall in southern Arizona. After midnight on July 31, a strong complex of thunderstorms developed over central Arizona in a deformation zone that formed on the back side of the upper-level low. High atmospheric moisture (2.00' of precipitable water) coupled with cooling aloft spawned a mesoscale thunderstorm complex that moved southeast into the Tucson basin. A 15-20 knot low-level southwesterly wind developed with a significant upslope component over the south face of the Santa Catalina Mountains advecting moist and unstable air into the merging storms. National Weather Service radar indicated that a swath of 3-6' of rainfall occurred over the lower and middle elevations of the southern Santa Catalina Mountains. This intense rain falling on saturated soil triggered over 250 hillslope failures and debris flows throughout the mountain range. Sabino Canyon, a heavily used recreation area administered by the U.S. Forest Service, was the epicenter of mass wasting, where at least 18 debris flows removed structures, destroyed the roadway in multiple locations, and closed public access for months. The debris flows were followed by streamflow floods which eclipsed the record discharge in the 75-year gaging record of Sabino Creek. In five canyons adjacent to Sabino Canyon, debris flows approached or excited the mountain front, compromising floow conveyance structures and flooding some homes.

  10. Propagation of a channelized debris-flow: experimental investigation and parameters identification for numerical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Termini, Donatella

    2013-04-01

    Recent catastrophic events due to intense rainfalls have mobilized large amount of sediments causing extensive damages in vast areas. These events have highlighted how debris-flows runout estimations are of crucial importance to delineate the potentially hazardous areas and to make reliable assessment of the level of risk of the territory. Especially in recent years, several researches have been conducted in order to define predicitive models. But, existing runout estimation methods need input parameters that can be difficult to estimate. Recent experimental researches have also allowed the assessment of the physics of the debris flows. But, the major part of the experimental studies analyze the basic kinematic conditions which determine the phenomenon evolution. Experimental program has been recently conducted at the Hydraulic laboratory of the Department of Civil, Environmental, Aerospatial and of Materials (DICAM) - University of Palermo (Italy). The experiments, carried out in a laboratory flume appositely constructed, were planned in order to evaluate the influence of different geometrical parameters (such as the slope and the geometrical characteristics of the confluences to the main channel) on the propagation phenomenon of the debris flow and its deposition. Thus, the aim of the present work is to give a contribution to defining input parameters in runout estimation by numerical modeling. The propagation phenomenon is analyzed for different concentrations of solid materials. Particular attention is devoted to the identification of the stopping distance of the debris flow and of the involved parameters (volume, angle of depositions, type of material) in the empirical predictive equations available in literature (Rickenmanm, 1999; Bethurst et al. 1997). Bethurst J.C., Burton A., Ward T.J. 1997. Debris flow run-out and landslide sediment delivery model tests. Journal of hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, 123(5), 419-429 Rickenmann D. 1999. Empirical relationships

  11. Fragility Curve Construction for Low-Rise Reinforced Concrete Buildings Affected by Debris Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akbas, S.; Sterlacchini, S.

    2009-04-01

    In landslide risk research, the majority of past studies has focused on hazard analysis, landslide zonation, and modeling, but there is limited amount of work on the concept of vulnerability, with no consensus on a generalized methodology. However, assessment of vulnerabilities along with the associated uncertainties are of utmost importance from a quantitative risk analysis point of view. This study aims at estimating the vulnerability by developing fragility curves, specifically for low-rise reinforced concrete buildings affected by debris flows. The effect of debris flow on structures is modeled as an impulsive load. The behavior of a structure under an impulsive load is in many ways is similar to that of an earthquake excitation. Based on this similarity, and using a well developed approach from the field of earthquake engineering, corresponding fragility curves are constructed for three structural damage limit states: serviceability, damage control, and collapse prevention. This is achieved by (1) representing the buildings as equivalent single degree-of-freedom systems, and conducting nonlinear time history analyses of these systems, (2) obtaining response statistics in terms of maximum displacement, (3) obtaining the conditional probability of attainment or exceedance of each limit state at a specific debris flow intensity level, and (4) plotting the computed conditional probability with respect to the selected debris flow hazard parameter. The resulting fragility curves give the damage state probability as a function of debris flow velocity. The uncertainty in the structural parameters, such as the natural period, are considered by using a building database from the city of Duzce, Turkey, which was affected by two major earthquakes in 1999. The comparison of the results obtained from this study with those obtained using a different database employing the same methodology, will highlight if the country-specific characteristics of the fragility curves are

  12. Granular Mechanics of Debris-Flow Incision: Measuring and Modeling Grain-Scale Impact Forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCoy, S. W.; Tucker, G. E.; Kean, J. W.; Coe, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    Although steep valleys are ubiquitous in mountainous terrain and there is evidence that episodic scour by debris flows is an important erosional process in these valleys, there is no agreed upon mechanical framework to describe debris flow incision into bedrock. In this work, we take steps towards a defensible stochastic debris flow incision rule. We first characterize frequency-magnitude distributions of basal force using measurements made with a force plate that was overridden during natural debris-flow events that incised bedrock. With these measurements in mind, we use grain-scale numerical experiments (discrete element method simulations) of free-surface, gravity-driven granular flows to quantify how changes in field measureable channel and flow properties (channel slope, flow depth, and grain size) influence the erosive potential of a flow. The basal force during five monitored natural debris-flow events had a large-magnitude, high-frequency fluctuating component. Variability in force magnitude that resulted from the fluctuating component increased linearly with the time-averaged mean basal force. Probability density functions of basal normal forces greater than the mean force were best fit by generalized Pareto distributions with well-defined means and variances. In contrast, probability density of basal normal force from simulated monodispersed flows decayed much more rapidly and in an exponential manner with increasing force magnitude. Only when monodispersed flows were replaced by broad grain size distributions, characteristic of natural debris flows, did the distributions of simulated impact forces have a similar form to those measured beneath the natural flows. These results highlight the important role flow grain size can have on basal impact force. As either bed inclination or flow depth was increased in the simulated flows, the mean and the spread of the impact force and impact energy distribution increased as well and in a nonlinear fashion. Bed

  13. Modelling the feedbacks between mass balance, ice flow and debris transport to predict the response to climate change of debris-covered glaciers in the Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowan, Ann V.; Egholm, David L.; Quincey, Duncan J.; Glasser, Neil F.

    2015-11-01

    Many Himalayan glaciers are characterised in their lower reaches by a rock debris layer. This debris insulates the glacier surface from atmospheric warming and complicates the response to climate change compared to glaciers with clean-ice surfaces. Debris-covered glaciers can persist well below the altitude that would be sustainable for clean-ice glaciers, resulting in much longer timescales of mass loss and meltwater production. The properties and evolution of supraglacial debris present a considerable challenge to understanding future glacier change. Existing approaches to predicting variations in glacier volume and meltwater production rely on numerical models that represent the processes governing glaciers with clean-ice surfaces, and yield conflicting results. We developed a numerical model that couples the flow of ice and debris and includes important feedbacks between debris accumulation and glacier mass balance. To investigate the impact of debris transport on the response of a glacier to recent and future climate change, we applied this model to a large debris-covered Himalayan glacier-Khumbu Glacier in Nepal. Our results demonstrate that supraglacial debris prolongs the response of the glacier to warming and causes lowering of the glacier surface in situ, concealing the magnitude of mass loss when compared with estimates based on glacierised area. Since the Little Ice Age, Khumbu Glacier has lost 34% of its volume while its area has reduced by only 6%. We predict a decrease in glacier volume of 8-10% by AD2100, accompanied by dynamic and physical detachment of the debris-covered tongue from the active glacier within the next 150 yr. This detachment will accelerate rates of glacier decay, and similar changes are likely for other debris-covered glaciers in the Himalaya.

  14. GIS-based cell model for simulating debris flow runout on a fan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregoretti, Carlo; Degetto, Massimo; Boreggio, Mauro

    2016-03-01

    A GIS-based cell model, based on a kinematic approach is proposed to simulate debris flow routing on a fan. The sediment-water mixture is modeled as a monophasic continuum, and the flow pattern is discretized by square cells, 1 m in size, that coincide with the DEM cells. Flow occurs from cells with a higher mixture free surface to those with a lower mixture free surface. A uniform-flow law is used if the elevation of the former cell is higher than that of the latter; otherwise, the flow is simulated using the broad-crested weir law. Erosion and deposition are simulated using an empirical law that is adjusted for a monophasic continuum. The sediment concentration in the routing volume is computed at each time step and controls both erosion and deposition. The cell model is used to simulate a debris flow that occurred on the Rio Lazer (Dolomites, North-Eastern Italian Alps) on November 4th, 1966. Furthermore, the hydrologic and the hydraulic conditions for the initiation of debris flow are simulated, providing the solid-liquid hydrograph of the resulting debris flow. A number of simulations has been carried out with physically reasonable parameters. The results are compared with the extension of the debris-flow deposition area and the map of observed depths of deposited sediments. This comparison shows that the proposed model provides good performance. The analysis of sensitivity carried out by systematically varying the model parameters shows that lower performances are associated with parameter values that are not physically reasonable. The same event is also simulated using a cellular automata model and a finite volume two-dimensional model. The results show that the two models provide a sediment deposition pattern less accurate than that provided by the present cell model.

  15. Downstream dilution of a lahar: transition from debris flow to hyperconcentrated streamflow.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pierson, T.C.; Scott, K.M.

    1985-01-01

    Nearly instantaneous melting of snow and ice by the March 19, 1982, eruption of Mount St. Helens, released a 4 X 106 m3 flood of water from the crater that was converted to a lahar (volcanic debris flow) through erosion and incorporation of sediment by the time it reached the base of the volcano. Over the next 81 km that it traveled down the Toutle River, the flood wave was progressively diluted through several mechanisms. A transformation from debris flow to hyperconcentrated streamflow began to occur about 27 km downstream from the crater, when the total sediment concentration had decreased to about 78% by weight (57% by volume).-from Authors

  16. Special challenges in assessing and mapping flood risk following a flood-debris flow event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aggett, Graeme

    2016-04-01

    Severe rainfall along the Colorado front range in 2013 delivered flood and debris flows to many mountain communities, causing millions of dollars of damage as well as taking several lives. Phase changes in clear-hyperconcentrated-debris flows during the event created challenges in recreating the hydrology post-flood and in estimating and mapping new regulatory floodplains to support ongoing flood recovery efforts. This presentation highlights approaches used to overcome these challenges and to adequately represent the different processes and their uncertainties in updated flood hazard and risk assessments. It also considers the need to educate and involve the community in this process.

  17. Debris-Flow Hazards within the Appalachian Mountains of the Eastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wieczorek, Gerald F.; Morgan, Benjamin A.

    2008-01-01

    Tropical storms, including hurricanes, often inflict major damage to property and disrupt the lives of people living in coastal areas of the Eastern United States. These storms also are capable of generating catastrophic landslides within the steep slopes of the Appalachian Mountains. Heavy rainfall from hurricanes, cloudbursts, and thunderstorms can generate rapidly moving debris flows that are among the most dangerous and damaging type of landslides. This fact sheet explores the nature and occurrence of debris flows in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains, which extend from central Pennsylvania to northern Alabama.

  18. Debris Flow Control on Fluvial Hanging Valley Formation in the South Fork Eel River, CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deshpande, N.; Perkins, J.; Finnegan, N. J.

    2012-12-01

    An understanding of how base level signals are transmitted into landscapes is fundamental to interpreting river long profiles in tectonically active settings. Fluvial hanging valleys, locations where waves of incision have apparently arrested at tributary junctions, suggest that base level propagation is an unsteady process in many settings. A recent hypothesis (Wobus et al., 2006) explains the formation of fluvial hanging valleys via an instability in the saltation abrasion model of Sklar and Dietrich (2004). At locations where small steep tributaries join trunk streams, tributary incision rates can actually decrease with increasing channel slope when subjected to downstream base-level fall. However, we note that in mountainous river networks steep tributaries also commonly convey debris flows into trunk channels. Since these tributary junctions mark the upstream limit of channels whose beds are mobilized on a regular basis during flood events, here we hypothesize that transitions from fluvial to debris flow channels control the location of fluvial hanging valleys. To test our hypothesis, we exploit a natural experiment in base level fall and landscape evolution along the South Fork Eel River, which is argued to be responding to an increase in rock uplift rate associated with the passage of the Mendocino Triple Junction. In order to separate debris flow channels from fluvial channels, we use airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM) to quantify channel slopes and concavities. In our analysis, concavity data are noisy and represent a poor metric for determination of debris flow channels. In lieu of this, we choose a more straightforward metric of channel slope to discriminate where debris flows occur on the landscape. We find that, on average, fluvial hanging valleys are only present in tributaries with average gradients above 0.10, consistent with empirical determinations of the gradient at which debris flow channels transition to fluvial channels (0.03-0.10). Field

  19. Case study: Mapping tsunami hazards associated with debris flow into a reservoir

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walder, J.S.; Watts, P.; Waythomas, C.F.

    2006-01-01

    Debris-flow generated impulse waves (tsunamis) pose hazards in lakes, especially those used for hydropower or recreation. We describe a method for assessing tsunami-related hazards for the case in which inundation by coherent water waves, rather than chaotic splashing, is of primary concern. The method involves an experimentally based initial condition (tsunami source) and a Boussinesq model for tsunami propagation and inundation. Model results are used to create hazard maps that offer guidance for emergency planners and responders. An example application explores tsunami hazards associated with potential debris flows entering Baker Lake, a reservoir on the flanks of the Mount Baker volcano in the northwestern United States. ?? 2006 ASCE.

  20. Hazard assessment of landslide and debris flow in the Rjeina river valley, Croatia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Chunxiang; Watanabe, Naoki; Marui, Hideaki

    2013-04-01

    The Rječina River extends approximately 18.7km long and flows into the Adriatic Sea at the center of Rijeka City, Croatia. Landslide, debris flow and rockfall are main geohazards in the middle part of the Rječina river basin. The zone between the Valići reservoir dam and the Pasac Bridge is particularly the most unstable and hazardous area in the river basin. The Grohovo landslide in the middle part of the river basin is located on the valley's slope facing southwest and situated at just downstream of the Valići dam. This landslide is the largest active landslide along the Adriatic Sea coast in Croatia. Assuming that serious heavy rainfall or earthquake occurs, it is most likely to occur two types of geohazard event. One scenario is that the debris deposited on the Grohovo landslide will move down to the channel of the Rječina River and dam up the river course. Another scenario is that the slope deposits on the landslide will be mixed with water and subsequently turn into a debris flow reaching to Rijeka City. We simulate both two cases of the formation of landslide-dam and the occurrence of debris-flow by two integrated models using GIS to represent the dynamic process across 3D terrains. In the case of the formation of landslide-dam, it is assumed that slope deposits will move downhill after failing along a shear zone. GIS-based revised Hovland's 3D limit equilibrium model is used to simulate the movement and stoppage of the slope deposits to form landslide-dam. The 3D factor of safety will be calculated step by step during the sliding process simulation. Stoppage is defined by the factor of safety much greater than one and the velocity equal to zero. The simulation result shows that the height of the landslide-dam will be nine meters. In case of debris flow, the mixture of slope deposits and water will be differentiated from landslide by fluid-like deformation of the mobilized material. GIS-based depth-averaged 2D numerical model is used to predict the

  1. A Laboratory Investigation of the Controls on the High Mobility of Hillslope Debris Flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McArdell, B. W.; Hürlimann, M.

    2014-12-01

    Hillslope debris flows are unconfined flows of soil debris that typically start as shallow landslides. They generally start on steep hillslopes and their runout distances are typically much longer than those of shallow landslides that did not transform into flows. Most debris flow research has focused on channelized flows and little is known about the flow properties of hillslope debris flows, yet knowledge of typical flow velocities is necessary to e.g. design mitigation measures. Herein we describe 1:20 scale-model experiments on a laboratory hillslope where we systematically varied event volume, clay content, and water content and measured the inundated area, runout distance, flow depth, and front velocity. The laboratory setup was designed based on a simplified geometry of natural hillslopes and it consists of a 7.5 m long artificially roughened planar slope with a width of 1.2 m and a 4.5 m long upper slope segment of 30° and a shorter lower slope segment of 10°. Sediment-water mixtures of 4 to 20 dm3 were placed in a 0.4 m wide head box centered at the top of the slope and were released by rapidly opening a gate, releasing a flow in a dam-break fashion. The flows typically stopped on the 30° portion of the slope. Front velocities in the transit zone range from less than 0.5 to 3 ms-1, systematically increasing with flow volume (for a given clay and water content). Runout distance also increased with increasing water content. Clay content influenced the runout distance more than the flow velocity, with the distance decreasing as the clay content increased from 5 to 10%. The results, when scaled up to the field using Froude similarity, are consistent with previously published large-scale measurements of artificially-released hillslope debris flows with an initial volume of 50 m3 and with another study where impact velocities were calculated based on damage to buildings. Front velocities are also consistent with velocities calculated using a runout model for

  2. Debris flow monitoring experience in the Cancia basin (Dolomites, Northeast Italian Alps).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stancanelli, Laura; Bernard, Martino; Gregoretti, Carlo; Berti, Matteo; Simoni, Alessandro; Lanzoni, Stefano

    2016-04-01

    The monitoring campaign presented here aims to understand the dynamics of sediment transport processes in small head-water catchments of the Italian Alps and to evaluate the rainfall thresholds for debris flow triggering. The monitored basin of Cancia is located on the Eastern Italian Dolomites, in the Belluno Province. In particular, it is situated on the left side on the Boite river valley, next to the Borca di Cadore village, and is delimited by the western slope of the Mt. Antelao. The drainage area is 1.8 km2 while the elevation ranges from 2451 m a.s.l. to 880 m a.s.l., with a slope varying from 30-40° in the upper part to 10-15° in the lower part (fan area). The basin is characterized by a lithology very common in the Italian Alps, which consist of high permeability, poorly sorted rock debris, containing boulders up to 3-4 m in diameter, and include heterogeneous scree, alluvium and old debris flow deposits. The spatial distribution of sediment is characterized by: an upper part where prevails the presence of rocks, a medium part characterized by poorly sorted rock debris and fine sediment material, and a downstream part plenty of sediment material The Cancia basin is prone to stony debris flows, owing to the plenty availability of loose and coarse sediments and frequent convective events. In particular, the smaller grain sized material is provided by the erosion of lateral slope, while gravel, pebbles and cobbles are provided by the upper part of the basin, characterized by rocky material. The precipitation regime is marked by rainfalls of short duration and high intensity, usually occurring in the summer period. The debris flow channel has began to be surveyed in August 2009 to identify the debris flow generation area. At the beginning of July 2013 topographical surveys of the channel downstream the triggering area began in order to investigate the morphological evolution of the debris flow channel from 2013 until 2015. Moreover, at the beginning of

  3. Merging field survey and LiDAR technology for the analysis of debris-flow erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertoldi, G.; Reginato, M.; D'Agostino, V.

    2012-04-01

    Hazardous debris flows are usually triggered by rainfall or snowmelt on steep mountainside and might increase due to an erosive self-feeding from channel bed and banks. While trigger and deposition mechanisms might be more directly investigated in terms of sediment volumes in play, channel network erosions are quantitatively more complex particularly if a continuous detailed trend of the phenomenon is researched. In fact, data on debris-flow channel erosion are quite rare and often contradictory. In the last decade the increase of remotely sensed technologies such laser scanners has improved the quality and the detail of terrain information, thus providing a suitable tool for earth surface processes analysis. In this work the topic of debris-flow erosion has been analyzed through intensive field surveys and high resolution topography (before and after event) of two adjacent catchments, where an extreme rainfall event was recorded. Debris flows occurred on the 15th of August 2010 in the 'Rio Val Molinara' and 'Rio Val del Lago' torrents (Baselga di Pinè, Trento, Italy) seriously damaging the village of Campolongo. Event magnitudes were estimated equal to 40.000 and 10.000 m3 respectively and were almost completely generated by channel and bank erosion. The two catchments have a drainage area of about 1 km2 and are characterized by porphyritic lithology and a dominant cover of conifer forest. Both basins were considered as sediment supply limited before the event and this evaluation was corroborated by more than 150 years of inactivity resulting from historical sources. Field surveys have been carried out in summer 2011, providing geomorphic estimation of type of process (debris flow/debris flood), removed volumes, post-event sediment availability, local peak discharges and flow velocities of 150 homogeneous reaches subdivided into 200 cross sections. Field data were then compared with pre and post-event using high resolution DTMs (1 m grid cell size) derived from

  4. Debris Flow Risk Management Framework and Risk Analysis in Taiwan, A Preliminary Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsao, Ting-Chi; Hsu, Wen-Ko; Chiou, Lin-Bin; Cheng, Chin-Tung; Lo, Wen-Chun; Chen, Chen-Yu; Lai, Cheng-Nong; Ju, Jiun-Ping

    2010-05-01

    Taiwan is located on a seismically active mountain belt between the Philippine Sea plate and Eurasian plate. After 1999's Chi-Chi earthquake (Mw=7.6), landslide and debris flow occurred frequently. In Aug. 2009, Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan and numerous landslides and debris flow events, some with tremendous fatalities, were observed. With limited resources, authorities should establish a disaster management system to cope with slope disaster risks more effectively. Since 2006, Taiwan's authority in charge of debris flow management, the Soil and Water Conservation Bureau (SWCB), completed the basic investigation and data collection of 1,503 potential debris flow creeks around Taiwan. During 2008 and 2009, a debris flow quantitative risk analysis (QRA) framework, based on landslide risk management framework of Australia, was proposed and conducted on 106 creeks of the 30 villages with debris flow hazard history. Information and value of several types of elements at risk (bridge, road, building and crop) were gathered and integrated into a GIS layer, with the vulnerability model of each elements at risk applied. Through studying the historical hazard events of the 30 villages, numerical simulations of debris flow hazards with different magnitudes (5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 200 years return period) were conducted, the economic losses and fatalities of each scenario were calculated for each creek. When taking annual exceeding probability into account, the annual total risk of each creek was calculated, and the results displayed on a debris flow risk map. The number of fatalities and frequency were calculated, and the F-N curves of 106 creeks were provided. For F-N curves, the individual risk to life per year of 1.0E-04 and slope of 1, which matched with international standards, were considered to be an acceptable risk. Applying the results of the 106 creeks onto the F-N curve, they were divided into 3 categories: Unacceptable, ALARP (As Low As Reasonable Practicable) and

  5. NOAA/USGS Demonstration Flash-Flood and Debris-Flow Early-Warning System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Restrepo, P.; Cannon, S.; Laber, J.; Jorgensen, D.; Werner, K.

    2009-04-01

    Flash floods and debris flows are common following wildfires in southern California. On 25 December 2003, sixteen people were swept to their deaths by debris flows generated from basins in the San Bernardino Mountains that burned the previous fall. In an effort to reduce loss of life by floods and debris flows, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) established a prototype flash flood and debris flow early warning system for recently burned areas located in eight counties of southern California in the fall of 2005. This prototype system combines the existing NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Flash Flood Monitoring and Prediction (FFMP) system and USGS rainfall intensity-duration thresholds for debris flow and flash flood occurrence. Separate sets of thresholds are defined for the occurrence of debris flows and flash floods in response to storms during 1) the first winter after a fire, and 2) following a year of vegetative recovery. The FFMP was modified to identify when both flash floods and debris flows are likely to occur based on comparisons between precipitation (including radar estimates, in situ measurements, and short-term forecasts) and the rainfall intensity-duration thresholds developed specifically for burned areas. Advisory outlooks, watches, and warnings are disseminated to emergency management personnel through NOAA's Advanced Weather Information Processing System (AWIPS). The FFMP provides a cost-effective and efficient approach to implement a warning system on a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week basis. In 2004 the system was advanced to incorporate a web-based procedure developed by the NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Oxnard, CA that provides information about each fire to forecasters, and displays hazard maps generated by the USGS that show those basins most likely to produce the largest debris flow events within recently burned areas. During four years of operation, the WFOs in Oxnard

  6. Topographic susceptibility for debris flow initiation along transport routes in NW-Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Nele K.; Schwanghart, Wolfgang; Korup, Oliver; Romstad, Bård; Etzelmüller, Bernd

    2013-04-01

    The Norwegian transport infrastructure is frequently affected by rapid mass movements. Aside from snow avalanches and rock falls, debris flows account for high economical costs related to road and railway damages each year. However, studies investigating debris flow initiation conditions at a regional scale are rarely available for Norway. Thus, our objectives are to identify a set of terrain attributes as predictor variables for critical topographic conditions of debris flow initiation and to develop a statistical model to obtain a regional susceptibility map for NW-Norway. A debris flow inventory and the terrain variables slope, curvature and flow accumulation derived from a DEM with a resolution of 20 m x 20 m serve as input to a Weights-of-Evidence (WofE) model that we use to estimate posterior probabilities of debris flow occurrence on a pixel basis. The inventory is a point dataset of initiation locations of 429 debris flow events documented between 1979 and 2008. We divide the dataset into a training dataset consisting of debris flow events prior to 2005 and a test dataset with the events in the ongoing years. We address three topics related to model quality: model adequacy, model robustness and model accuracy. The model adequacy is tested by applying two different classification schemes (fixed intervals, percentile intervals) to the three variables slope, curvature and flow accumulation independently, and in combination. The model robustness is addressed by running the model several times with small variations in the input data set, i.e. using a random selection of 2/3 of the training dataset. The model accuracy is determined by applying the best model to the test data set and by estimating its predictive performance. Beside the susceptibility map itself, WofE offers the possibility to conduct an uncertainty map related to the posterior probabilities. This map is used for spatial error quantification. First results show that curvature is the strongest

  7. 1D numerical model of muddy subaqueous and subaerial debris flows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Imran, J.; Parker, G.; Locat, J.; Lee, H.

    2001-01-01

    A 1D numerical model of the downslope flow and deposition of muddy subaerial and subaqueous debris flows is presented. The model incorporates the Herschel-Bulkley and bilinear rheologies of viscoplastic fluid. The more familiar Bingham model is integrated into the Herschel-Bulkley rheological model. The conservation equations of mass and momentum of single-phase laminar debris flow are layer-integrated using the slender flow approximation. They are then expressed in a Lagrangian framework and solved numerically using an explicit finite difference scheme. Starting from a given initial shape, a debris flow is allowed to collapse and propagate over a specified topography. Comparison between the model predictions and laboratory experiments shows reasonable agreement. The model is used to study the effect of the ambient fluid density, initial shape of the failed mass, and rheological model on the simulated propagation of the front and runout characteristics of muddy debris flows. It is found that initial failure shape influence the front velocity but has little bearing on the final deposit shape. In the Bingham model, the excess of shear stress above the yield strength is proportional to the strain rate to the first power. This exponent is free to vary in the Herschel-Bulkley model. When it is set at a value lower than unity, the resulting final deposits are thicker and shorter than in the case of the Bingham rheology. The final deposit resulting from the bilinear model is longer and thinner than that from the Bingham model due to the fact that the debris flow is allowed to act as a Newtonian fluid at low shear rate in the bilinear model.

  8. Distinguishing Features of Atmospheric River Storms Linked to Debris Flow Initiation on Mt. Hood, Oregon and Mt. Rainier, Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desrochers, J.; Nolin, A. W.

    2011-12-01

    Strong eastern Pacific storms characterized by tropical-sourced moisture and heat are often referred to as Atmospheric Rivers (ARs) and are associated with the triggering of debris flows in the Cascade Mountain Range, USA primarily in the fall season. These storms typically feature freezing levels above 3000 m and heavy precipitation that can saturate slopes and rapidly melt shallow early season snowpack. In a study of periglacial debris flows on Mt. Hood, Oregon and Mt. Rainier, Washington, this combination of factors is proposed to initiate slope failure and subsequent debris flows. However, not all ARs trigger debris flows and other storms not associated with ARs may also lead to debris flows. The presence of these non-triggering storms has led to the question: what features distinguish the storms that trigger debris flows, and do these conditions differ between ARs and other storms? ACARS soundings are used to develop temporally detailed information about freezing levels and storm structure. Supplemental data from the SNOTEL network and NWS WSR-88D radar sites allow for better delineation of storm features and their impact on the ground. Antecedent snowpack, atmospheric temperature profiles, precipitation, and oragraphic enhancement are examined for storms associated with debris flows and those that failed to trigger events to determine what characteristics best differentiate the storms from one another. Specific features within the triggering storms, such as the presence of temperature inversions, are also examined for links to the elevation and geomorphic character of these periglacial debris flow initiation sites.

  9. Distribution of Amphipods (Gammarus nipponensis Ueno) Among Mountain Headwater Streams with Different Legacies of Debris Flow Occurrence

    EPA Science Inventory

    To understand the impacts of debris flows on the distribution of an amphipod with limited dispersal ability in the context of stream networks, we surveyed the presence of Gammarus nipponensis in 87 headwater streams with different legacies of debris flow occurrence within an 8.5-...

  10. Emergency assessment of debris-flow hazards from basins burned by the Cedar and Paradise Fires of 2003, southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Rupert, Michael G.; Michael, John A.

    2004-01-01

    These maps present preliminary assessments of the probability of debris-flow activity and estimates of peak discharges that can potentially be generated by debris flows issuing from basins burned by the Cedar and Paradise Fires of October 2003 in southern California in response to 25-year, 10-year, and 2-year recurrence, 1-hour duration rain storms. The probability maps are based on the application of a logistic multiple regression model that describes the percent chance of debris-flow production from an individual basin as a function of burned extent, soil properties, basin gradients, and storm rainfall. The peak-discharge maps are based on application of a multiple-regression model that can be used to estimate debris-flow peak discharge at a basin outlet as a function of basin gradient, burn extent, and storm rainfall. Probabilities of debris-flow occurrence for the Cedar Fire range between 0 and 98% and estimates of debris-flow peak discharges range between 893 and 5,987 ft3/s (25 to 170 m3/s). Basins burned by the Paradise Fire show probabilities for debris-flow occurrence between 2 and 98%, and peak discharge estimates between 1,814 and 5,980 ft3/s (51 and 169 m3/s). These maps are intended to identify those basins that are most prone to the largest debris-flow events and provide information for the preliminary design of mitigation measures and for the planning of evacuation timing and routes.

  11. Emergency assessment of post-fire debris-flow hazards for the 2013 Powerhouse fire, southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staley, Dennis M.; Smoczyk, Gregory M.; Reeves, Ryan R.

    2013-01-01

    Wildfire dramatically alters the hydrologic response of a watershed such that even modest rainstorms can produce dangerous flash floods and debris flows. Existing empirical models were used to predict the probability and magnitude of debris-flow occurrence in response to a 10-year recurrence interval rainstorm for the 2013 Powerhouse fire near Lancaster, California. Overall, the models predict a relatively low probability for debris-flow occurrence in response to the design storm. However, volumetric predictions suggest that debris flows that occur may entrain a significant volume of material, with 44 of the 73 basins identified as having potential debris-flow volumes between 10,000 and 100,000 cubic meters. These results suggest that even though the likelihood of debris flow is relatively low, the consequences of post-fire debris-flow initiation within the burn area may be significant for downstream populations, infrastructure, and wildlife and water resources. Given these findings, we recommend that residents, emergency managers, and public works departments pay close attention to weather forecasts and National-Weather-Service-issued Debris Flow and Flash Flood Outlooks, Watches, and Warnings and that residents adhere to any evacuation orders.

  12. Emergency assessment of post-fire debris-flow hazards for the 2013 Springs Fire, Ventura County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staley, Dennis M.

    2014-01-01

    Wildfire can significantly alter the hydrologic response of a watershed to the extent that even modest rainstorms can produce dangerous flash floods and debris flows. In this report, empirical models are used to predict the probability and magnitude of debris-flow occurrence in response to a 10-year rainstorm for the 2013 Springs fire in Ventura County, California. Overall, the models predict a relatively high probability (60–80 percent) of debris flow for 9 of the 99 drainage basins in the burn area in response to a 10-year recurrence interval design storm. Predictions of debris-flow volume suggest that debris flows may entrain a significant volume of material, with 28 of the 99 basins identified as having potential debris-flow volumes greater than 10,000 cubic meters. These results of the relative combined hazard analysis suggest there is a moderate likelihood of significant debris-flow hazard within and downstream of the burn area for nearby populations, infrastructure, wildlife, and water resources. Given these findings, we recommend that residents, emergency managers, and public works departments pay close attention to weather forecasts and National Weather Service-issued Debris Flow and Flash Flood Outlooks, Watches, and Warnings, and that residents adhere to any evacuation orders.

  13. Debris-Flow Deposition, Valley Storage, and Fluvial Evacuation in Headwater Valleys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lancaster, S. T.; Casebeer, N. E.

    2006-12-01

    Sediment from landscape disturbance often winds up in temporary storage, to be evacuated over longer time spans. In steeplands, there are few constraints on the rate at which sediment stored in valleys is released. We hypothesize that sediment in reaches characterized by debris-flow deposition and evacuation has a distribution of residence times that is distinguishable from those of sediment that is primarily released by fluvial processes. We use field surveys and extensive radiocarbon dating to assess the distribution of deposit ages in two mainstem reaches of a 2.23-km2 watershed in the Oregon Coast Range. In the downstream reach, fluvial deposits are impounded by encroaching debris fans, debris-flow, fine fluvial, and coarse fluvial deposits comprise roughly equal parts of valley storage, and deposits must be evacuated by fluvial erosion. Evacuation times are exponentially distributed with a sample mean of 1.22×103 14C yrs, a distribution indicating uniform probability of evacuation from storage. In the upstream reach, valley-spanning debris jams impound debris-flow deposits comprising >95% of valley storage, which is routinely scoured by debris flows. Evacuation times >100 14C yrs have a power law distribution with a sample mean of 4.43×102 14C yrs, a distribution indicating preferential evacuation of younger deposits and retention of older deposits. In both reaches most sediment is evacuated within short times (<500 14C yrs), but significant volumes remain for millennia. Less than half of basin-wide denudation passes through these "reservoirs," but the latter are still significant buffers between hillslope disturbance and downstream aquatic habitat.

  14. Estimated Probability of Post-Wildfire Debris-Flow Occurrence and Estimated Volume of Debris Flows from a Pre-Fire Analysis in the Three Lakes Watershed, Grand County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stevens, Michael R.; Bossong, Clifford R.; Litke, David W.; Viger, Roland J.; Rupert, Michael G.; Char, Stephen J.

    2008-01-01

    Debris flows pose substantial threats to life, property, infrastructure, and water resources. Post-wildfire debris flows may be of catastrophic proportions compared to debris flows occurring in unburned areas. During 2006, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, initiated a pre-wildfire study to determine the potential for post-wildfire debris flows in the Three Lakes watershed, Grand County, Colorado. The objective was to estimate the probability of post-wildfire debris flows and to estimate the approximate volumes of debris flows from 109 subbasins in the Three Lakes watershed in order to provide the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District with a relative measure of which subbasins might constitute the most serious debris flow hazards. This report describes the results of the study and provides estimated probabilities of debris-flow occurrence and the estimated volumes of debris flow that could be produced in 109 subbasins of the watershed under an assumed moderate- to high-burn severity of all forested areas. The estimates are needed because the Three Lakes watershed includes communities and substantial water-resources and water-supply infrastructure that are important to residents both east and west of the Continental Divide. Using information provided in this report, land and water-supply managers can consider where to concentrate pre-wildfire planning, pre-wildfire preparedness, and pre-wildfire mitigation in advance of wildfires. Also, in the event of a large wildfire, this information will help managers identify the watersheds with the greatest post-wildfire debris-flow hazards.

  15. Debris-flow deposits of Early Miocene age, Deadman Stream, Marlborough, New Zealand.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lewis, D.W.; Laird, M.G.; Powell, R.D.

    1980-01-01

    Detailed analysis is presented of a conformable succession of conglomerates and sandstones lying between massive marine mudstones. The coarse sediments reflect deposition by a spectrum of subaqueous debris-flow mechanisms during an early pulse of tectonism that ultimately resulted in Plio-Pleistocene eversion of the Kaikoura Mountains. Sparse pebbly mudstones and rare sandy conglomerates show disoriented clasts and reflect high-viscosity flows and slurry- creep flow mechanisms. Other deposits have little mud matrix, hence appear to reflect low-viscosity flow processes. Common sorted sandstones and some conglomeratic sandstones show diffuse parallel lamination. Other conglomeratic sandstones show trough cross-bedding which we attribute to entrained bedload movement during intersurge episodes of debris flow. - from Authors

  16. Climatological and meteorological conditions associated with rain-induced periglacial debris flows in the Cascade Range, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, L.; Nolin, A. W.

    2009-04-01

    Title: Climatological and meteorological conditions associated with rain-induced periglacial debris flows in the Cascade Range, USA Authors: L. Parker, A.W. Nolin Affiliation: Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA In November of 2006 an intense rainstorm of tropical origin, known colloquially as "Pineapple Express," inundated the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, initiating numerous periglacial debris flows on several of the stratovolcanoes in the Cascade Range of Oregon and Washington. Rain-induced periglacial debris flows are the result of the over-saturation and subsequent collapse of steep moraine in formerly glaciated valleys. These debris flows rapidly aggrade channels, deposit thick sediments in their path, and severely damage infrastructure. Here we focus on Mount Hood, Oregon and Mount Rainier, Washington in the investigation of meteorological and climatological conditions surrounding rain-induced periglacial debris flow events and their variability over time. Both anecdotal and observational evidence suggest that the Pineapple Express storms are a likely triggering mechanism for these rain-induced debris flows on the stratovolcanoes. Dates for the debris flow events for each mountain were linked with corresponding Pineapple Express storm events. Preliminary analysis suggests that one or more particular climatological or meteorological conditions may be central to the initiation of debris flows, though these conditions may not always be present during Pineapple Express storms. Antecedent snowpack conditions are also hypothesized to play an important role in periglacial rain-induced debris flow initiation as the presence of snow cover on the moraines and glaciers is thought to reduce the likelihood of a debris flow. Radiosonde and precipitation data from Salem, Oregon (KSLE) and Quillayute, Washington (KUIL) data are used to determine if freezing levels and precipitation amounts have changed over time for

  17. Field and laboratory analysis of the runout characteristics of hillslope debris flows in Switzerland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hürlimann, Marcel; McArdell, Brian W.; Rickli, Christian

    2015-03-01

    Hillslope debris flows are unconfined flows that originate by shallow failures in unconsolidated material at steep slopes. In spite of their significant hazard for persons and infrastructure in mountainous regions, research on hillslope debris flows is rather scarce in comparison to other landslide types. This study focusses on the runout characteristics of hillslope debris flows applying two different approaches. First, detailed landslide inventories, which include field measurements of 548 slope failures that occurred during the last two decades in seven parts of Switzerland, were analysed. Second, laboratory tests were carried out to study the effect of the soil water content, grain-size distribution and mobilized volume on the runout behaviour of hillslope debris flows. Most of the failures in the field started as shallow translational slides at terrain slopes between 25° and 45° and involved volumes of some tens to a few hundred cubic meters. An analysis of the runout distance of 117 hillslope debris flows showed that they normally travelled some tens of meters, but sometimes the runout exceeded 300 m. A positive relation between volume and runout distance and between volume and affected area was observed, although there is considerable scatter in the data. The affected area of 63 hillslope debris flows ranged from ~ 100 to ~ 1500 m2. Based on the field data, a 7.5 m long laboratory hillslope was designed with a geometrical scale factor of 20. A total of 75 runs with volumes from 4 to 20 dm3, water contents from 18% to 38%, and four grain-size distributions were carried out. The laboratory tests revealed that water content is the dominant control, but also the clay content strongly influences the runout distance and the affected area. Even a small increase in water or clay content produces a considerably larger or smaller runout distance, respectively. In contrast, the influence of the volume on the runout was smaller, and a positive relation was observed

  18. The Debris Flow of September 20, 2014, in Mud Creek, Mount Shasta Volcano, Northern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De La Fuente, J. A.; Bachmann, S.; Courtney, A.; Meyers, N.; Mikulovsky, R.; Rust, B.; Coots, F.; Veich, D.

    2015-12-01

    The debris flow in Mud Creek on September 20, 2014 occurred during a warm spell at the end of an unusually long and hot summer. No precipitation was recorded during or immediately before the event, and it appears to have resulted from rapid glacial melt. It initiated on the toe of the Konwakiton Glacier, and immediately below it. The flow track was small in the upper parts (40 feet wide), but between 8,000 and 10,000 feet in elevation, it entrained a large volume of debris from the walls and bed of the deeply incised gorge and transported it down to the apex of the Mud Creek alluvial fan (4,800'). At that point, it overflowed the channel and deposited debris on top of older (1924) debris flow deposits, and the debris plugged a road culvert 24 feet wide and 12 feet high. A small fraction of the flow was diverted to a pre-existing overflow channel which parallels Mud Creek, about 1,000 feet to the west. The main debris flow traveled down Mud Creek, confined to the pre-existing channel, but locally got to within a foot or so of overflowing the banks. At elevation 3920', video was taken during the event by a private citizen and placed on YouTube. The video revealed that the flow matrix consisted of a slurry of water/clay/silt/sand/gravel, transporting boulders 1-6 feet in diameter along with the flow. Cobble-sized rock appears to be absent. Sieve analysis of the debris flow matrix material revealed a fining of particles in a downstream direction, as expected. The thickness of deposits on the fan generally decreased in a downstream direction. Deposits were 5-6 feet deep above the Mud Creek dam, which is at 4,800' elevation, and 4-5 feet deep at the dam itself. Further downstream, thicknesses decreased as follows: 3920'aqueduct crossing, 3-4 feet; 3620' Pilgrim Creek Road crossing, 2-3 feet; 3,520', 1-2 feet; 3,440' abandoned railroad grade, 1 foot. This event damaged roads, and future events could threaten life and property. There is a need to better understand local

  19. High-resolution modeling of overland flow and sediment transport following wildfire: Insights into initiation mechanisms and sediment sources for runoff-generated debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuire, L.; Kean, J. W.; Staley, D. M.; Rengers, F. K.

    2015-12-01

    Sediment transport in steep landscapes may be facilitated by both water-dominated flows and debris-flow processes. Given the differences in erosion potential and mobility possessed by runoff and debris flows, knowledge of the conditions that determine the runoff-to-debris-flow transition has important implications for hazard assessment as well as our understanding of the long-term evolution of steep bedrock channels. Debris flows in alpine areas and burned steeplands are frequently triggered by runoff following high-intensity rainfall, but the mechanics by which runoff generates a debris flow are not well understood. To examine the connections between runoff and debris flow initiation, we developed a numerical model that couples overland flow with sediment transport and debris-flow processes. We applied the model to study erosion and debris-flow initiation that occurred during a rainfall event that produced numerous debris flows within a burned drainage basin in the San Gabriel Mountains, CA, USA. Input data for the numerical model was constrained by rain gauges, stage measurements at the basin outlet, soil-moisture sensors, and high-resolution topographic data obtained using a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS). Numerical model predictions, which compare well with TLS-derived measurements of topographic change, indicate that hillslope erosion at our study site was primarily the result of raindrop-induced sediment transport. Further, results indicate that the majority of sediment eroded from the hillslopes was deposited within the channel system during the storm with only minor amounts being transported out of the basin in suspension. Based on model results, we hypothesize that numerous debris flows were generated from the mass failure of sediment dams that built up within the channel system throughout the storm. This study adds to our understanding of sediment transport in steep landscapes and provides insight into the topographic and hydrologic factors that

  20. Updated logistic regression equations for the calculation of post-fire debris-flow likelihood in the western United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staley, Dennis M.; Negri, Jacquelyn A.; Kean, Jason W.; Laber, Jayme L.; Tillery, Anne C.; Youberg, Ann M.

    2016-01-01

    Wildfire can significantly alter the hydrologic response of a watershed to the extent that even modest rainstorms can generate dangerous flash floods and debris flows. To reduce public exposure to hazard, the U.S. Geological Survey produces post-fire debris-flow hazard assessments for select fires in the western United States. We use publicly available geospatial data describing basin morphology, burn severity, soil properties, and rainfall characteristics to estimate the statistical likelihood that debris flows will occur in response to a storm of a given rainfall intensity. Using an empirical database and refined geospatial analysis methods, we defined new equations for the prediction of debris-flow likelihood using logistic regression methods. We showed that the new logistic regression model outperformed previous models used to predict debris-flow likelihood.

  1. Extreme rainfall and debris flows from an orographic thunderstorm in the Eastern Italian Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarolli, Paolo; Marra, Francesco; Penna, Daniele; Nikolopoulos, Efthymios I.

    2013-04-01

    The upper Adige river basin, in Northern Italy, occupy a distinctive hydrometeorological niche, characterised by high frequency of orographic thunderstorms. Relatively small-extent flash floods and debris flows are triggered by these storm events. The hydrometeorological and hydrological controls of these events are examined through analyses of a storm system occurred on August 1, 2005 on the Rio Gola river basin (6.59 km2, Eastern Italian Alps, Adige river basin). The intense orographic convective system produced locally extreme rainfall peaks in 1.5 hours. The storm concentrated on small, rocky and steeply sloping basin where concentrated overland flow feeds ephemeral channels incised in slope deposits. Despite the short duration of the event the storm triggered an unusually large debris flow, with a volume of about 100,000 m3, producing significant geomorphological impacts and abrupt changes in the extent of incision and channel widening. Hydrometeorological analyses of the storm are based on radar reflectivity observations, raingauge and streamgauge data. The orographic organization of the precipitation system is examined by means of the hypsometric rainfall moments. Detailed geomorphological field surveys, rainfall estimates from radar observations, and the application of a distributed hydrological model in comparison with observed discharge, served as the basis to evaluate erosion processes and quantify the water runoff production at the initiation debris flow area. The hydrological analysis is used to evaluate the consistency among the different observations and to identify the critical factors controlling the debris flow triggering. The hydrological analysis shows that the critical factor is storm concentration on rocky and steeply surfaces and formation of concentrated surface flow at the bottom of channels filled by coarse loose debris.

  2. Characteristics of damage to buildings by debris flows on 7 August 2010 in Zhouqu, Western China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, K. H.; Cui, P.; Zhang, J. Q.

    2012-07-01

    A debris-flow catastrophe hit the city of Zhouqu, Gansu Province, western China, at midnight on 7 August 2010 following a local extreme rainfall of 77.3 mm h-1 in the Sanyanyu and Luojiayu ravines, which are located to the north of the urban area. Eight buildings damaged in the event were investigated in detail to study the characteristics and patterns of damage to buildings by debris flows. It was found that major structural damage was caused by the frontal impact of proximal debris flows, while non-structural damage was caused by lateral accumulation and abrasion of sediment. The impact had a boundary decreasing effect when debris flows encountered a series of obstacles, and the inter-positioning of buildings produced so-called back shielding effects on the damage. Impact, accumulation, and abrasion were the three main patterns of damage to buildings in this event. The damage scale depended not only on the flow properties, such as density, velocity, and depth, but also on the structural strength of buildings, material, orientation, and geometry. Reinforced concrete-framed structures can effectively resist a much higher debris-flow impact than brick-concrete structures. With respect to the two typical types of structure, a classification scheme to assess building damage is proposed by referring to the Chinese Classification System of Earthquake Damage to Buildings. Furthermore, three damage scales (major structural, minor structural, and non-structural damage) are defined by critical values of impact pressure. Finally, five countermeasures for effectively mitigating the damage are proposed according to the on-site investigation.

  3. Coupled prediction of flash flood response and debris flow occurrence in an alpine basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amponsah, William

    2015-04-01

    Coupled prediction of flash flood response and debris flow occurrence in an alpine basin Author(s): William Amponsah1, E.I. Nikolopoulos2, Lorenzo Marchi1, Roberto Dinale4, Francesco Marra3,Davide Zoccatelli2 , Marco Borga2 Affiliation(s): 1CNR - IRPI, Corso Stati Uniti 4, 35127, Padova, ITALY, 2Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, University of Padova,VialeDell'Università 16, 35020, Legnaro PD, ITALY 3Department of Geography, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ISRAEL 4Ufficio Idrografico, Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy This contribution examines the main hydrologic and morphologic metrics responsible for widespread triggering of debris-flows associated with flash flood occurrences in headwater alpine catchments.To achieve this objective, we investigate the precipitation forcing, hydrologic responses and landslides and debris-flow occurrences that prevailed during the August 4-5, 2012 extreme flash flood on the 140 km2 Vizze basin in the Eastern Alps of Italy. An intensive post-event survey was carried out a few days after the flood. This included the surveys of cross-sectional geometry and flood marks for the estimation of the peak discharges at multiple river sections and of the initiation and deposition areas of several debris flows. Rainfall estimates are based on careful analysis of weather radar observations and raingauge data. These data and observations permitted the implementation and calibration of a spatially distributed hydrological model, which was used to derive simulated flood hydrographs in 58 tributaries of the Vizze basin. Of these, 33 generated debris-flows, with area ranging from 0.02 km2 to 10 km2, with an average of 1.5 km2. With 130 mm peak event rainfall and a duration of 4 hours (with a max intensity of 90 mm h-1 for 10 min), model-simulated unit peak discharges range from 4 m3 s-1 km-2for elementary catchments up to 10 km2 to 2 m3 s-1 km-2 for catchments in the range of 50 - 100 km2. These are very high

  4. Loss estimation of debris flow events in mountain areas - An integrated tool for local authorities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papathoma-Koehle, M.; Zischg, A.; Fuchs, S.; Keiler, M.; Glade, T.

    2012-04-01

    Torrents prone to debris flows regularly cause extensive destruction of the built environment, loss of life stock, agricultural land and loss of life in mountain areas. Climate change may increase the frequency and intensity of such events. On the other hand, extensive development of mountain areas is expected to change the spatial pattern of elements at risk exposed and their vulnerability. Consequently, the costs of debris flow events are likely to increase in the coming years. Local authorities responsible for disaster risk reduction are in need of tools that may enable them to assess the future consequences of debris flow events, in particular with respect to the vulnerability of elements at risk. An integrated tool for loss estimation is presented here which is based on a newly developed vulnerability curve and which is applied in test sites in the Province of South Tyrol, Italy. The tool has a dual function: 1) continuous updating of the database regarding damages and process intensities that will eventually improve the existing vulnerability curve and 2) loss estimation of future events and hypothetical events or built environment scenarios by using the existing curve. The tool integrates the vulnerability curve together with new user friendly forms of damage documentation. The integrated tool presented here can be used by local authorities not only for the recording of damage caused by debris flows and the allocation of compensation to the owners of damaged buildings but also for land use planning, cost benefit analysis of structural protection measures and emergency planning.

  5. Role of debris flows in long-term landscape denudation in the central Appalachians of Virginia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaton, Louis Scott; Morgan, Benjamin A.; Kochel, R. Craig; Howard, Alan D.

    2003-04-01

    Four major storms that triggered debris flows in the Virginia West Virginia Appalachians provide new insights into the role of high-magnitude, low-frequency floods in long-term denudation and landscape evolution in mountainous terrain. Storm denudation in the Blue Ridge Mountain drainage basins is approximately an order of magnitude greater compared to basins located in the mountains of the Valley and Ridge province. This difference is probably the result of higher storm rainfall from the Blue Ridge storms. Radiocarbon dating of debris-flow deposits in the Blue Ridge indicates a debris-flow return interval of not more than 2 4 k.y. in mountainous river basins. This finding, combined with measurements of basin denudation, suggests that approximately half of the long-term denudation from mechanical load occurs episodically by debris-flow processes. Although floods of moderate magnitude are largely responsible for mobilizing sediment in low-gradient streams, our data suggest that high-magnitude, low-frequency events are the most significant component in delivering coarse-grained regolith from mountainous hollows and channels to the lowland floodplains.

  6. Recognizing the importance of tropical forests in limiting rainfall-induced debris flows

    EPA Science Inventory

    Worldwide concern for continuing loss of montane forest cover in the tropics usually focuses on adverse ecological consequences. Less recognized, but equally important to inhabitants of these affected regions, is an increasing susceptibility to rainfall-induced debris flows and t...

  7. An integrated approach to the study of catastrophic debris-flows: geological hazard and human influence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Ventisette, C.; Garfagnoli, F.; Ciampalini, A.; Battistini, A.; Gigli, G.; Moretti, S.; Casagli, N.

    2012-09-01

    On 1 October 2009, a prolonged and intense rainstorm triggered hundreds of landslides (predominantly debris flows) in an area of about 50 km2 in the north-eastern sector of Sicily (Italy). Debris flows swept the highest parts of many villages and passed over the SS114 state highway and the Messina-Catania railway, causing more than 30 fatalities. This region has a high relief, due to recent uplift. The peculiar geological and geomorphological framework represents one of the most common predisposing causes of rainstorm-triggered debris flows. This paper deals with the geological and hydro-geomorphological studies performed as a part of the post-disaster activities operated in collaboration with Civil Protection Authority, with the aim at examining landslides effects and mechanisms. The data were elaborated into a GIS platform, to evaluate the influence of urbanisation on the drainage pattern, and were correlated with the lithological and structural framework of the area. Our study points at the evaluation of the volume involved, the detection of triggering mechanisms and the precise reconstruction of the influence of urbanisation as fundamental tools for understanding the dynamics of catastrophic landslides. This kind of analysis, including all the desirable approaches for the correct management of debris flow should be the starting point for robust urban planning.

  8. Probability and volume of potential postwildfire debris flows in the 2011 Monument burn area, southeastern Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruddy, Barbara C.; Verdin, Kristine L.

    2011-01-01

    This report presents a preliminary emergency assessment of the debris-flow hazards from drainage basins burned by the Monument wildfire in southeastern Arizona, in 2011. Empirical models derived from statistical evaluation of data collected from recently burned drainage basins throughout the intermountain Western United States were used to estimate the probability of debris-flow occurrence and volumes of debris flows for selected drainage basins. Input for the models include measures of burn severity, topographic characteristics, soil properties, and rainfall total and intensity for a (1) 2-year-recurrence, 30-minute-duration rainfall, (2) 5-year-recurrence, 30-minute-duration rainfall, and (3) 10-year-recurrence, 30-minute-duration rainfall. Estimated debris-flow probabilities in the drainage basins of interest ranged from a low of 26 percent in response to the 2-year-recurrence, 30-minute-duration rainfall to 100 percent in response to the 10-year-recurrence, 30-minute-duration rainfall. The high probabilities in all modeled drainage basins are likely due to the abundance of steep hillslopes and the extensive areas burned at moderately to high severities. The estimated volumes ranged from a low of about 2,000 cubic meters to a high of greater than 200,000 cubic meters.

  9. Transformation of Ground Vibration Signal for Debris-Flow Monitoring and Detection in Alarm Systems

    PubMed Central

    Abancó, Clàudia; Hürlimann, Marcel; Fritschi, Bruno; Graf, Christoph; Moya, José

    2012-01-01

    Debris flows are fast mass movements formed by a mix of water and solid materials, which occur in steep torrents, and are a source of high risks for human settlements. Geophones are widely used to detect the ground vibration induced by passing debris flows. However, the recording of geophone signals usually requires storing a huge amount of data, which leads to problems in storage capacity and power consumption. This paper presents a method to transform and simplify the signals measured by geophones. The key input parameter is the ground velocity threshold, which removes the seismic noise that is not related to debris flows. A signal conditioner was developed to implement the transformation and the ground velocity threshold was set by electrical resistors. The signal conditioner was installed at various European monitoring sites to test the method. Results show that data amount and power consumption can be greatly reduced without losing much information on the main features of the debris flows. However, the outcome stresses the importance of choosing a ground vibration threshold, which must be accurately calibrated. The transformation is also suitable to detect other rapid mass movements and to distinguish among different processes, which points to a possible implementation in alarm systems. PMID:22666064

  10. Transformation of ground vibration signal for debris-flow monitoring and detection in alarm systems.

    PubMed

    Abancó, Clàudia; Hürlimann, Marcel; Fritschi, Bruno; Graf, Christoph; Moya, José

    2012-01-01

    Debris flows are fast mass movements formed by a mix of water and solid materials, which occur in steep torrents, and are a source of high risks for human settlements. Geophones are widely used to detect the ground vibration induced by passing debris flows. However, the recording of geophone signals usually requires storing a huge amount of data, which leads to problems in storage capacity and power consumption. This paper presents a method to transform and simplify the signals measured by geophones. The key input parameter is the ground velocity threshold, which removes the seismic noise that is not related to debris flows. A signal conditioner was developed to implement the transformation and the ground velocity threshold was set by electrical resistors. The signal conditioner was installed at various European monitoring sites to test the method. Results show that data amount and power consumption can be greatly reduced without losing much information on the main features of the debris flows. However, the outcome stresses the importance of choosing a ground vibration threshold, which must be accurately calibrated. The transformation is also suitable to detect other rapid mass movements and to distinguish among different processes, which points to a possible implementation in alarm systems. PMID:22666064

  11. Debris Flow Risk mitigation by the means of flexible barriers. Experimental and field tests.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canelli, L.; Ferrero, A. M.; Segalini, A.

    2012-04-01

    Debris flow risk mitigation using net barriers is an option that was not considered until few years ago, probably because of the lack of scientific evidences about their efficiency and solid guidelines for their design and construction. On site evidences (Segalini et al, 2008) showed that a rock fall deformable barrier can efficiently intercept the whole volume or just a portion of the mobilized debris without losing its stability and efficiency, actually performing a different task form that it was originally designed for. Although the final purpose of both types of barriers (rock fall and debris) is to reduce the impact energy of the moving mass by dissipating impact energy through the deformation of the net and of the dissipating elements, it is noteworthy that the physics of the impact is extremely different between the two phenomena. The rock fall barrier needs to dissipate the energy of a single block generally concentrated on the center of the net panel (design conditions). The debris flow barrier, generally installed inside a debris channel, should be able to dissipate the impact energy that the debris induces across the whole section of the channel. Moreover, the recurring characteristic of the debris flows will cause multiple impact on the barrier and therefore, the structure should be able to absorb a significant amount of energy even if partially filled and considerably deformed. In order to introduce useful guidelines for the design and production of debris flow net barriers, this paper describes: 1. Part of the results obtained from the laboratory experiment carried out in a scaled channel and aimed to estimate the most realistic thrust vs time relationship induced by a debris flow on a deformable and rigid structure; these results were partially presented last year at the EGU 2011; 2. A large scale field test carried out in a quarry located in Tambre d'Alpago (Belluno Province) on the Eastern Italian Dolomites for the analysis of the behavior of a

  12. Abstracts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2012-09-01

    Measuring cosmological parameters with GRBs: status and perspectives New interpretation of the Amati relation The SED Machine - a dedicated transient spectrograph PTF10iue - evidence for an internal engine in a unique Type Ic SN Direct evidence for the collapsar model of long gamma-ray bursts On pair instability supernovae and gamma-ray bursts Pan-STARRS1 observations of ultraluminous SNe The influence of rotation on the critical neutrino luminosity in core-collapse supernovae General relativistic magnetospheres of slowly rotating and oscillating neutron stars Host galaxies of short GRBs GRB 100418A: a bridge between GRB-associated hypernovae and SNe Two super-luminous SNe at z ~ 1.5 from the SNLS Prospects for very-high-energy gamma-ray bursts with the Cherenkov Telescope Array The dynamics and radiation of relativistic flows from massive stars The search for light echoes from the supernova explosion of 1181 AD The proto-magnetar model for gamma-ray bursts Stellar black holes at the dawn of the universe MAXI J0158-744: the discovery of a supersoft X-ray transient Wide-band spectra of magnetar burst emission Dust formation and evolution in envelope-stripped core-collapse supernovae The host galaxies of dark gamma-ray bursts Keck observations of 150 GRB host galaxies Search for properties of GRBs at large redshift The early emission from SNe Spectral properties of SN shock breakout MAXI observation of GRBs and short X-ray transients A three-dimensional view of SN 1987A using light echo spectroscopy X-ray study of the southern extension of the SNR Puppis A All-sky survey of short X-ray transients by MAXI GSC Development of the CALET gamma-ray burst monitor (CGBM)

  13. Debris flows and Record Floods from Extreme Mesoscale Convective Thunderstorms over the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magirl, C. S.; Shoemaker, C.; Webb, R. H.; Schaffner, M.; Griffiths, P. G.; Pytlak, E.

    2006-12-01

    Ample geologic evidence indicates early Holocene and Pleistocene debris flows from the south side of the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona, but few records document historical events. On July 31, 2006, an unusual set of atmospheric conditions aligned to produce record floods and an unprecedented number of debris flows in the Santa Catalinas. During the week prior to the event, an upper-level area of low pressure centered near Albuquerque, New Mexico generated widespread heavy rainfall in southern Arizona. After midnight on July 31, a strong and widespread complex of thunderstorms developed over the Mogollon Rim in central Arizona in a deformation zone that formed on the back side of the upper-level low. High atmospheric moisture (50 mm of precipitable water) coupled with cooling aloft spawned a mesoscale thunderstorm complex that moved southeast into the Tucson basin. These thunderstorms interacted with a low- to mid-level zone of atmospheric instability to create an initial wave of rainfall across the Tucson metropolitan area in the early morning hours. A second wave of thunderstorms and heavy rain developed over the Santa Catalina Mountain near dawn. A 15-20 knot low-level southwesterly wind developed with a significant upslope component over the south face of the Santa Catalina Mountains advecting moist and unstable air into the merging storms. NEXRAD radar indicates that a swath of 75-150 mm of rainfall occurred over the lower and middle elevations of the southern Santa Catalina Mountains in three increments: (1) from 2-6 AM, moderate intensity rainfall up to 65 mm; (2) from 6-7 AM, intensities up to 75 mm in 45 minutes; and (3) a final burst approaching 50 mm in 45 minutes from 8-9 AM. This intense rain falling on saturated soil triggered multiple debris flows in four adjacent canyons. Sabino Canyon, a heavily used recreation area administered by the U.S. Forest Service, was the epicenter of mass wasting where at least 18 debris flows removed

  14. Objective definition of rainfall intensity-duration thresholds for the initiation of post-fire debris flows in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staley, Dennis; Kean, Jason W.; Cannon, Susan H.; Schmidt, Kevin M.; Laber, Jayme L.

    2012-01-01

    Rainfall intensity–duration (ID) thresholds are commonly used to predict the temporal occurrence of debris flows and shallow landslides. Typically, thresholds are subjectively defined as the upper limit of peak rainstorm intensities that do not produce debris flows and landslides, or as the lower limit of peak rainstorm intensities that initiate debris flows and landslides. In addition, peak rainstorm intensities are often used to define thresholds, as data regarding the precise timing of debris flows and associated rainfall intensities are usually not available, and rainfall characteristics are often estimated from distant gauging locations. Here, we attempt to improve the performance of existing threshold-based predictions of post-fire debris-flow occurrence by utilizing data on the precise timing of debris flows relative to rainfall intensity, and develop an objective method to define the threshold intensities. We objectively defined the thresholds by maximizing the number of correct predictions of debris flow occurrence while minimizing the rate of both Type I (false positive) and Type II (false negative) errors. We identified that (1) there were statistically significant differences between peak storm and triggering intensities, (2) the objectively defined threshold model presents a better balance between predictive success, false alarms and failed alarms than previous subjectively defined thresholds, (3) thresholds based on measurements of rainfall intensity over shorter duration (≤60 min) are better predictors of post-fire debris-flow initiation than longer duration thresholds, and (4) the objectively defined thresholds were exceeded prior to the recorded time of debris flow at frequencies similar to or better than subjective thresholds. Our findings highlight the need to better constrain the timing and processes of initiation of landslides and debris flows for future threshold studies. In addition, the methods used to define rainfall thresholds in this

  15. A database on post-fire erosion rates and debris flows in Mediterranean-Basin watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parise, M.; Cannon, S. H.

    2009-04-01

    Wildfires can affect many Mediterranean countries on a yearly bases, producing damage and economic losses, both as direct effect of the fires and as consequent events, including erosion and sedimentation in the recently burned areas. Even though most of the wildfires occur in Spain, Portugal, southern France, Italy and Greece, it can be stated that no one of the Mediterranean countries is completely immune by such hazards. In addition to destruction of the vegetation, and in addition to direct losses to the built-up environment, further effects may also be registered as a consequence of the fire, even weeks or months after its occurrence. Wildfire can have, in fact, profound effects on the hydrologic response of watersheds, and debris-flow activity is among the most destructive consequences of these effects, often causing extensive damage to human infrastructure. Wildfires are today continuously monitored by several European institutions, and forecasting of the conditions (weather, temperature, wind, etc.) more likely conducive to their occurrence is often available in real time. On the other hand, not much is known about the processes that occur as a consequence of the fire, including erosion and debris flows. These are often underestimated, and become object of study only after some catastrophic event has occurred. This is in strong contrast with all the established techniques of risk mitigation; as a result, no prevention action is generally considered, and the society relies only on the emergency phase following a disaster. Aimed at contributing to gather information about the occurrence of erosional and debris-flow activity in recently burned Mediterranean areas, and at making available these information to land planners and scientists, a specific database has been compiled and presented in this contribution. To date, scientific literature on the topic in Europe has never been catalogued, and was dispersed in a number of different journals and in conference

  16. Sediment delivery in debris-flow torrents: two case studies in the Italian Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertoldi, Gabriele; Vincenzo, D'Agostino

    2013-04-01

    Flood-risk mitigation strategy is moving from fixed, structural and costly mitigation measures to more effective proactive solutions. This change is driven both by Flood Directive 2007/60/EC and limitations of financial resources and it requires a deep knowledge of the involved processes. In mountain catchments debris flow and debris floods are the most important sources of hazard and their impact on the fan areas is heavily conditioned by the sediment dynamics along the 'transport' reaches of the torrents. Last advances show how many cases of erosion and deposition within the transport reach greatly affect the total volume that is delivered to the fan as well the overall dynamics of the debris flow/flood event. Due to logistic and practical constraints this intermediate phase of the process has been scarcely investigated and the complex behavior of the sediment budgeting in torrent-streams is emerging. The objective of this work consists of collecting information on the evolution of the debris-flow sediment budget along Alpine torrents in order to provide novel data about erosive, depositional and recharging processes under different geological conditions. Two high frequency debris-flow catchments have been selected: the Rio Rudan basin in the geological setting of the Dolomites (near Cortina d'Ampezzo, Veneto Region, Italy) and the metamorphic dominated catchment of the Rio Gadria (near Lasa, Trentino Alto Adige, Italy), which has been recently instrumented (EU project Monitor II). Periodical field monitoring has been carried out since summer 2011. 25 cross sections have been observed in the Rio Rudan catchment along a 480 m torrent reach (slope of 36%) where additional sediment entrainment after debris-flow initiation takes place. 20 cross sections have been selected in the upper Rio Gadria basin and more precisely in two reaches close to debris-flow triggerring areas. Other 31 cross sections have been also monitored of the Rio Gadria main channel covering a

  17. Debris flow sensitivity to glacial-interglacial climate change - supply vs transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Arcy, Mitch; Roda Boluda, Duna C.; Whittaker, Alexander C.

    2016-04-01

    Numerical models suggest that small mountain catchment-alluvial fan systems might be sensitive to climate changes over glacial-interglacial cycles, and record these palaeoclimate signals in the sedimentology of their deposits. However, these models are still largely untested, and the propagation of climate signals through simple sediment routing systems remains contentious. Here, we present detailed sedimentological records from 8 debris flow fan systems in Owens Valley, California, that capture the past ~ 120 ka of deposition. We identify a strong and sustained relationship between deposit grain size and palaeoclimate records over a full glacial-interglacial cycle, with significantly coarser-grained deposits found in warm and dry periods. Our data show that these systems are highly sensitive to climate with a rapid response timescale of < 10ka, which we attribute to rapid transfer from source to sink. This sensitive record might be explained by changes in sediment supply and/or changes in sediment mobilisation, and we evaluate these mechanisms quantitatively. We find little evidence that changes in catchment hypsometry, weathering patterns, past glaciation or sediment production can explain the grain size changes we observe on the fans. However we do find that grain size has increased exponentially with rising temperatures, at a rate that matches the intensification of storms with warming. As these debris flows are triggered by surface runoff during intense storms, we interpret that enhanced runoff rates in warm and stormy conditions are responsible for entraining larger clasts during debris flow initiation. This implies that debris flow fans might record signals of past storm intensity. Our study utilises field sedimentology and focuses on short transport distances (~ 10 km) and climate changes over ~ 1-100 ka timespans, but could additionally have important implications for how eroding landscapes might respond to future warming scenarios. We address the

  18. Landslide and debris flow susceptibility zonation using TRIGRS for the 2011 Seoul landslide event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, D. W.; Nikhil, N. V.; Lee, S. R.

    2013-06-01

    This paper presents the results from application of a regional, physically-based stability model: Transient Rainfall Infiltration and Grid-based Regional Slope-stability analysis (TRIGRS) for a catchment on Woomyeon Mountain, Seoul, Korea. This model couples an infinite-slope stability analysis with a one-dimensional analytical solution to predict the transient pore pressure response to the infiltration of rainfall. TRIGRS also adopts the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) framework for determining the whole behaviour of a slope. In this paper, we suggest an index for evaluating the results produced by the model. Particular attention is devoted to the prediction of routes of debris flow, using a runoff module. In this context, the paper compares observed landslide and debris flow events with those predicted by the TRIGRS model. The TRIGRS model, originally developed to predict shallow landslides, has been extended in this study for application to debris flows. The results predicted by the TRIGRS model are presented as safety factor (FS) maps corresponding to transient rainfall events, and in terms of debris flow paths using methods proposed by several researchers in hydrology. In order to quantify the accuracy of the model, we proposed an index called LRclass (landslide ratio for each predicted FS class). The LRclass index is mainly applied in regions where the landslide scar area is not well defined (or is unknown), in order to avoid over-estimation of the model results. The use of the TRIGRS routing module was proposed to predict the paths of debris flow, especially in areas where the rheological properties and erosion rates of the materials are difficult to obtain. Although an improvement in accuracy is needed, this module is very useful for preliminary spatiotemporal assessment over wide areas. In summary, the TRIGRS model is a powerful tool of use to decision makers for susceptibility mapping, particularly when linked with various advanced applications using

  19. Landslide and debris flow susceptibility zonation using TRIGRS for the 2011 Seoul landslide event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, D. W.; Nikhil, N. V.; Lee, S. R.

    2013-11-01

    This paper presents the results from the application of a regional, physically based stability model: Transient Rainfall Infiltration and Grid-based Regional Slope-stability analysis (TRIGRS) for a region on Woomyeon Mountain, Seoul, South Korea. This model couples an infinite-slope stability analysis with a one-dimensional analytical solution to predict the transient pore pressure response to the infiltration of rainfall. TRIGRS also adopts the geographic information system (GIS) framework for determining the whole behaviour of a slope. In this paper, we suggest an index for evaluating the results produced by the model. Particular attention is devoted to the prediction of routes of debris flow, using a runoff module. In this context, the paper compares observed landslide and debris flow events with those predicted by the TRIGRS model. The TRIGRS model, originally developed to predict shallow landslides, has been extended in this study for application to debris flows. The results predicted by the TRIGRS model are presented as safety factor (FS) maps corresponding to transient rainfall events, and in terms of debris flow paths using methods proposed by several researchers in hydrology. In order to quantify the effectiveness of the model, we proposed an index called LRclass (landslide ratio for each predicted FS class). The LRclass index is mainly applied in regions where the landslide scar area is not well defined (or is unknown), in order to avoid overestimation of the model results. The use of the TRIGRS routing module was proposed to predict the paths of debris flow, especially in areas where the rheological properties and erosion rates of the materials are difficult to obtain. Although an improvement in accuracy is needed, this module is very useful for preliminary spatio-temporal assessment over wide areas. In summary, the TRIGRS model is a powerful tool of use to decision makers for susceptibility mapping, particularly when linked with various advanced

  20. Field Observations of Basal Forces and Fluid Pore Pressure in a Debris Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McArdell, B. W.; Bartelt, P.; Kowalski, J.

    2006-12-01

    The interaction of the soil material and interstitial fluid is central to understanding the dynamics of debris flows, however it has been rarely investigated for natural debris flows. Using results from a large force plate (4 m wide, 2 m long) installed on the bed of the Illgraben torrent channel, Switzerland, we describe measurements of normal, shear, and fluid pore pressure for a naturally-released debris flow with a front speed of 1.4 ms-1 that traveled more than 2 km along a gently-sloping (8 to 10%) channel. Peak values of all parameters were observed near the relatively dry granular flow front (flow depth= 1.05 m, normal stress= 23 kPa, shear stress= 2.8 kPa, basal fluid pore pressure= 15 kPa) and decreased approximately in-phase with the flow depth over the remainder of the flow. Assuming that the depths of the fluid and solid phases are identical after 20 s, as indicated by video recordings, and that a static description of the pressure distribution within the fluid phase is approximately valid, the ratio of effective stress to shear stress yields plausible estimates of the Coulomb basal friction angle near the front of the flow. Large non-lithostatic pressures are not apparent in our data; calculated bulk densities of the flow remaining at about 2200 kgm-3 over the most of the flow. The bulk density of the fluid phase calculated from the measured fluid pore pressure and flow height, assuming a hydrostatic pore pressure distribution, is 1200---1300 kgm-3. An alternative explanation is that the fluid pressure contains both hydrostatic and dynamics components. To explore this idea, we assume that a dynamic pore pressure component is proportional to the strength of the shearing of the solid phase or to the strength of the collisions of the particles comprising the solid phase, which we approximate using data from a geophone installed on the force plate. We find only a weak correlation between the geophone signal and a dynamic pore pressure component for this

  1. Effects of Alluvial and Debris Flow Fans on Channel Morphology in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bigelow, P. E.; Benda, L.; Miller, D.; Andras, K.

    2003-12-01

    Formation of debris flow and alluvial fans at tributary confluences from episodic erosion associated with large storms and fires ("extreme events") are often viewed negatively over short time spans (years). However, when viewed over long periods of time (decades to centuries), fans that form at tributary junctions are often sources of morphological diversity in streams and rivers. To evaluate effects of tributary fans on the morphology of mainstem channels, we surveyed a total of 44 km of streams in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho (27 km), Olympic Mountains of Washington (10 km), and Central Coast Range of Oregon (7 km). Rejuvenated alluvial fans resulting from post-fire gully erosion in the Sawtooth Mountains created gradient nick points in 4th to 6th order mainstem channels (30 to 350 km2 drainage area) that increased sediment storage upstream resulting in decreased channel gradients, widened flood plains, side channel construction, and the beginning of terrace formation. Downstream effects included increased channel gradients, often creating rapids. In 3rd and 4th order mainstem channels (< 10 km2 drainage area) in the Olympic Mountains, there was statistically significant association between low-order confluences containing debris flow deposits and gravel abundance, wide channels, and numbers of logs and large pools. Moreover, heterogeneity of mainstem channel morphology increased in proximity to low-order confluences prone to debris flows in the Olympic study sites. In 3rd and 4th order channels in the Oregon Coast Range, density of large wood and boulders in mainstem channels (< 30 km2 drainage area) increased with proximity to all debris flow fans at low-order confluences regardless of fan age, while channel gradients and sediment depth in mainstem channels increased with proximity to recent (< 60 yrs old) debris fans. Consequently, alluvial and debris flow fans can be significant agents of heterogeneity in riverine habitats, similar to other sources of

  2. Debris-flow hazards in areas affected by the June 27, 1995, storm in Madison County, Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morgan, B.A.; Wieczorek, G.F.; Campbell, R.H.; Gori, P.L.

    1997-01-01

    A severe storm on June 27, 1995 triggered hundreds of rock, debris and soil slides from the steep hillsides of Madison County, Virginia. Most of these transformed into debris flows that inundated areas downslope causing damage to structures, roads, utilities, livestock and crops. This report contains an analysis of areas susceptible to debris flows including an examination of source areas, channels and areas of deposition. These analyses are used to develop a methodology for identifying areas subject to debris-flow hazards in Madison County. The report concludes with a discussion of strategies for reducing debris-flow hazards and the long term risk of these hazards in Madison County as well as for similar areas along the eastern flank of the Blue Ridge.

  3. Effects of Recent Debris Flows on Stream Ecosystems and Food Webs in Small Watersheds in the Central Klamath Mountains, NW California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cover, M. R.; de La Fuente, J.

    2008-12-01

    Debris flows are common erosional processes in steep mountain areas throughout the world, but little is known about the long-term ecological effects of debris flows on stream ecosystems. Based on debris flow histories that were developed for each of ten tributary basins, we classified channels as having experienced recent (1997) or older (pre-1997) debris flows. Of the streams classified as older debris flow streams, three streams experienced debris flows during floods in 1964 or 1974, while two streams showed little or no evidence of debris flow activity in the 20th century. White alder (Alnus rhombifolia) was the dominant pioneer tree species in recent debris flow streams, forming localized dense patches of canopy cover. Maximum temperatures and daily temperature ranges were significantly higher in recent debris flow streams than in older debris flow streams. Debris flows resulted in a shift in food webs from allochthonous to autochthonous energy sources. Primary productivity, as measured by oxygen change during the day, was greater in recent debris flow streams, resulting in increased abundances of grazers such as the armored caddisfly Glossosoma spp. Detritivorous stoneflies were virtually absent in recent debris flow streams because of the lack of year-round, diverse sources of leaf litter. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were abundant in four of the recent debris flow streams. Poor recolonizers, such as the Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus), coastal tailed frog (Ascaphus truei), and signal crayfish (Pacifistacus leniusculus), were virtually absent in recent debris flow streams. Forest and watershed managers should consider the role of forest disturbances, such as road networks, on debris flow frequency and intensity, and the resulting ecological effects on stream ecosystems.

  4. Predicting the delivery of sediment and associated nutrients from post-fire debris flows in small upland catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nyman, Petter; Sheridan, Gary; Smith, Hugh; Lane, Patrick

    2014-05-01

    Post-fire debris flows are extreme erosion events that can dominate the long term supply of sediment from headwaters to streams in upland catchments. Predicting the location, frequency and magnitude of debris flows is therefore important for understanding sediment dynamics in upland catchments and providing a basis on which to manage hydro-geomorphic risk in burned areas. In this study we survey 10 post-fire debris flow events in southeast Australia with aims to i) identify rainfall conditions underlying the debris flow response, ii) quantify erosion rates in hillslope and channel source areas, and iii) estimate the delivery of sediment and water quality constituents to receiving waterways. Rainfall events that triggered debris flows had an annual exceedance probability ranging from 0.1 to 0.6, and 30-minute intensities, I30, ranging from 17-60 mm h-1. Sediment delivery by debris flows (100-200 t ha-1) is similar to that which has been reported for similar events in the western US and Spain. In terms of eroded volume, there was on average an equal contribution from hillslopes and channels to debris flows, which is in agreement with the calculations of surface and subsurface source contributions obtained from radionuclide concentrations. In terms of the potential water quality impacts from post-fire debris flows, the hillslopes had much higher concentration of constituents such as fine clay and silt, plant available phosphorous and total carbon. The data on debris flow magnitude was used to evaluate two different approaches for predicting sediment delivery from debris flows. A statistical debris flow model developed by the US Geological Surveys and parameterized for catchments in western US performed well (R2 = 0.92) in terms of predicting the overall volume of material delivered at the catchment outlet. An alternative modeling approach, using local slope and contributing area as predictors of erosion, also produced good results, and could be used to obtain more

  5. Vadose zone process that control landslide initiation and debris flow propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidle, Roy C.

    2015-04-01

    Advances in the areas of geotechnical engineering, hydrology, mineralogy, geomorphology, geology, and biology have individually advanced our understanding of factors affecting slope stability; however, the interactions among these processes and attributes as they affect the initiation and propagation of landslides and debris flows are not well understood. Here the importance of interactive vadose zone processes is emphasized related to the mechanisms, initiation, mode, and timing of rainfall-initiated landslides that are triggered by positive pore water accretion, loss of soil suction and increase in overburden weight, and long-term cumulative rain water infiltration. Both large- and small-scale preferential flow pathways can both contribute to and mitigate instability, by respectively concentrating and dispersing subsurface flow. These mechanisms are influenced by soil structure, lithology, landforms, and biota. Conditions conducive to landslide initiation by infiltration versus exfiltration are discussed relative to bedrock structure and joints. The effects of rhizosphere processes on slope stability are examined, including root reinforcement of soil mantles, evapotranspiration, and how root structures affect preferential flow paths. At a larger scale, the nexus between hillslope landslides and in-channel debris flows is examined with emphasis on understanding the timing of debris flows relative to chronic and episodic infilling processes, as well as the episodic nature of large rainfall and related stormflow generation in headwater streams. The hydrogeomorphic processes and conditions that determine whether or not landslides immediately mobilize into debris flows is important for predicting the timing and extent of devastating debris flow runout in steep terrain. Given the spatial footprint of individual landslides, it is necessary to assess vadose zone processes at appropriate scales to ascertain impacts on mass wasting phenomena. Articulating the appropriate

  6. High frequency seismic monitoring of debris flows at Chalk Cliffs (CO), USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coviello, Velio; Kean, Jason; Smith, Joel; Coe, Jeffrey; Arattano, Massimo; McCoy, Scott

    2015-04-01

    A growing number of studies adopt passive seismic monitoring techniques to investigate slope instabilities and landslide processes. These techniques are attractive and convenient because large areas can be monitored from a safe distance. This is particularly true when the phenomena under investigation are rapid and infrequent mass movements like debris flows. Different types of devices are used to monitor debris flow processes, but among them ground vibration detectors (GVDs) present several, specific advantages that encourage their use. These advantages include: (i) the possibility to be installed outside the channel bed, (ii) the high adaptability to different and harsh field conditions, and (iii) the capability to detect the debris flow front arrival tens of seconds earlier than contact and stage sensors. Ground vibration data can provide relevant information on the dynamics of debris flows such as timing and velocity of the main surges. However, the processing of the raw seismic signal is usually needed, both to obtain a more effective representation of waveforms and to decrease the amount of data that need to be recorded and analyzed. With this objective, the methods of Amplitude and Impulses are commonly adopted to transform the raw signal to a 1-Hz signal that allows for a more useful representation of the phenomenon. In that way, peaks and other features become more visible and comparable with data obtained from other monitoring devices. In this work, we present the first debris flows seismic recordings gathered in the Chalk Cliffs instrumented basin, central Colorado, USA. In May 2014, two 4.5-Hz, three-axial geophones were installed in the upper part of the catchment. Seismic data are sampled at 333 Hz and then recorded by a standalone recording unit. One geophone is directly installed on bedrock, the other one mounted on a 1-m boulder partially buried in colluvium. This latter sensor integrates a heavily instrumented cross-section consisting of a 225 cm2

  7. Radar-based observatiions of variable thickness debris cover on martian ice masses: evidence of debris transfer by flowing ice on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souness, Colin; Brough, Stephen; Woodward, John; Hubbard, Bryn; Davis, Joel; Grindrod, Peter

    2016-04-01

    The mid-latitudes of Mars host a wide range of ice-based landforms, many of which display surface morphologies indicative of viscous flow of that ice. Despite being shrouded beneath a layer of rocky debris, these viscous flow features (VFFs) are thought to have similarities with terrestrial glaciers. Until recently most studies that focussed on the origin, structure and role of these martian VFFs were restricted to observations made from satellite imagery. Little data have been available to gain a clearer picture of VFF internal structure, which has impeded our collective ability to infer many particulars of VFF growth and flow, including the extent to which these ice flows have interacted with, and potentially helped shape, the martian landscape. However, the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) system mounted on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) can, in some cases, provide a valuable insight into what lies beneath the surface of these ice masses. We present a SHARAD-based study of glacial systems on Mars which reveals pronounced heterogeneity in the thickness of their observed superficial debris covers. The surface debris layers in question appear to thicken in a down-slope direction. Radar data indicates that in the lower reaches of each studied glacial catchment, ice surface debris cover exceeds 10 m in thickness. The observed flow-parallel a-symmetry in debris thickness atop these martian glaciers is similar to that recorded on many terrestrial glaciers, indicating that cumulative down-flow debris mass transfer such as occurs within glacierised catchments on Earth may also currently operate, or have operated, on Mars. This suggests that glaciers on Mars have played a substantial role in redistributing lithic material from mountainous catchments to lower-lying areas, potentially throughout the glacial regions of Mars' mid-latitudes, thus making an important processual contribution to the evolution of Mars' contemporary landscape.

  8. A morphometric analysis of gullies scoured by post-fire progressively bulked debris flows in southwest Montana, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabet, Emmanuel J.; Bookter, Andy

    2008-04-01

    In the fall of 2001, an intense thunderstorm in southwest Montana triggered many debris flows in the burned area of Sleeping Child Creek. In most instances, the debris flows cut deep gullies into previously unchannelized colluvial hollows and deposited large volumes of sediment onto the valley floor. The presence of rill networks above the gullies as well as the absence of landslide features indicate that the gullies were scoured by progressively bulked debris flows, a process in which dilute surface runoff becomes increasingly more laden with sediment until it transforms into a debris flow. In this contribution, we present a morphometric analysis of six of the gullies to better understand this relatively understudied process. We find that the locations of the rill heads and gully heads conform to slope-area thresholds that are characteristic of erosion by overland flow. Our data also suggest that the volumes of the debris flows increase exponentially with normalized drainage area, thus lending support to an assumption used in a recently proposed debris flow incision law. Finally, the debris flow fans have been relatively unaltered since deposition, suggesting that the valley may be currently aggrading while the hillslopes are being denuded.

  9. Effective mitigation of debris flows at Lemon Dam, La Plata County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    deWolfe, V.G.; Santi, P.M.; Ey, J.; Gartner, J.E.

    2008-01-01

    To reduce the hazards from debris flows in drainage basins burned by wildfire, erosion control measures such as construction of check dams, installation of log erosion barriers (LEBs), and spreading of straw mulch and seed are common practice. After the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire in southwest Colorado, these measures were implemented at Knight Canyon above Lemon Dam to protect the intake structures of the dam from being filled with sediment. Hillslope erosion protection measures included LEBs at concentrations of 220-620/ha (200-600% of typical densities), straw mulch was hand spread at concentrations up to 5.6??metric tons/hectare (125% of typical densities), and seeds were hand spread at 67-84??kg/ha (150% of typical values). The mulch was carefully crimped into the soil to keep it in place. In addition, 13 check dams and 3 debris racks were installed in the main drainage channel of the basin. The technical literature shows that each mitigation method working alone, or improperly constructed or applied, was inconsistent in its ability to reduce erosion and sedimentation. At Lemon Dam, however, these methods were effective in virtually eliminating sedimentation into the reservoir, which can be attributed to a number of factors: the density of application of each mitigation method, the enhancement of methods working in concert, the quality of installation, and rehabilitation of mitigation features to extend their useful life. The check dams effectively trapped the sediment mobilized during rainstorms, and only a few cubic meters of debris traveled downchannel, where it was intercepted by debris racks. Using a debris volume-prediction model developed for use in burned basins in the Western U.S., recorded rainfall events following the Missionary Ridge Fire should have produced a debris flow of approximately 10,000??m3 at Knight Canyon. The mitigation measures, therefore, reduced the debris volume by several orders of magnitude. For comparison, rainstorm

  10. Sporadic, rainfall triggered landslides and debris flows in the monsoon, Nepal Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fort, Monique; Etienne, Cossart; Alexis, Conte; Natacha, Gribenski; Gilles, Arnaud-Fassetta

    2010-05-01

    Small river catchments play a major role in the overall denudation of the Himalayas, because they may generate extreme, geomorphic events. We characterize their potential impacts on the morphology and functioning of trunk rivers, and indirectly on infrastructure and settlements located along the valley floor. Our study case, the Ghatte Khola, is an intermittent tributary of the Kali Gandaki (Western Nepal) affected by occasional debris flow events. The cause of the debris flows is a persistent planar slide zone (dip slope) that is reactivated by pre- or monsoon heavy rainfall on the upper, forested catchment. As a result, the narrow valley of the upstream part of the tributary is temporary clogged by slide masses, until sudden, landslide outburst floods occur. Downstream, where the channel is entrenched across a 5-8 m thick debris fan, the functioning of successive debris flows cause bank erosion and stream channel widening. At the junction with the Kali Gandaki, the flows may aggrade debris volumes large enough to dam the Kali Gandaki for a few hours and cause the level of this major river to rise more than 5 m upstream. During the last 40 years, pulsed aggradations transferred erosion point to the opposite (left bank) side of the Kali Gandaki. This ephemeral, yet threatening behaviour of the stream, occurs every two or three years, according to field investigations (geomorphic mapping, sediment analysis) and interviews of villagers. We present various scenarios simulated using the SAGA-GIS cellular automata combined with a Digital Elevation Model. We discuss the available rainfall intensity-duration thresholds susceptible to trigger Himalayan landslides. Our study suggests that such high-magnitude/low-frequency events are very efficient to foster sediment fluxes and create temporary sediment storages in Himalayan valleys, a fact that is to be considered prior to any new settlement and road design in a country where infrastructures are rapidly developing.

  11. Development of a debris-flow monitoring system in the Réal Torrent (Southern French Alps)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navratil, O.; Liébault, F.; Travaglini, E.; Bellot, H.; Theule, J. I.; Ravanat, X.; Ousset, F.; Laigle, D.; Segel, V.; Ficquet, M.

    2011-12-01

    Small upland catchments in degraded terrains are prone to debris-flows which may endanger the safety of life and infrastructure in the vicinity of torrent channels. These flows mobilise high sediment loads and they are often responsible for most of the sediment yield from upland headwaters. Despite their importance in terms of natural hazard prevention and sediment management in upland catchments, our understanding of the mechanisms that control debris-flow initiation, propagation and deposition is still largely insufficient. This is partly explained by the paucity of field observation programs dedicated to channelized debris-flows. Such programs need to overcome several difficulties related to the nature of the phenomena: debris-flows are rapid, short-lasting, rare and destructive events that need a sophisticated and robust monitoring strategy to guarantee a performing reconstitution of natural processes. Over the last 20 years, increasing efforts have been undertaken in Europe, United States and Asia to develop high-frequency debris-flow monitoring stations. In France, despite the presence of very active debris-flow torrents and a long historical legacy of torrent-control works, there is not any instrumented torrent dedicated to the study of debris-flow. Moreover, monitoring programs generally focus on station location flow properties (velocity, stage, shear strength) mainly located in the vicinity of hillslope sources; but they rarely emphasized the downstream changing nature of a debris-flow and its interactions with the torrent channel morphology. To address this issue, a very active debris-flow torrent located in Southern French Alps, the Réal Torrent (2.3 km2), have been equipped with 3 monitoring stations in late 2010. In this contribution, we present the research aims, the main characteristics of the torrent and the first results. A detailed presentation of the deployed equipments and monitoring system is proposed. Debris-flow monitoring systems are based

  12. Influence of topography on debris flow development in Ichino-sawa subwatershed of Ohya-kuzure landslide, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsunetaka, H.; Hotta, N.; Imaizumi, F.; Hayakawa, Y. S.

    2015-12-01

    Large sediment movements, such as deep-seated landslides, produce unstable sediment over the long term. Most of the unstable sediment in a mountain torrent is discharged via the development of debris flows through entrainment. Consequently, after a large sediment movement, debris flows have long-term effects on the watershed regime. However, the development of debris flows in mountain torrents is poorly understood, since the topography is more complicated than downstream. We compared temporal changes in topography to examine how topography affects the development of flows. The study site was the Ichino-sawa subwatershed in the Ohya-kuzure landslide, Japan. Unstable sediment has been produced continuously since the landslide occurred in 1707. Several topographic surveys using a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) and aerial shoots by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) were performed between November 2011 (TLS) or November 2014 (UAV) and August 2015. High-resolution digital elevation models were created from the TLS and UAV results to detect temporal topographic changes. Debris flow occurrences and rainfall were also monitored using interval cameras and rain gauges. Downstream, the deposit depth decreased after the debris flows. Upstream, more complex changes were detected due to surges in the debris flows, which not only induced entrainment, but were also deposited in the valley floor. Furthermore, sediment was supplied from the stream bank during the debris flows. Consequently, several debris flows of different magnitudes were observed, although the rainfall conditions did not differ significantly. The results imply that the magnitude of the debris flows was affected by successive sediment movement resulting from the changing of the topographic conditions.

  13. Andic soil features and debris flows in Italy. New perspective towards prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scognamiglio, Solange; Calcaterra, Domenico; Iamarino, Michela; Langella, Giuliano; Orefice, Nadia; Vingiani, Simona; Terribile, Fabio

    2016-04-01

    Debris flows are dangerous hazards causing fatalities and damage. Previous works have demonstrated that the materials involved by debris flows in Campania (southern Italy) are soils classified as Andosols. These soils have peculiar chemical and physical properties which make them fertile but also vulnerable to landslide. In Italy, andic soil properties are found both in volcanic and non-volcanic mountain ecosystems (VME and NVME). Here, we focused on the assessment of the main chemical and physical properties of the soils in the detachment areas of eight debris flows occurred in NVME of Italy in the last 70 years. Such landslides were selected by consulting the official Italian geodatabase (IFFI Project). Andic properties (by means of ammonium oxalate extractable Fe, Si and Al forms for the calculation of Alo+1/2Feo) were also evaluated and a comparison with soils of VME was performed to assess possible common features. Landslide source areas were characterised by slope gradient ranging from 25° to 50° and lithological heterogeneity of the bedrock. The soils showed similar, i.e. all were very deep, had a moderately thick topsoil with a high organic carbon (OC) content decreasing regularly with depth. The cation exchange capacity trend was generally consistent with the OC and the pH varied from extremely to slightly acid, but increased with depth. Furthermore, the soils had high water retention values both at saturation (0.63 to 0.78 cm3 cm‑3) and in the dryer part of the water retention curve, and displayed a prevalent loamy texture. Such properties denote the chemical and physical fertility of the investigated ecosystems. The values of Alo+1/2Feoindicated that the soils had vitric or andic features and can be classified as Andosols. The comparison between NVME soils and those of VME showed similar depth, thickness of soil horizons, and family texture, whereas soil pH, degree of development of andic properties and allophane content were higher for VME soils

  14. Improving Landslide Inventories by Limiting Land Classification to Drainage Areas of Debris Flow-Dominated Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, N. J.; Mitasova, H.; Wegmann, K. W.

    2011-12-01

    Landslide inventories, frequently created by aerial photograph interpretation (API), are often used in the production of hillslope hazard maps to characterize past landslides or to evaluate a hazard model. In the former application of inventories, potential landslides in hazard maps are delineated as areas that have similar morphometrics as past landslides at locations of modeled hillslope instability. Therefore, the accuracy of the inventory has a strong influence upon hazard extent. In the latter application, the partial inventories that sometimes result from API, due to the subjectivity of interpretation and revegetation of landslides, likely results in incorrect evaluations. A more complete, less subjective technique is needed to not only better characterize past landslides and improve evaluation of hazard models, but also to assess the extent of areas prone to significant mass wasting in mountainous regions due to the evolution of landscapes. Inventory accuracy continues to improve with new technology and automated techniques, though rarely is the form of a channel's topography incorporated into the inventory process despite the growing evidence of a topographic signature of debris flows. This signature demarcates the transition between the dominant channel erosional process: fluvial or debris flow. These process transitions are often observed at scaling breaks in log-log plots of a channel's drainage area versus slope (DS plot). The scaling breaks, above which the effects of fluvial power laws upon channel topography are not observed and below which debris flow scars are not found, may signify the lowest point in the watershed where debris flows occur. We present an inventory technique that limits a land classification algorithm to areas that are upstream from this scaling break determined from DS plots of five streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) region of the southern Appalachians. Topographic data for the DS plots and the

  15. The distribution of lobate debris aprons and similar flows on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squyres, S. W.

    1979-01-01

    Planet-wide mapping of lobate debris aprons and other similar flows on Mars shows a strong concentration in two latitudinal bands roughly 25 deg wide and centered at 40 deg N and 45 deg S. This distribution supports the idea that these flows form when erosional debris is transported downslope and becomes mixed with ice deposited from the atmosphere, as these latitudes should receive high seasonal H2O frost deposition relative to the rest of the planet. Flows are found in the northern hemisphere band wherever old highland surfaces occur but are found in the southern hemisphere only near the two major impact basins, Argyre and Hellas. These areas are apparently characterized by mass wasting that is rapid relative to most of the southern hemisphere highlands. The rate of mass wasting may be related to the degree of consolidation of highland material.

  16. The Montesbelos mass-flow (southern Amazonian craton, Brazil): a Paleoproterozoic volcanic debris avalanche deposit?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roverato, M.

    2016-07-01

    The present contribution documents the extremely well-preserved Paleoproterozoic architecture of the Montesbelos breccia (named here for the first time), which is interpreted as a rare example of a subaerial paleoproterozoic (>1.85 Ga) granular-dominated mass-flow deposit, few of which are recorded in the literature. Montesbelos deposit is part of the andesitic Sobreiro Formation located in the São Felix do Xingu region, southern Amazonian craton, northern Brazil. The large volume, high variability of textural features, presence of broken clasts, angular low sphericity fragments, mono- to heterolithic character, and the size of the outcrops point to a volcanic debris avalanche flow. Fluviatile sandy material and debris flows are associated with the deposit as a result of post-depositional reworking processes.

  17. DFLOWZ: A free program to evaluate the area potentially inundated by a debris flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berti, M.; Simoni, A.

    2014-06-01

    The transport and deposition mechanisms of debris flows are still poorly understood due to the complexity of the interactions governing the behavior of water-sediment mixtures. Empirical-statistical methods can therefore be used, instead of more sophisticated numerical methods, to predict the depositional behavior of these highly dangerous gravitational movements. We use widely accepted semi-empirical scaling relations and propose an automated procedure (DFLOWZ) to estimate the area potentially inundated by a debris flow event. Beside a digital elevation model (DEM), the procedure has only two input requirements: the debris flow volume and the possible flow-path. The procedure is implemented in Matlab and a Graphical User Interface helps to visualize initial conditions, flow propagation and final results. Different hypothesis about the depositional behavior of an event can be tested together with the possible effect of simple remedial measures. Uncertainties associated to scaling relations can be treated and their impact on results evaluated. Our freeware application aims to facilitate and speed up the process of susceptibility mapping. We discuss limits and advantages of the method in order to inform inexperienced users.

  18. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the Padua Fire of 2003, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Rupert, Michael G.; Michael, John A.

    2004-01-01

    Results of a present preliminary assessment of the probability of debris-flow activity and estimates of peak discharges that can potentially be generated by debris flows issuing from basins burned by the Padua Fire of October 2003 in southern California in response to 25-year, 10-year, and 2-year recurrence, 1-hour duration rain storms are presented. The resulting probability maps are based on the application of a logistic multiple-regression model (Cannon and others, 2004) that describes the percent chance of debris-flow production from an individual basin as a function of burned extent, soil properties, basin gradients, and storm rainfall. The resulting peak discharge maps are based on application of a multiple-regression model (Cannon and others, 2004) that can be used to estimate debris-flow peak discharge at a basin outlet as a function of basin gradient, burn extent, and storm rainfall. Probabilities of debris-flow occurrence for the Padua Fire range between 0 and 99% and estimates of debris-flow peak discharges range between 1211 and 6,096 ft3/s (34 to 173 m3/s). These maps are intended to identify those basins that are most prone to the largest debris-flow events and provide information for the preliminary design of mitigation measures and for the planning of evacuation timing and routes.

  19. Emergency assessment of post-fire debris-flow hazards for the 2013 Mountain fire, southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staley, Dennis M.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Smoczyk, Greg M.; Reeves, Ryan R.

    2013-01-01

    Wildfire dramatically alters the hydrologic response of a watershed such that even modest rainstorms can produce dangerous flash floods and debris flows. We use empirical models to predict the probability and magnitude of debris flow occurrence in response to a 10-year rainstorm for the 2013 Mountain fire near Palm Springs, California. Overall, the models predict a relatively high probability (60–100 percent) of debris flow for six of the drainage basins in the burn area in response to a 10-year recurrence interval design storm. Volumetric predictions suggest that debris flows that occur may entrain a significant volume of material, with 8 of the 14 basins identified as having potential debris-flow volumes greater than 100,000 cubic meters. These results suggest there is a high likelihood of significant debris-flow hazard within and downstream of the burn area for nearby populations, infrastructure, and wildlife and water resources. Given these findings, we recommend that residents, emergency managers, and public works departments pay close attention to weather forecasts and National Weather Service–issued Debris Flow and Flash Flood Outlooks, Watches and Warnings and that residents adhere to any evacuation orders.

  20. Instrumental record of debris flow initiation during natural rainfall: Implications for modeling slope stability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Montgomery, D.R.; Schmidt, K.M.; Dietrich, W.E.; McKean, J.

    2009-01-01

    The middle of a hillslope hollow in the Oregon Coast Range failed and mobilized as a debris flow during heavy rainfall in November 1996. Automated pressure transducers recorded high spatial variability of pore water pressure within the area that mobilized as a debris flow, which initiated where local upward flow from bedrock developed into overlying colluvium. Postfailure observations of the bedrock surface exposed in the debris flow scar reveal a strong spatial correspondence between elevated piezometric response and water discharging from bedrock fractures. Measurements of apparent root cohesion on the basal (Cb) and lateral (Cl) scarp demonstrate substantial local variability, with areally weighted values of Cb = 0.1 and Cl = 4.6 kPa. Using measured soil properties and basal root strength, the widely used infinite slope model, employed assuming slope parallel groundwater flow, provides a poor prediction of hydrologie conditions at failure. In contrast, a model including lateral root strength (but neglecting lateral frictional strength) gave a predicted critical value of relative soil saturation that fell within the range defined by the arithmetic and geometric mean values at the time of failure. The 3-D slope stability model CLARA-W, used with locally observed pore water pressure, predicted small areas with lower factors of safety within the overall slide mass at sites consistent with field observations of where the failure initiated. This highly variable and localized nature of small areas of high pore pressure that can trigger slope failure means, however, that substantial uncertainty appears inevitable for estimating hydrologie conditions within incipient debris flows under natural conditions. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  1. Regional debris flow susceptibility analysis in mountainous peri-urban areas through morphometric and land cover indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogelis, M. C.; Werner, M.

    2014-11-01

    A method for assessing regional debris flow susceptibility at the watershed scale, based on an index composed of a morphometric indicator and a land cover indicator, is proposed and applied in 106 peri-urban mountainous watersheds in Bogotá, Colombia. The indicator of debris flow susceptibility is obtained from readily available information common to most peri-urban mountainous areas and can be used to prioritise watersheds that can subsequently be subjected to detailed hazard analysis. Susceptibility is considered to increase with flashiness and the possibility of debris flows occurring. Morphological variables recognised in the literature to significantly influence flashiness and occurrence of debris flows are used to construct the morphometric indicator by applying principal component analysis. Subsequently, this indicator is compared with the results of debris flow propagation to assess its capacity in identifying the morphological conditions of a watershed that make it able to transport debris flows. Propagation of debris flows was carried out using the Modified Single Flow Direction algorithm, following identification of source areas by applying thresholds identified in the slope-area curve of the watersheds. Results show that the morphometric variables can be grouped into four indicators: size, shape, hypsometry and (potential) energy, with energy being the component that best explains the capability of a watershed to transport debris flows. However, the morphometric indicator was found to not sufficiently explain the records of past floods in the study area. Combining the morphometric indicator with land cover indicators improved the agreement and provided a more reliable assessment of debris flow susceptibility in the study area. The analysis shows that, even if morphometric parameters identify a high disposition to the occurrence of debris flow, improving land cover can reduce the susceptibility. However, if favourable morphometric conditions are present

  2. Sedimentology of Holocene debris flow-dominated alluvial fans, northwest Wyoming: Contributions to alluvial fan facies models

    SciTech Connect

    Cechovic, M.T.; Schmitt, J.G. . Dept. of Earth Sciences)

    1993-04-01

    Facies models for debris flow-dominated alluvial fans are based exclusively upon studies of relatively few fans in the arid American southwest. Detailed geomorphic, stratigraphic, and sedimentologic analyses of several highly-active, debris flow-dominated alluvial fans in northern Yellowstone National Park, WY (temperature, semi-arid) serve to diversify and increase the usefulness of alluvial fan facies models. These fans display an intricate distributary pattern of incised active (0--6 m deep; 700--900 m long) and abandoned channels (1--4 m deep; 400 m long) with levees/levee complexes (<3 m high; <20 m wide; <750 m long) and lobes constructed by pseudoplastic to plastic debris flows. The complex pattern of debris flow deposits is due to repeated channel back filling and overtopping by debris flows behind in-channel obstructions which subsequently lead to channel abandonment. Debris-flow deposition is dominant due to: (1) small, steep (up to 35 degrees) source area catchments, (2) extensive mud rock outcrops in the source area, and (3) episodic summer rainfall events. Proximal to distal fan surfaces exhibit sheetflood deposits several cm thick and up to 70 m in lateral extent. Vertical lithofacies profiles reveal: (1) massive, matrix- and clast-supported gravel units (1--2 m thick) deposited by clast-poor and clast-rich debris flows respectively, with reworked; scoured tops overlain by thin (<0.25 m) trough cross-bedded gravel and ripple cross-laminated sand intervals, and (2) volumetrically less significant 1--2 m thick intervals comprising fining-upward sequences of interbedded cm-scale trough cross-bedded pebbly gravel, massive sand, horizontally stratified sand, and mud rock deposited by hyperconcentrated flow and stream flow during decelerating sheetflood events. Organic rich layers record periods of non-deposition. Channelized stream flow is restricted to minor reworking of in-channel debris flow and hyperconcentrated flow deposits.

  3. Impact of uncertainty in rainfall estimation on the identification of rainfall thresholds for debris flow occurrence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolopoulos, Efthymios I.; Borga, Marco; Crema, Stefano; Marchi, Lorenzo; Marra, Francesco; Guzzetti, Fausto

    2014-05-01

    Estimation of rainfall intensity-duration thresholds, used for the identification of debris flows/landslides triggering rainfall events, has been traditionally based on raingauge observations. The main drawback of using information from gauges is that rainfall estimates are available only over gauge locations, which are usually located far away from the debris flow/landslide initiation areas. Thus, successful implementation of gauge-based rainfall thresholds involves the intrinsic assumption that rainfall over gauge and actual initiation point is highly correlated. However, in complex terrain where this natural hazard takes place, spatial variability of rainfall can be very high even at very small scales due to orographic enhancement of precipitation and the development of highly localized convective systems. This work is focused on the assessment of the impact of rainfall estimation uncertainty on identification and use of rainfall thresholds for debris flow occurrence. The Upper Adige river basin, northern Italy, is the area of study. A detailed database of more than 400 identified debris flows during period 2000-2010 and a raingauge network of 95 stations, is used for this work. The methodology examines the intensity-duration thresholds derived from a set of raingauge locations that is assumed to be collocated with debris flow/landslide points (DFR) and an equivalent set of raingauges assumed to have the role of closest available measurement (MR). Comparison between the rainfall thresholds derived from DFR and MR, revealed that uncertainty in rainfall estimation has a major impact on estimated intensity-duration thresholds. Specifically, results showed that thresholds estimated from MR observations are consistently underestimated. Evaluation of the estimated thresholds for warning procedures showed that while detection is high, the main issue is the high false alarm ratio, which limits the overall accuracy of the procedure. Overall performance on debris flow

  4. Monitoring of debris flows and landslides by wired and wireless systems. Experiences from the Catalan Pyrenees.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hürlimann, Marcel; Abancó, Clàudia; Moya, José; Vilajosana, Ignasi; Llosa, Jordi

    2013-04-01

    Sophisticated monitoring of landslides for research purpose has started in the 1990thies in the Catalan Pyrenees. Since then several types of mass movements (large landslides, debris flows, shallow landslides and rock falls) and multiples techniques have been applied. In this contribution, special attention will be given to the debris-flow monitoring system installed since summer 2009 in the Rebaixader catchment, Central Pyrenees. The monitoring system has continuously been improved during the last years and nowadays includes devices studying the three major aspects: 1) initiation, 2) flow dynamics, and 3) accumulation. While some parts of the monitoring network include a traditional wired system, the newer parts were installed using low-power wireless devices. Two major aspects will be discussed. First, results of the Rebaixader monitoring site will be presented. Second, experience regarding the monitoring will be evaluated focussing on technical aspects and the comparison between wired and wireless techniques. In the Rebaixader catchment, 6 debris flows and 11 debris floods were observed between August 2009 and October 2012. Surprisingly, also 4 major rock falls were recorded. The rainfall analysis shows that the debris flows were triggered by short, high-intensity rainstorms with a preliminary threshold of about 15 mm during 1 hour. In addition, there was observed a positive trend between event volume and rainfall amount or intensity. The analysis of the ground vibration signals shows significant differences between the time series recorded at the different geophones. These differences are associated with the geophone location in the channel (distance and material), the mounting or the data acquisition system. For instance, the most downstream geophone, installed in bedrock, shows the clearest debris-flows vibration time series, while the uppermost is the most reliable regarding the detection of rockfalls. An evaluation of wired versus wireless monitoring

  5. Debris-flow susceptibility and hazard assessment at a regional scale from GIS analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertrand, M.; Liébault, F.; Piégay, H.

    2012-12-01

    Small torrents of the Southern French Alps are prone to extreme events. Depending on the rainfall conditions, the sediment supply from hillslopes, and the gravitational energy, these events can occur under different forms, from floods to debris-flows. Debris-flows are recognized as the most dangerous phenomena and may have dramatic consequences for exposed people and infrastructures. As a first step of hazard assessment, we evaluated the debris-flow susceptibility, i.e. the likelihood that an event occurs in an area under particular physical conditions, not including the temporal dimension. The susceptibility is determined by (i) the morphometric controls of small upland catchments for debris-flows triggering and propagation, and by (ii) sediment supply conditions, i.e. erosion patterns feeding the channels. The morphometric controls are evaluated with indicators calculated from basic topographic variables. The sediment supply is evaluated by considering the cumulated surface of erosion area connected to the hydrographic network. We developed a statistical model to predict the geomorphic responses of the catchments (fluvial vs. debris-flow) and we apply this model within a GIS for regional-scale prediction. The model is based on two morphometric indicators, i.e. fan / channel slope and the Melton ruggedness index, and is based on a wide set of data including the Southern French Alps. We developed a GIS procedure to extract the indicators automatically using a 25m DEM and the hydrographic network as raw data. This model and its application have been validated with historical data. Sediment sources feeding debris-flow prone torrents are identified by first automatically mapping the erosion patches from the infrared orthophotos analysis then identifying the ones connected to the stream network. A classification method has been developed (segmentation into homogeneous objects classified with a neural network algorithm) and validated with expert interpretation on the

  6. Laboratory experiments investigating entrainment by debris flows and associated increased mobility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moberly, D.; Maki, L.; Hill, K. M.

    2014-12-01

    As debris flows course down a steep hillside they entrain bed materials such as loose sediments. The entrainment of materials not only increases the size of the debris flows but the mobility as well. The mechanics underlying the particle entrainment and the associated increased mobility are not well-understood. Existing models for the entrainment process include those that explicitly consider stress ratios, the angle of inclination, and the particle fluxes relative to those achieved under steady conditions. Others include an explicit consideration of the physics of the granular state: the visco-elastic nature of particle flows and, alternatively, the role of macroscopic force chains. Understanding how well these different approaches account for entrainment and deposition rates is important for accurate debris flow modeling, both in terms of the rate of growth and also in terms of the increased mobility associated with the entrainment. We investigate how total and instantaneous entrainment and deposition vary with macroscopic stresses and particle-scale interactions for different particle sizes and different fluid contents using laboratory experiments in an instrumented experimental laboratory debris flow flume. The flume has separate, independent water supplies for the bed and "supply" (parent debris flow), and the bed is instrumented with pore pressure sensors and a basal stress transducer. We monitor flow velocities, local structure, and instantaneous entrainment and deposition rates using a high speed camera. We have found that systems with a mixture of particle sizes are less erosive and more depositional than systems of one particle size under otherwise the same conditions. For both mixtures and single-sized particle systems, we have observed a relatively linear relationship between total erosion and the slope angle for dry flows. Increasing fluid content typically increases entrainment. Measurements of instantaneous entrainment indicate similar dependencies

  7. Empirical models to predict the volumes of debris flows generated by recently burned basins in the western U.S.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gartner, J.E.; Cannon, S.H.; Santi, P.M.; deWolfe, V.G.

    2008-01-01

    Recently burned basins frequently produce debris flows in response to moderate-to-severe rainfall. Post-fire hazard assessments of debris flows are most useful when they predict the volume of material that may flow out of a burned basin. This study develops a set of empirically-based models that predict potential volumes of wildfire-related debris flows in different regions and geologic settings. The models were developed using data from 53 recently burned basins in Colorado, Utah and California. The volumes of debris flows in these basins were determined by either measuring the volume of material eroded from the channels, or by estimating the amount of material removed from debris retention basins. For each basin, independent variables thought to affect the volume of the debris flow were determined. These variables include measures of basin morphology, basin areas burned at different severities, soil material properties, rock type, and rainfall amounts and intensities for storms triggering debris flows. Using these data, multiple regression analyses were used to create separate predictive models for volumes of debris flows generated by burned basins in six separate regions or settings, including the western U.S., southern California, the Rocky Mountain region, and basins underlain by sedimentary, metamorphic and granitic rocks. An evaluation of these models indicated that the best model (the Western U.S. model) explains 83% of the variability in the volumes of the debris flows, and includes variables that describe the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30%, the basin area burned at moderate and high severity, and total storm rainfall. This model was independently validated by comparing volumes of debris flows reported in the literature, to volumes estimated using the model. Eighty-seven percent of the reported volumes were within two residual standard errors of the volumes predicted using the model. This model is an improvement over previous models in

  8. Joint NOAA/NWS/USGS prototype debris flow warning system for recently burned areas in Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Restrepo, P.; Jorgensen, D.P.; Cannon, S.H.; Costa, J.; Laber, J.; Major, J.; Martner, B.; Purpura, J.; Werner, K.

    2008-01-01

    Debris flows, also known as mudslides, are composed gravity-driven mixtures of sediment and water that travel through steep channels, over open hillslopes, and the like. Addressing this issue, US Geological Survey (USGS) and NOAA have established a debris-flow warning system that has the ability to monitor and forecast precipitation and issue timely weather hazard warning. In 2005, this joint NOAA-USGS prototype debris-flow warning system was issued in Southern California and as a result, it has provided valuable information to emergency managers in affected communities.

  9. Debris Flow Vulnerability Assessment in Urban Area Associated with Landslide Hazard Map : Application to Busan, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okjeong, Lee; Yoonkyung, Park; Mookwang, Sung; Sangdan, Kim

    2016-04-01

    In this presentation, an urban debris flow disaster vulnerability assessment methodology is suggested with major focus on urban social and economic aspect. The proposed methodology is developed based on the landslide hazard maps that Korean Forest Service has utilized to identify landslide source areas. Frist, debris flows are propagated to urban areas from such source areas by Flow-R model, and then urban vulnerability is evaluated by two categories; physical and socio-economic aspect. The physical vulnerability is associated to buildings that can be broken down by a landslide event directly. This study considers two popular building structure types, reinforced concrete frame and non-reinforced concretes frame, to evaluate the physically-based vulnerability. The socio-economic vulnerability is measured as a function of the resistant levels of the exposed people, the intensity and magnitude of indirect or intangible losses, and preparedness level of the local government. An indicator-based model is established to evaluate the life and indirect loss under urban debris flow disasters as well as the resilience ability against disasters. To illuminate the validity of the suggested methodology, physical and socio-economic vulnerability levels are investigated for Daejeon, Korea using the proposed approach. The results reveal that the higher population density areas under a weaker fiscal condition that are located at the downstream of mountainous areas are more vulnerable than the areas in opposite conditions. Key words: Debris flow disasters, Physical vulnerability, Socio-economic Vulnerability, Urban Acknowledgement This research was supported by a grant(13SCIPS04) from Smart Civil Infrastructure Research Program funded by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport(MOLIT) of Korea government and Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement(KAIA).

  10. Geomorphic effects of large debris flows and flash floods, northern Venezuela, 1999

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larsen, M.C.; Wieczorek, G.F.

    2006-01-01

    A rare, high-magnitude storm in northern Venezuela in December 1999 triggered debris flows and flash floods, and caused one of the worst natural disasters in the recorded history of the Americas. Some 15,000 people were killed. The debris flows and floods inundated coastal communities on alluvial fans at the mouths of a coastal mountain drainage network and destroyed property estimated at more than $2 billion. Landslides were abundant and widespread on steep slopes within areas underlain by schist and gneiss from near the coast to slightly over the crest of the mountain range. Some hillsides were entirely denuded by single or coalescing failures, which formed massive debris flows in river channels flowing out onto densely populated alluvial fans at the coast. The massive amount of sediment derived from 24 watersheds along 50 km of the coast during the storm and deposited on alluvial fans and beaches has been estimated at 15 to 20 million m3. Sediment yield for the 1999 storm from the approximately 200 km2 drainage area of watersheds upstream of the alluvial fans was as much as 100,000 m3/km2. Rapid economic development in this dynamic geomorphic environment close to the capital city of Caracas, in combination with a severe rain storm, resulted in the death of approximately 5% of the population (300,000 total prior to the storm) in the northern Venezuelan state of Vargas. ?? 2006 Gebru??der Borntraeger.

  11. Debris-flow forecasting at regional scale by combining susceptibility mapping and radar rainfall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berenguer, M.; Sempere-Torres, D.; Hürlimann, M.

    2015-03-01

    This work presents a technique for debris-flow (DF) forecasting able to be used in the framework of DF early warning systems at regional scale. The developed system is applied at subbasin scale and is based on the concepts of fuzzy logic to combine two ingredients: (i) DF subbasin susceptibility assessment based on geomorphological variables and (ii) the magnitude of the rainfall situation as depicted from radar rainfall estimates. The output of the developed technique is a three-class warning ("low", "moderate" or "high") in each subbasin when a new radar rainfall map is available. The developed technique has been applied in a domain in the eastern Pyrenees (Spain) from May to October 2010. The warning level stayed "low" during the entire period in 20% of the subbasins, while in the most susceptible subbasins the warning level was at least "moderate" for up to 10 days. Quantitative evaluation of the warning level was possible in a subbasin where debris flows were monitored during the analysis period. The technique was able to identify the three events observed in the catchment (one debris flow and two hyperconcentrated flow events) and produced no false alarm.

  12. Sediment Transportation Induced by Deep-Seated Landslides in a Debris Flow Basin in Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Meei Ling; Chen, Te Wei; Chen, Yong Sheng; Sin Jhuang, Han

    2016-04-01

    Typhoon Morakot brought huge amount of rainfall to the southern Taiwan in 2009 and caused severe landslides and debris flow hazard. After Typhoon Morakot, it was found that the volume of sediment transported by the debris flow and its effects on the affected area were much more significant compared to previous case history, which may due to the huge amount of rainfall causing significant deep-seated landslides in the basin. In this study, the effects and tendency of the sediment transportation in a river basin following deep-seated landslides caused by typhoon Morakot were evaluated. We used LiDAR, DEM, and aerial photo to identify characteristics of deep-seated landslides in a debris flow river basin, KSDF079 in Liuoguey District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Eight deep-seated landslides were identified in the basin. To estimate the potential landslide volume associated with the deep-seated landslides, the stability analysis was conducted to locate the critical sliding surface, and the potential landside volume was estimated based on the estimation equation proposed by the International Geotechnical Societies' UNESCO Working Party on World Landslide Inventory (WP/WLI, 1990). The total potential landslide volume of the eight deep-seated landslides in KSDF079 basin was about 28,906,856 m3. Topographic analysis was performed by using DEM before and LiDAR derived DEM after typhoon Morakot to calculate the landslide volume transported. The result of erosion volume and deposition volume lead to a run out volume of 5,832,433 m3. The results appeared to consist well with the field condition and aerial photo. Comparing the potential landslide volume and run out volume of eight deep-seated landslides, it was found that the remaining potential landslide volume was about 80%. Field investigation and topographic analysis of the KSDF079 debris flow revealed that a significant amount of sediment deposition remained in the river channel ranging from the middle to the downstream

  13. Debris-flow and flooding hazards associated with the December 1999 storm in coastal Venezuela and strategies for mitigation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wieczorek, G.F.; Larsen, M.C.; Eaton, L.S.; Morgan, B.A.; Blair, J.L.

    2001-01-01

    Heavy rainfall from the storm of December 14-16, 1999 triggered thousands of landslides on steep slopes of the Sierra de Avila north of Caracas, Venezuela. In addition to landslides, heavy rainfall caused flooding and massive debris flows that damaged coastal communities in the State of Vargas along the Caribbean Sea. Examination of the rainfall pattern obtained from the GOES-8 satellite showed that the pattern of damage was generally consistent with the area of heaviest rainfall. Field observations of the severely affected drainage basins and historical records indicate that previous flooding and massive debris-flow events of similar magnitude to that of December 1999 have occurred throughout this region. The volume of debris-flow deposits and the large boulders that the flows transported qualifies the 1999 event amongst the largest historical rainfall-induced debris flows documented worldwide.

  14. Pore fluid pressure and shear behavior in debris flows of different compositions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaitna, Roland; Palucis, Marisa; Yohannes, Bereket; Hill, Kimberly; Dietrich, William

    2016-04-01

    Debris flows are mixtures of sediment and water that can have a wide range of different grain size distributions and water contents. The composition of the material is expected to have a strong effect on the development of pore fluid pressures in excess to hydrostatic, which in turn might affect the internal deformation behavior. We present a set of large scale experiments with debris flow mixtures of different compositions in a 4-m diameter rotating drum. Longitudinal profiles of basal fluid pressure and normal stress were measured and a probe to determine fluid pressure at different depths within the flow was developed and tested. Additionally we determined vertical profiles of mean particle velocities in the flow interior by measuring small variations of conductivity of the passing material and calculating the time lag between signals from two independent measurements at a small, known distance apart. Mean values of basal pore fluid pressure range from hydrostatic pressure for gravel-water flows to nearly complete liquefaction for muddy mixtures having a wide grain size distribution. The data indicate that the presence of fines dampens fluctuations of normalized fluid pressure and normal stress and concentrates shear at the base. The mobility of grain-fluid flows is strongly enhanced by a combination of fines in suspension as part of the interstitial fluid and a wide grain size distribution. Excess fluid pressure may arise from fluid displacement by converging grains at the front of the flow and the slow settling of grains through a highly viscous non-Newtonian fluid. Our findings support the need for pore pressure evolution and diffusion equations in debris flow models as they depend on particle size distributions. This study contributes to the understanding of the production of excess fluid pressure in grain fluid mixtures and may guide the development of constitutive models that describe natural events.

  15. Debris flows of the Simud-Tiu outflow system of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tanaka, Kenneth L.

    1988-01-01

    It is seen that the magnitude of geologic happenings are commonly quite different between the Earth and Mars because of differences in the makeup and breakup of their crusts. By assessing the differences, and the similarities, between planets, the geologic history of Mars can be more fully understood. The identification of debris-flow deposits in channels of Mars, for example, helps to establish which of several competing explanations for the origin of the channels actually occurred. In turn, the Earth is viewed in new, and commonly enlightening perspectives. By the way, it is fortunate that on Earth, thick sequences of impact ejected are not found that could be transformed into the monstrous debris flows that have devastated the Martian surface.

  16. Mega debris flow deposits on the western Wilkes Land margin, East Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Donda, F.; O'Brien, P.E.; De Santis, L.; Rebesco, M.; Brancolini, Giuliano

    2007-01-01

    Multichannel seismic data collected off Western Wilkes Land (East Antarctica) reveal the occurrence of mega debris flow deposits on the lower slope and rise that were formed throughout the Miocene. Commonly, debris flow units are separated by thin deposits of well-stratified facies, interpreted as predominantly glaciomarine mixed contouritic and distal turbidite deposits. These units could act as weak layers and could have played a major role in the slope instability. High sedimentation rates, due to large amounts of sediment delivered from a temperate, wet-based ice sheet, constituted a key factor in the sediment failures. The main trigger mechanism would probably have been earthquakes enhanced by isostatic rebound following major ice sheet retreats.

  17. Brief Communication: A new testing field for debris flow warning systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arattano, M.; Coviello, V.; Cavalli, M.; Comiti, F.; Macconi, P.; Theule, J.; Crema, S.

    2015-07-01

    A permanent field installation for the systematic test of debris flow warning systems and algorithms has been equipped on the eastern Italian Alps. The installation was also designed to produce didactic videos and it may host informative visits. The populace education is essential and should be envisaged in planning any research on hazard mitigation interventions: this new installation responds to this requirement and offers an example of integration between technical and informative needs. The occurrence of a debris flow in 2014 allowed the first tests of a new warning system under development and to record an informative video on its performances. This paper will provide a description of the installation and an account of the first technical and informative results obtained.

  18. Brief Communication: A new testing field for debris flow warning systems and algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arattano, M.; Coviello, V.; Cavalli, M.; Comiti, F.; Macconi, P.; Marchi, L.; Theule, J.; Crema, S.

    2015-03-01

    Early warning systems (EWSs) are among the measures adopted for the mitigation of debris flow hazards. EWSs often employ algorithms that require careful and long testing to grant their effectiveness. A permanent installation has been so equipped in the Gadria basin (Eastern Italian Alps) for the systematic test of event-EWSs. The installation is conceived to produce didactic videos and host informative visits. The populace involvement and education is in fact an essential step in any hazard mitigation activity and it should envisaged in planning any research activity. The occurrence of a debris flow in the Gadria creek, in the summer of 2014, allowed a first test of the installation and the recording of an informative video on EWSs.

  19. The 1st October 2009 Messina debris flows: first analysis for a susceptibility model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agnesi, Valerio; Cappadonia, Chiara; Conoscenti, Christian; Costanzo, Dario; Pino, Paolo; Puglisi, Claudio; Rotigliano, Edoardo

    2010-05-01

    In the evening of the 1st of October 2009, a sector of the Messina district (Sicily, Italy) was struck by a number of debris flows, triggered by extraordinary intense rainfall that, from 2 pm to 10 pm, discharged an amount of more than 160 mm and that followed the ones of September 23-24 (more than 200 mm in 10 hours). A number of villages (Altolia, Briga, Giampilieri, Guidomandri, Itala, Molino, Pezzolo, Scaletta), suffered for severe damages, including the destruction of houses and small buildings and more of 30 deaths. The area is located South from the city of Messina and mainly includes five short fluvial basins, that from the Peloritanian chain drain south-eastward for some kilometres to the Ionian sea. The area is characterized by the outcropping of metamorphic rocks and, due to the closeness of the chain (ranging up to 1200 meters a.s.l.) to the sea, the steepness of the slopes is typically very high. The debris flows involved the shallow layer made up of colluvial/eluvial and landslide deposits, having a thickness of some decimetres; both pure debris flow and debris slide movements have been inferred at the initiation zones, in light of the morphologic features of the source area (scarps). Also, according to the specific patterns recognized for the flow track zone, four typologies have been distinguished: ribbon-shaped, triangular, arch-shaped and multi-lobed debris flow. The landslides moved fast, as single or multiple/successive confluent style, so that already at the medium sector of the slopes, where the villages are, huge volumes of the debris flowed. Due to the shallowness of the failure zone, the high water content and velocity, the tracks of the debris flows have been highly controlled by hydrography, reaching, where no obstacles were present, the valley floor, with kilometric run-out distances. To each of the 379 recognized debris flows, which produced a total landslide area of about 7 km2, a landslide identification point (LIP) has been assigned

  20. Trigger Analysis and Modelling of Very Large Debris Flows in Santa Teresa, Cusco, Southern Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buis, Daniel; Huggel, Christian; Frey, Holger; Giráldez, Claudia; Rohrer, Mario; Christen, Marc; Portocarrero, César

    2014-05-01

    The Peruvian Andes have repeatedly been affected by large mass movements such as landslides, avalanches and debris flows. In 1998, two very large debris flows in the region of Machu Picchu (Sacsara and Ahobamba), southern Peru, destroyed the town of Santa Teresa, an important hydropower scheme and further infrastructure. The debris flows on the order of 5 to 25 million m3 volume rank among the largest recently observed events of this type worldwide. Despite their extreme dimensions, these events have not been studied in detail. An important limitation for more insight studies is the remote location of the mass flows and the very sparse information and data available for the study region. Neither triggering processes nor mass flow process characteristics have been understood to date. This study tries to fill some of these gaps in understanding that are critical to improved assessment of hazards and eventual risk reduction measures. For the trigger analysis we used data and information from field work, a limited number of ground based meteorological data, and complementary satellite derived data. Results indicate that in the case of the Sacsara event, heavy rainfall likely was a main trigger. For Ahobamba, antecedent rainfall as well as snow and ice melt leading to saturation of glacial sediments must have played an important role. Simulations with a dynamic debris flow model (RAMMS) allowed us to constrain a number of flow parameters such as flow height and velocity, runout distance and flow and deposition volumes. Strong surging flow behavior was detected, resulting in very large runout distance (exceeding 20 km); which rather depends on the largest single surge volume, not the total event volume. Based on the identification of potential mass flow sources we modeled a number of scenarios. The assessment of related hazards, including a preliminary hazard map, showed that several communities in catchments draining towards Santa Teresa are endangered by mass movements

  1. Soil morphology of a debris flow chronosequence in a coniferous forest, southern California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Turk, J.K.; Goforth, B.R.; Graham, R.C.; Kendrick, K.J.

    2008-01-01

    Soils on a series of debris flow deposits, ranging from < 1 to 244??years old, were described and sampled in order to investigate the early stages of soil development. The parent material at the site is debris flow regolith, composed mainly of gneiss, the soil moisture regime is xeric, and the vegetation is mixed coniferous forest. Ages of the deposits were assessed using dendrochronology. Morphologic trends in the organic horizons included a thickening of the humus form over time, along with the development of Fm and Hr horizons. The humus forms underwent a progression from Mormodors (20??years old), to Hemimors (26-101??years old), and finally Lignomors (163??years old) and Resimors (184-244??years old). Changes in physical properties of the uppermost mineral horizons as a function of increasing age included a decrease in the volume of coarse fragments, a linear decrease in bulk density, and a darkening and reddening of the soil color. No significant soil development took place in the subsoil during the time span of this chronosequence. The soils described were classified as Typic Xerofluvents and Typic Xerorthents (Regosols and Leptosols). Buried A horizons were observed in many of the soils. Where the A horizons could be linked to dendrochronology to assess the age of the buried surface, we found that the properties of the buried A horizons do not serve as a good indicator of the age of the surface. This study suggests rapid development of the humus form profile (organic horizons and A horizon) following debris flow deposition and rapid degradation of these horizons when the debris flow surface is buried. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V.

  2. Roads at risk - traffic detours from debris flows in southern Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, N. K.; Schwanghart, W.; Korup, O.; Nadim, F.

    2014-10-01

    Globalization and interregional exchange of people, goods, and services has boosted the importance of and reliance on all kinds of transport networks. The linear structure of road networks is especially sensitive to natural hazards. In southern Norway, steep topography and extreme weather events promote frequent traffic disruption caused by debris flows. Topographic susceptibility and trigger frequency maps serve as input into a hazard appraisal at the scale of first-order catchments to quantify the impact of debris flows on the road network in terms of a failure likelihood of each link connecting two network vertices, e.g., road junctions. We compute total additional traffic loads as a function of traffic volume and excess distance, i.e. the extra length of an alternative path connecting two previously disrupted network vertices using a shortest-path algorithm. Our risk metric of link failure is the total additional annual traffic load expressed as vehicle kilometers because of debris-flow related road closures. We present two scenarios demonstrating the impact of debris flows on the road network, and quantify the associated path failure likelihood between major cities in southern Norway. The scenarios indicate that major routes crossing the central and northwestern part of the study area are associated with high link failure risk. Yet options for detours on major routes are manifold, and incur only little additional costs provided that drivers are sufficiently well informed about road closures. Our risk estimates may be of importance to road network managers and transport companies relying of speedy delivery of services and goods.

  3. Neural network modeling for regional hazard assessment of debris flow in Lake Qionghai Watershed, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y.; Guo, H. C.; Zou, R.; Wang, L. J.

    2006-04-01

    This paper presents a neural network (NN) based model to assess the regional hazard degree of debris flows in Lake Qionghai Watershed, China. The NN model was used as an alternative for the more conventional linear model MFCAM (multi-factor composite assessment model) in order to effectively handle the nonlinearity and uncertainty inherent in the debris flow hazard analysis. The NN model was configured using a three layer structure with eight input nodes and one output node, and the number of nodes in the hidden layer was determined through an iterative process of varying the number of nodes in the hidden layer until an optimal performance was achieved. The eight variables used to represent the eight input nodes include density of debris flow gully, degree of weathering of rocks, active fault density, area percentage of slope land greater than 25° of the total land (APL25), frequency of flooding hazards, average covariance of monthly precipitation by 10 years (ACMP10), average days with rainfall >25 mm by 10 years (25D10Y), and percentage of cultivated land with slope land greater than 25° of the total cultivated land (PCL25). The output node represents the hazard-degree ranks (HDR). The model was trained with the 35 sets of data obtained from previous researches reported in literatures, and an explicit uncertainty analysis was undertaken to address the uncertainty in model training and prediction. Before the NN model is extrapolated to Lake Qionghai Watershed, a validation case, different from the above data, is conducted. In addition, the performances of the NN model and the MFCAM were compared. The NN model predicted that the HDRs of the five sub-watersheds in the Lake Qionghai Watershed were IV, IV, III, III, and IV V, indicating that the study area covers normal hazard and severe hazard areas. Based on the NN model results, debris flow management and economic development strategies in the study are proposed for each sub-watershed.

  4. Roads at risk: traffic detours from debris flows in southern Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, N. K.; Schwanghart, W.; Korup, O.; Nadim, F.

    2015-05-01

    Globalisation and interregional exchange of people, goods, and services has boosted the importance of and reliance on all kinds of transport networks. The linear structure of road networks is especially sensitive to natural hazards. In southern Norway, steep topography and extreme weather events promote frequent traffic disruption caused by debris flows. Topographic susceptibility and trigger frequency maps serve as input into a hazard appraisal at the scale of first-order catchments to quantify the impact of debris flows on the road network in terms of a failure likelihood of each link connecting two network vertices, e.g. road junctions. We compute total additional traffic loads as a function of traffic volume and excess distance, i.e. the extra length of an alternative path connecting two previously disrupted network vertices using a shortest-path algorithm. Our risk metric of link failure is the total additional annual traffic load, expressed as vehicle kilometres, because of debris-flow-related road closures. We present two scenarios demonstrating the impact of debris flows on the road network and quantify the associated path-failure likelihood between major cities in southern Norway. The scenarios indicate that major routes crossing the central and north-western part of the study area are associated with high link-failure risk. Yet options for detours on major routes are manifold and incur only little additional costs provided that drivers are sufficiently well informed about road closures. Our risk estimates may be of importance to road network managers and transport companies relying on speedy delivery of services and goods.

  5. The formation of granular fronts in debris flow - A combined experimental-numerical study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonardi, Alessandro; Cabrera, Miguel; Wittel, Falk K.; Kaitna, Roland; Mendoza, Miller; Wu, Wei; Herrmann, Hans J.

    2015-04-01

    Granular fronts are amongst the most spectacular features of debris flows, and are also one of the reasons why such events are associated with a strong destructive power. They are usually believed to be the result of the convective mechanism of the debris flow, combined with internal size segregation of the grains. However, the knowledge about the conditions leading to the formation of a granular front is not up to date. We present a combined study with experimental and numerical features that aims at providing insight into the phenomenon. A stationary, long-lived avalanche is created within a rotating drum. In order to mimic the composition of an actual debris flow, the material is composed by a mixture of a plastic fluid, obtained with water and kaolin powder, and a collection of monodisperse spherical particles heavier than the fluid. Tuning the material properties and the drum settings, we are able to reproduce and control the formation of a granular front. To gain insight into the internal mechanism, the same scenario is replicated in a numerical environment, using a coupling technique between a discrete solver for the particles, the Discrete Element Method, and a continuum solver for the plastic fluid, the Lattice-Boltzmann Method. The simulations compare well with the experiments, and show the internal reorganization of the material transport. The formation of a granular front is shown to be favored by a higher drum rotational speed, which in turn forces a higher shear rate on the particles, breaks their internal organization, and contrasts their natural tendency to settle. Starting from dimensional analysis, we generalize the obtained results and are able to draw implications for debris flow research.

  6. Multi-scale roughness spectra of Mount St. Helens debris flows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Austin, Richard T.; England, Anthony W.

    1993-01-01

    A roughness spectrum allows surface structure to be interpreted as a sum of sinusoidal components with differing wavelengths. Knowledge of the roughness spectrum gives insight into the mechanisms responsible for electromagnetic scattering at a given wavelength. Measured spectra from 10-year-old primary debris flow surfaces at Mount St. Helens conform to a power-law spectral model, suggesting that these surfaces are scaling over the measured range of spatial frequencies. Measured spectra from water-deposited surfaces deviate from this model.

  7. IN SITU FLOW METERS AROUND A GROUNDWATER CIRCULATION WELL (ABSTRACT)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The primary benefit of groundwater circulation well (GCW) technology is the development of strong vertical flows surrounding the treatment well. The extent of significant vertical flow surrounding a circulation well is difficult to establish from traditional groundwater elevation...

  8. High-Resolution Debris Flow Volume Mapping with Unmanned Aerial Systems (uas) and Photogrammetric Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, M. S.; Fromm, R.; Lechner, V.

    2016-06-01

    Debris flows cause an average € 30 million damages and 1-2 fatalities every year in Austria. Detailed documentation of their extent and magnitude is essential for understanding, preventing and mitigating these natural hazard events. The recent development of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) has provided a new possibility for on-demand high-resolution monitoring and mapping. Here, we present a study, where the spatial extent and volume of a large debris flow event were mapped with different UAS, fitted with commercial off-the-shelf sensors. Orthophotos and digital terrain models (DTM) were calculated using structure-from-motion photogrammetry software. Terrain height differences caused by the debris flow in the catchment and valley floor were derived by subtracting the pre-event airborne laser scanning (ALS) DTM from a post-event UAS-DTM. The analysis of the volumetric sediment budget showed, that approximately 265,000 m³ material was mobilised in the catchment, of which 45,000 m³ settled there; of the material, which reached the valley floor, 120,000 m³ was deposited, while another 10,000 m³ was eroded from there. The UAS-results were validated against ALS data and imagery from a traditional manned-aircraft photogrammetry campaign. In conclusion, the UAS-data can reach an accuracy and precision comparable to manned aircraft data, but with the added benefits of higher flexibility, easier repeatability, less operational constraints and higher spatial resolution.

  9. Hydrogeomorphic response to extreme rainfall in headwater systems: Flash floods and debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borga, Marco; Stoffel, Markus; Marchi, Lorenzo; Marra, Francesco; Jakob, Matthias

    2014-10-01

    Flash floods and debris flows develop at space and time scales that conventional observation systems for rainfall, streamflow and sediment discharge are not able to monitor. Consequently, the atmospheric, hydrological and geomorphic controls on these hydrogeomorphic processes are poorly understood, leading to highly uncertain warning and risk management. On the other hand, remote sensing of precipitation and numerical weather predictions have become the basis of several flood forecasting systems, enabling increasingly accurate detection of hazardous events. The objective of this paper is to provide a review on current European and international research on early warning systems for flash floods and debris flows. We expand upon these themes by identifying: (a) the state of the art; (b) knowledge gaps; and (c) suggested research directions to advance warning capabilities for extreme hydrogeomorphic processes. We also suggest three areas in which advancements in science will have immediate and important practical consequence, namely development of rainfall estimation and nowcasting schemes suited to the specific space-time scales, consolidating physical, engineering and social datasets of flash floods and debris-flows, integration of methods for multiple hydrogeomorphic hazard warning.

  10. Succession of desert plants on debris flow terraces, Grand Canyon, Arizona, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowers, Janice E.; Webb, R.H.; Pierson, E.A.

    1997-01-01

    Vegetation sampling on 11 debris flow terraces in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, U.S.A., showed that plant assemblages changed as age of surface increased. The terraces ranged in age from about 5 to about 3100 years. There were distinct differences among sites in the life history characteristics of the dominant plants. Young terraces (5-55 years) were dominated by short-lived plants that had high reproductive potential. Older surfaces were dominated by species with longer life-spans and lower reproductive potential. Density and cover of long-lived species increased with age of surface; for short-lived plants, density was inversely related to surface age. Species composition was also correlated with site age; however, location, exposure, and other factors ensured that no two debris flows supported identical mixtures of species. Succession on recent Grand Canyon debris flows is driven in part by life-history strategies, particularly life-span and seed dispersal traits, and also by climatic factors, especially those that control germination and establishment of the long-lived dominants.

  11. Laboratory simulation of debris flows over sand dunes: Insights into gully-formation (Mars)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jouannic, Gwenaël; Gargani, Julien; Conway, Susan J.; Costard, François; Balme, Matthew R.; Patel, Manish R.; Massé, Marion; Marmo, Chiara; Jomelli, Vincent; Ori, Gian G.

    2015-02-01

    Gully morphology (often summarized as comprising an alcove, channel and debris apron) is one of the key elements used to support the argument for liquid water in the recent past on Mars. Nevertheless, the processes that create different gully morphologies, on both Mars and Earth, are not fully understood. One of the puzzling morphologic attributes of Martian dune gullies is their apparent lack of an apron, or terminal deposit, which has caused debate about their formation process. Several physical processes such as runoff, debris flows, granular flows, and sliding blocks falling downslope could explain the formation of these gullies. In this work, we focus on the role of liquid in the substrate as well as in the flow and choose to experimentally test the plausibility of this hypothesis. We performed a series of analogue experiments to investigate the formation of gullies on sand dune-like substrates. We used controlled flows of water over an inclined sand-box to produce gully-like forms. Ice-rich sedimentary substrates were used, including substrates that included a thin liquid water-saturated thawed layer (an 'active layer') above the ice-saturated zone to give an analogue for a 'periglacial' environment. We quantitatively demonstrate that debris flow processes in 'periglacial' experiments are conducive to the formation of narrow and long channels with small terminal deposits with perched channels. By re-analysis of Martian elevation data for dune-gullies on Mars, we have found good evidence that such terminal deposits could exist. Our experiments revealed that increased water content in the thawed layer above the frozen bed increases flow-length due to the subsequent reduction in infiltration capacity. Water is incorporated into the flow by erosion of the wet thawed layer (sand plus water) and by drainage of the thawed layer. Using a Mars environment simulation chamber, we found that atmospheric pressure conditions seem to have a limited influence on the

  12. Submarine debris flows and continental slople evolution in front of Quaternary ice sheets, Baffin Bay, Canadian Arctic

    SciTech Connect

    Hiscott, R.N.; Aksu, A.E. )

    1994-03-01

    Baffin Bay is a semi-enclosed extension of the Labrador Sea in the Canadian Arctic. The upper Pliocene and Quaternary successions beneath the continental slope contain important slumps and debris-flow deposits. New high-resolution single-channel seismic data have been acquired from a 500 to 600-m-deep transverse trough that indents that shelf in an area where glacial outflow was focused during the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Major shelf-edge progradation occurred both inside and on the flanks of the transverse trough. In the lower slope, several large debris flows carried proglacial deposits into the deep basin. The largest of these debris flows dramatically reshaped the sea floor by reducing bottom slopes both by proximal erosion and distal thickening of the debris-flow deposit. Subsequently, the lower slope was starved of terrigenous input, and the upper slope was steepened by accumulation of basinward thinning wedges of mass flow deposits. The processes of emplacement of large debris flows, slope reshaping, and out-of-phase accumulation identified in upper and lower slope areas of Baffin Bay are relevant to the interpretation of other line-source margins affected by major sea level falls or changes in sediment influx, including siliciclastic slope aprons and carbonate platform margins. On fans, muddy debris flows provide both a potential seal for hydrocarbons generated after burial and a potentially important mass of organic-rich mudstones that may act as source rocks in the subsurface. 32 refs., 14 figs., 1 tab.

  13. Methods for the Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the Fires of 2007, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.

    2007-01-01

    This report describes the approach used to assess potential debris-flow hazards from basins burned by the Buckweed, Santiago, Canyon, Poomacha, Ranch, Harris, Witch, Rice, Ammo, Slide, Grass Valley and Cajon Fires of 2007 in southern California. The assessments will be presented as a series of maps showing a relative ranking of the predicted volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to a 3-hour duration rainstorm with a 10-year return period. Potential volumes of debris flows are calculated using a multiple-regression model that describes debris-flow volume at a basin outlet as a function of measures of basin gradient, burn extent, and storm rainfall. This assessment provides critical information for issuing basin-specific warnings, locating and designing mitigation measures, and planning of evacuation timing and routes.

  14. Regional based modeling approach for rainfall-induced debris flows in the continental-climatic Northern Tien Shan (SE Kazakhstan)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Thomas; Küfmann, Carola; Haas, Florian; Baume, Otfried; Becht, Michael

    2013-04-01

    The high mountain systems of Central Asia (Hindukush, Pamir and Tien Shan) are dominated by continental-climatic conditions. Nevertheless, westerly maritime air circulation and convective rainfalls during the summer season result in high rainfall intensities. In combination with a high availability of unconsolidated material rainfall triggered debris flows are prominent and intensive geomorphologic processes in these mountain areas. The presented study aims to figure out a regional based modeling approach for rainfall-induced debris flow processes based on combination of a disposition model for debris flow starting zones with process-flow models. The investigation area has a size of about 700 square kilometers and is situated in the Northern Tien Shan mountains in SE Kazakhstan (investigation areas: valleys of Prochadnaja, Big Almatinka, Little Almatinka and Left Talgar). The area is characterized by mountain forest zone, alpine meadows and high-alpine glaciated areas with the highest peaks at 4500m. In a first step the disposition (point of process triggering) of actual debris flows was analyzed. Due to different triggering mechanisms, the processes were divided into channel-type and slope-type debris flows. Detailed mapping of actual debris flows initiation areas and a GIS-based geostatistical disposition analysis are used to identify the main geofactor-variables and geofactor combinations which enhance the triggering of rainfall-induced debris flows. It can be shown that both, longtime variable geofactors (such as local geomorphology and hydrology) plays a significant role for triggering debris flows, as well as mid- and short time variable geofactors. Especially actual permafrost distribution and degradation plus glacier retreat comes into the focus of interest. This is most notably for rainfall induced slope-type debris flows which primarily are triggered in the discontinuous and continuous permafrost areas eroding younger unconsolidated material from actual

  15. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Witch Fire, San Diego County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Witch Fire in San Diego County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 2.25 inches (57.15 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  16. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Ammo Fire, San Diego County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Ammo Fire in San Diego County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 1.75 inches (44.45 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  17. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Poomacha Fire, San Diego County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Poomacha Fire in San Diego County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 2.25 inches (57.15 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  18. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Rice Fire, San Diego County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Rice Fire in San Diego County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 1.75 inches (44.45 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  19. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Harris Fire, San Diego County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Harris Fire in San Diego County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 1.75 inches (44.45 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  20. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Santiago Fire, Orange County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Santiago Fire in Orange County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 1.75 inches (44.45 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  1. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Buckweed Fire, Los Angeles County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Buckweed Fire in Los Angeles County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 2.25 inches (57.15 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  2. Emergency Assessment of Debris-Flow Hazards from Basins Burned by the 2007 Canyon Fire, Los Angeles County, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Bauer, Mark A.; Stitt, Susan C.; Knifong, Donna L.; McNamara, Bernard J.; Roque, Yvonne M.

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of this report is to present a preliminary emergency assessment of the potential for debris-flow generation from basins burned by the Canyon Fire in Los Angeles County, southern California in 2007. Debris flows are among the most hazardous geologic phenomena; debris flows that followed wildfires in southern California in 2003 killed 16 people and caused tens of millions of dollars of property damage. A short period of even moderate rainfall on a burned watershed can lead to debris flows. Rainfall that is normally absorbed into hillslope soils can run off almost instantly after vegetation has been removed by wildfire. This causes much greater and more rapid runoff than is normal from creeks and drainage areas. Highly erodible soils in a burn scar allow flood waters to entrain large amounts of ash, mud, boulders, and unburned vegetation. Within the burned area and downstream, the force of rushing water, soil, and rock can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and buildings, potentially causing injury or death. This emergency debris-flow hazard assessment is presented as relative ranking of the predicted median volume of debris flows that can issue from basin outlets in response to 2.25 inches (57.15 mm) of rainfall over a 3-hour period. Such a storm has a 10-year return period. The calculation of debris flow volume is based on a multiple-regression statistical model that describes the median volume of material that can be expected from a recently burned basin as a function of the area burned at high and moderate severity, the basin area with slopes greater than or equal to 30 percent, and triggering storm rainfall. Cannon and others (2007) describe the methods used to generate the hazard maps. Identification of potential debris-flow hazards from burned drainage basins is necessary to issue warnings for specific basins, to make effective mitigation decisions, and to help plan evacuation timing and routes.

  3. Probability and volume of potential postwildfire debris flows in the 2010 Fourmile burn area, Boulder County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruddy, Barbara C.; Stevens, Michael R.; Verdin, Kristine

    2010-01-01

    This report presents a preliminary emergency assessment of the debris-flow hazards from drainage basins burned by the Fourmile Creek fire in Boulder County, Colorado, in 2010. Empirical models derived from statistical evaluation of data collected from recently burned basins throughout the intermountain western United States were used to estimate the probability of debris-flow occurrence and volumes of debris flows for selected drainage basins. Data for the models include burn severity, rainfall total and intensity for a 25-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainstorm, and topographic and soil property characteristics. Several of the selected drainage basins in Fourmile Creek and Gold Run were identified as having probabilities of debris-flow occurrence greater than 60 percent, and many more with probabilities greater than 45 percent, in response to the 25-year recurrence, 1-hour rainfall. None of the Fourmile Canyon Creek drainage basins selected had probabilities greater than 45 percent. Throughout the Gold Run area and the Fourmile Creek area upstream from Gold Run, the higher probabilities tend to be in the basins with southerly aspects (southeast, south, and southwest slopes). Many basins along the perimeter of the fire area were identified as having low probability of occurrence of debris flow. Volume of debris flows predicted from drainage basins with probabilities of occurrence greater than 60 percent ranged from 1,200 to 9,400 m3. The predicted moderately high probabilities and some of the larger volumes responses predicted for the modeled storm indicate a potential for substantial debris-flow effects to buildings, roads, bridges, culverts, and reservoirs located both within these drainages and immediately downstream from the burned area. However, even small debris flows that affect structures at the basin outlets could cause considerable damage.

  4. Using patterns of debris flow erosion and deposition in the Icelandic Westfjords to delineate hazard zones.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conway, S. J.; Decaulne, A.; Balme, M. R.; Murray, J. B.; Towner, M. C.

    2009-04-01

    Debris flows pose a significant risk to infrastructure and people; hence the aim of this study is to better understand the behaviour of debris flows by studying examples from above the town of Ísafjörður in north-western Iceland. Debris flow is a recognised hazard in the region [1], but above Ísafjörður occurs with particularly high regularity [2] and can involve large volumes of debris. We have used airborne laser altimeter (LiDAR) and differential GPS data to produce isopach maps of flows that occurred in 1999, 2007 and 2008 above Ísafjörður and in adjacent valleys. Compared to observations from the literature, e.g. [3-5], these flows start depositing at unusually high slope gradients (up to 45°). However the larger flows are also unusually mobile compared to typical hill-slope debris flows [4], but they are not as mobile as channelized flows [6]. This means that for a given volume their run-out distance is much greater than expected and hence more likely to reach the town. The volumes for the flows were calculated in two ways: firstly we were able to take the difference between the surfaces before (LiDAR) and after (dGPS) three small flows that occurred in 2008. Secondly, for flows prior to our 2008 LiDAR survey, we interpolated the pre-flow surface based on surrounding topography and measured differences from our post-flow surveys. The second method therefore has a tendency to over-estimate the flow volumes. The scheme for dGPS surveying involved obtaining numerous cross sections and taking long profiles along the channel and adjacent levees. Based on the volumes that we have calculated using these more accurate methods, we have increased the value of volume estimates for recorded historic debris flows reported by [2] and have revised the local denudation rate to 45 mm per 100 yr. Using the isopach maps and associated field observations we have found a relationship between slope and deposition volume, where the runout and pattern of deposition is a

  5. Dramatical Impact Of Low Amounts of Swelling Clays On The Rheology Of Alpine Debris Flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bardou, E.; Bowen, P.; Banfill, P. G.; Boivin, P.

    2004-12-01

    Field observations show that the role and amount of swelling clays in the complex hard suspensions of alpine debris flow type were underestimated (see Boivin et al., this session). This work aims at exploring to which extent the swelling clay content influences the global rheology of a flow of rock grains from which the size spectrum extends from clays to gravel. We made a sample from calibrated materials with a grain size distribution similar to that of a viscoplastic debris flow (Bardou et al., 2003). Four replicates were made with the same grading curve. The clay content of the samples was 2% dry weight only, and different 2:1 swelling clay to 1:1 clay ratio were used. The swelling clay ratio (SCR) was calculated as the percentage of 2:1 clay in the clay fraction of the bulk samples. The 1:1 clay was (industrial) kaolinite and the 2:1 clay was a natural soil smectite. The smectite content in the bulk sample ranged from 0% to 2% dry weight, corresponding to SCR ranging from 0 to 80%. The four prepared samples were sheared in the large-size apparatus fully described in Tattersall and Banfill (1983). This apparatus is based on the measure of the torque necessary to rotate an impeller immersed in the sample. The impeller has the form of an "H" and moves in a plane according to two parallel axes. The observed behaviour were very contrasted. The sample with SCR=0 was poorly sensitive to changes in the solid concentration, in contrast to the three samples with SCR>0. Moreover, a small change in the SCR of the clay fraction induced a dramatic change of the behaviour of the mixture. For SCR=0, only little changes in the rheological parameters of the bulk samples were observed with respect to changes in the solid concentration. On the contrary the rheological parameters of the bulk samples with SCR>0, apparently followed a power law according to solid concentration. These tests carried out in the laboratory accord with observations realised on natural debris flow material

  6. Predicting storm-triggered debris flow events: application to the 2009 Ionian Peloritan disaster (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cama, M.; Lombardo, L.; Conoscenti, C.; Agnesi, V.; Rotigliano, E.

    2015-08-01

    The main assumption on which landslide susceptibility assessment by means of stochastic modelling lies is that the past is the key to the future. As a consequence, a stochastic model able to classify past known landslide events should be able to predict a future unknown scenario as well. However, storm-triggered multiple debris flow events in the Mediterranean region could pose some limits on the operative validity of such an expectation, as they are typically resultant of a randomness in time recurrence and magnitude and a great spatial variability, even at the scale of small catchments. This is the case for the 2007 and 2009 storm events, which recently hit north-eastern Sicily with different intensities, resulting in largely different disaster scenarios. The study area is the small catchment of the Itala torrent (10 km2), which drains from the southern Peloritani Mountains eastward to the Ionian Sea, in the territory of the Messina province (Sicily, Italy). Landslides have been mapped by integrating remote and field surveys, producing two event inventories which include 73 debris flows, activated in 2007, and 616 debris flows, triggered by the 2009 storm. Logistic regression was applied in order to obtain susceptibility models which utilize a set of predictors derived from a 2 m cell digital elevation model and a 1 : 50 000 scale geologic map. The research topic was explored by performing two types of validation procedures: self-validation, based on the random partition of each event inventory, and chrono-validation, based on the time partition of the landslide inventory. It was therefore possible to analyse and compare the performances both of the 2007 calibrated model in predicting the 2009 debris flows (forward chrono-validation), and vice versa of the 2009 calibrated model in predicting the 2007 debris flows (backward chrono-validation). Both of the two predictions resulted in largely acceptable performances in terms of fitting, skill and reliability

  7. The altitude effect on the climatic factors controlling debris flows activation: the Marderello Torrent case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palladino, Michela; Turconi, Laura; Savio, Gabriele; Tropeano, Domenico

    2015-04-01

    The left Cenischia valley includes some of the best known alpine basins prone to debris flow in Northwestern Italian Alps. In particular, in the Marderello catchment (6,6 km²), a left tributary of the Cenischia river, 31 important debris flood/flow events occurred during the last one hundred years. According to the chronicles of the last three centuries, events with significant volumes are on the average liable to take place every 3-4 years, whereas minor events may occur even twice per year. Due to the high frequency of activations, the site is of relevant interest for monitoring purposes. Since the early nineties, the CNR IRPI equipped the Marderello basin with meteorological monitoring devices. The rainfall monitoring network consists of four rain gauges, placed at different elevations, between 800 m a.s.l. and 2854 m a.s.l. Other meteorological data (air moisture and temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction) are provided by three stations located at 3150, 2150 and 830 m a.s.l. The main objective of the monitoring is the investigation of the triggering conditions for debris flows initiation. In the scientific literature the prediction of debris flows is often tackled by the use of empirical methods, based on the analysis of past activation and related rainfall triggering conditions. The effectiveness of these methods strictly depends on the representativeness of the meteorological monitoring stations used to collect the data. In complex orography sites, as the Alpine catchments are, the remarkable elevation gaps between the source areas of debris flows and the rain gauges position make it difficult to identify the triggering rainfall. To attain more reliable results, the elevation effect must be considered. In fact, elevation influences the precipitation in terms of cumulative values and, as a result of the temperature gradient, it controls the nature of the precipitation (rain/snow). In the present study we use the rainfall and temperature

  8. An Early Warning System from debris flows based on ground vibration monitoring data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arattano, Massimo; Coviello, Velio

    2015-04-01

    Among the different countermeasures that can be adopted for the mitigation of landslide hazard, Early Warning Systems (EWSs) are receiving an increasing attention. EWSs are the set of capacities needed to generate and disseminate timely and meaningful warning information to enable individuals and communities threatened by a hazard to appropriately act, in sufficient time, to reduce the possibility of harm or loss (UNEP, 2012). An EWS from debris flows can be classified into two main categories: advance and event EWSs. Advance EWSs predict the occurrence of a debris flow by monitoring hydro-meteorological conditions that may lead to its initiation. Despite their widespread adoption, these latter systems are prone to false alarms because they are heavily affected by bias between regional rainfall threshold and local conditions. Event EWSs, on the contrary, detect the occurrence of a debris flow when the process is already in progress. They usually rely on the use of algorithms for processing in real time the monitoring data. Their effectiveness depends on the reliability of those algorithms, which require long development and testing phases. A specific testing field for event EWSs has been equipped in the Gadria instrumented basin, located in the Eastern Italian Alps. A specifically designed monitoring unit capable to record data from different type of sensors and to implement aboard warning algorithms has been installed along a straight reach of the torrent. A flashing light, installed on the bank of the torrent, has been wired to this unit. The flashing light is framed by a fixed video camera that also shoots the passage of debris flows in the torrent. This provides a visual verification of the efficacy of the algorithm under test, particularly useful to show to practitioners and administrators a clear demonstration of the warning outcome. In this work, we present the performance of a warning algorithm that has been experimented in the Gadria testing field in 2013

  9. "The Great Cataract" - Effects of Late Holocene Debris Flows on Lava Falls Rapid, Grand Canyon National National Park, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Webb, Robert H.; Melis, Theodore S.; Wise, Thomas W.; Elliott, John G.

    1996-01-01

    Lava Falls Rapid is the most formidable reach of whitewater on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon and is one of the most famous rapids in the world. Although the rapid was once thought to be controlled by the remnants of lava dams of Pleistocene age, Lava Falls was created and is maintained by frequent debris flows from Prospect Canyon. We used 232 historical photographs, of which 121 were replicated, and 14C and 3He dating methods to reconstruct the ages and, in some cases, the magnitudes of late Holocene debris flows. We quantified the interaction between Prospect Canyon debris flows and the Colorado River using image processing of the historical photographs. The highest and oldest debris-flow deposits on the debris fan yielded a 3He date of 2.9?0.6 ka (950 BC), which indicates predominately late Holocene aggradation of one of the largest debris fans in Grand Canyon. The deposit, which has a 25-m escarpment caused by river reworking, crossed the Colorado River and raised its base level by 30 m for an indeterminate, although probably short, period. We mapped depositional surfaces of 6 debris flows that occurred after 950 BC. The most recent prehistoric debris flow occurred no more than 500 years ago (AD 1434). From April 1872 to July 1939, no debris flows occurred in Prospect Canyon. Debris flows in 1939, 1954, 1955, 1963, 1966, and 1995 constricted the Colorado River between 35 and 80 percent and completely changed the pattern of flow through the rapid. The debris flows had discharges estimated between about 290 and 1,000 m3/s and transported boulders as heavy as 30 Mg. The recurrence interval of these debris flows, calculated from the volume of the aggraded debris fan, ranged from 35 to 200 yrs. The 1939 debris flow in Prospect Canyon appears to have been the largest debris flow in Grand Canyon during the last 125 years. Debris flows in Prospect Canyon are initiated by streamflow pouring over a 325-m waterfall onto unconsolidated colluvium, a process called the

  10. Effects of Recent Debris Flows on Channel Conditions in Small Watersheds in the Central Klamath Mountains, NW California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de La Fuente, J.; Elder, D.; Bell, A.; Staisch, L.

    2008-12-01

    Debris flow histories were developed for ten small watersheds, tributary to the Klamath and Scott Rivers, averaging about 3,800 acres in size. This was accomplished by examining air photos dating from 1944 to 1997 and conducting field inventories. The primary objective of the work was to investigate the influence which debris flows of varying age have on macroinvertebrate populations and their habitat. Major flood and debris flow events in this area occurred in 1955, 1964, 1974, and 1997. The largest of the four was in 1964. At the Klamath River gauging station in Seiad Valley, estimated recurrence intervals were 23.7 years in 1955, 71.0 years in 1964, 35.5 years in 1974 and 17.8 years in 1997. Field investigations were conducted in 2006 & 2007, where longitudinal profiles and transverse cross sections were obtained on all channels. Dating trees by coring constrained the ages of individual debris flow terrace surfaces. These terraces were then correlated with findings from the air photo analysis. Disturbance histories varied considerably across the watersheds. Some were relatively undisturbed, lying primarily in wilderness, while others had complex histories of wildfire, road construction, mining and logging. Some of the drainages experienced multiple events that affected the entire valley floor (up to 100-feet wide), while others had no evidence of recent debris flows. Debris flows were entirely natural in some drainages, but closely linked to roads, harvest, and fire in others.

  11. Probability and volume of potential postwildfire debris flows in the 2011 Indian Gulch burn area, near Golden, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruddy, Barbara C.

    2011-01-01

    This report presents an assessment of the debris-flow hazards from drainage basins burned in 2011 by the Indian Gulch wildfire near Golden, Colorado. Empirical models derived from statistical evaluation of data collected from recently burned drainage basins throughout the intermountain western United States were used to estimate the probability of debris-flow occurrence and debris-flow volumes for selected drainage basins. Input for the models include measures of burn severity, topographic characteristics, soil properties, and rainfall total and intensity for a (1) 2-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainfall, (2) 10-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainfall, and (3) 25-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainfall. Estimated debris-flow probabilities in the drainage basins of interest ranged from 2 percent in response to the 2-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainfall to a high of 76 percent in response to the 25-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainfall. Estimated debris-flow volumes ranged from a low of 840 cubic meters to a high of 26,000 cubic meters, indicating a considerable hazard should debris flows occur.

  12. DebrisInterMixing-2.3: a Finite Volume solver for three dimensional debris flow simulations based on a single calibration parameter - Part 2: Model validation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Boetticher, A.; Turowski, J. M.; McArdell, B. W.; Rickenmann, D.; Hürlimann, M.; Scheidl, C.; Kirchner, J. W.

    2015-08-01

    Here we present the validation of the fluid dynamic solver presented in part one of this work (von Boetticher et al., 2015), simulating laboratory-scale and large-scale debris-flow experiments. The material properties of the experiments, including water content, sand content, clay content and its mineral composition, and gravel content and its friction angle, were known. We show that given these measured properties, a single free model parameter is sufficient for calibration, and a range of experiments with different material compositions can be reproduced by the model without recalibration. The model validation focuses on different case studies illustrating the sensitivity of debris flows to water and clay content, channel curvature, channel roughness and the angle of repose of the gravel. We characterize the accuracy of the model using experimental observations of flow head positions, front velocities, run-out patterns and basal pressures.

  13. Resolved granular debris-flow simulations with a coupled SPH-DCDEM model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birjukovs Canelas, Ricardo; Domínguez, José M.; Crespo, Alejandro J. C.; Gómez-Gesteira, Moncho; Ferreira, Rui M. L.

    2016-04-01

    Debris flows represent some of the most relevant phenomena in geomorphological events. Due to the potential destructiveness of such flows, they are the target of a vast amount of research (Takahashi, 2007 and references therein). A complete description of the internal processes of a debris-flow is however still an elusive achievement, explained by the difficulty of accurately measuring important quantities in these flows and developing a comprehensive, generalized theoretical framework capable of describing them. This work addresses the need for a numerical model applicable to granular-fluid mixtures featuring high spatial and temporal resolution, thus capable of resolving the motion of individual particles, including all interparticle contacts. This corresponds to a brute-force approach: by applying simple interaction laws at local scales the macro-scale properties of the flow should be recovered by upscaling. This methodology effectively bypasses the complexity of modelling the intermediate scales by resolving them directly. The only caveat is the need of high performance computing, a demanding but engaging research challenge. The DualSPHysics meshless numerical implementation, based on Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH), is expanded with a Distributed Contact Discrete Element Method (DCDEM) in order to explicitly solve the fluid and the solid phase. The model numerically solves the Navier-Stokes and continuity equations for the liquid phase and Newton's motion equations for solid bodies. The interactions between solids are modelled with classical DEM approaches (Kruggel-Emden et al, 2007). Among other validation tests, an experimental set-up for stony debris flows in a slit check dam is reproduced numerically, where solid material is introduced trough a hopper assuring a constant solid discharge for the considered time interval. With each sediment particle undergoing tens of possible contacts, several thousand time-evolving contacts are efficiently treated

  14. Simulation of debris flow events in Sicily by cellular automata model SCIDDICA_SS3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cancelliere, A.; Lupiano, V.; Peres, D. J.; Stancanelli, L.; Avolio, M.; Foti, E.; Di Gregorio, S.

    2013-12-01

    Debris flow models are widely used for hazard mapping or for evaluating the effectiveness of risk mitigation measures. Several models analyze the dynamics of debris flow runout solving Partial Differential Equations. In use of such models, difficulties arise in estimating kinematic geotechnical soil parameters for real phenomena. In order to overcome such difficulties, alternative semi-empirical approaches can be employed, such as macroscopic Cellular Automata (CA). In particular, for CA simulation purposes, the runout of debris flows emerges from local interactions in a dynamical system, subdivided into elementary parts, whose state evolves within a spatial and temporal discretum. The attributes of each cell (substates) describe physical characteristics. For computational reasons, the natural phenomenon is splitted into a number of elementary processes, whose proper composition makes up the CA transition function. By simultaneously applying this function to all the cells, the evolution of the phenomenon can be simulated in terms of modifications of the substates. In this study, we present an application of the macroscopic CA semi-empirical model SCIDDICA_SS3 to the Peloritani Mountains area in Sicily island, Italy. The model was applied using detailed data from the 1 October 2009 debris flow event, which was triggered by a rainfall event of about 250 mm falling in 9 hours, that caused the death of 37 persons. This region is characterized by river valleys with large hillslope angles (30°-60°), catchment basins of small extensions (0.5-12 km2) and soil composed by metamorphic material, which is easy to be eroded. CA usage implies a calibration phase, that identifies an optimal set of parameters capable of adequately play back the considered case, and a validation phase, that tests the model on a sufficient (and different) number of cases similar in terms of physical and geomorphological properties. The performance of the model can be measured in terms of a fitness

  15. Debris flow reconstruction - geomorphologic and numerical approach. A case study from the Selvetta event in Valtellina, Italy, July 2008

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blahut, J.; Luna, B. Quan; Akbas, S. O.; van Westen, C. J.

    2009-04-01

    On Sunday morning of 13th July 2008, after more than two days of intense rainfall, several debris and mud flows were released in the central part of Valtellina valley between Morbegno and Berbenno. One of the largest debris flows occurred in Selvetta, a fraction of Colorina municipality. The debris flow event was reconstructed after extensive field work and interviews with local inhabitants and civil protection teams. At first several rock blocks about 2 m3 in size fell down from the direction of the torrent. The blocks were followed by a wave of debris and mud that immediately destroyed one building and caused damage to other nine houses. A stream flow following the debris flow consisting of fine mud with high water content that partially washed away the accumulation of deposits from the debris phase could also be distinguished. Geomorphologic investigations allowed identification of five main sections of the flow: 1) the proper scarp; 2) path in the forested area; 3) path on the alpine meadows; 4) accelerating section; 5) accumulation area. The initiation area of the flow is situated at 1760 m. a.s.l. (1480 m above the deposition zone) in a coniferous forest. The proper scarp consisted of an area of approximately 20 m2 in size, and a height of about 0.8 m. The final volume of the debris was estimated by field mapping to be between 12 000 and 15 000 m3. It was observed that erosion and entrainment played an important role in the development of the debris flow. The Selvetta event was modelled with the FLO2D program. FLO2D is an Eulerian formulation with a finite differences numerical scheme that requires the specification of an input hydrograph. The internal stresses are isotropic and the basal shear stresses are calculated using a quadratic model. Entrainment was modeled at each section of the flow, and different hydrographs were produced in agreement with the behavior of the debris flow during its course. The significance of calculated values of pressure and

  16. Evidence for enhanced debris flow activity in the Northern Calcareous Alps since the 1980s (Plansee, Austria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietrich, Andreas; Krautblatter, Michael

    2016-04-01

    From 1950 to 2011 almost 80.000 people lost their lives through the occurrence of debris flow events (Dowling and Santi, 2014). Debris flows occur in all alpine regions due to intensive rainstorms and mobilisable loose debris. Due to their susceptible lithology, the Northern Calcareous Alps are affected by a double digit number of major hazard events per year. Some authors hypothesised a relation between an increasing frequency of heavy rainstorms and an increasing occurrence of landslides in general (Beniston and Douglas, 1996) and debris flows in special (Pelfini and Santilli, 2008), but yet there is only limited evidence. The Plansee catchment in the Ammergauer Alps consists of intensely jointed Upper Triassic Hauptdolomit lithology and therefore shows extreme debris flow activity. To investigate this activity in the last decades, the temporal and spatial development of eight active debris flow fans is examined with GIS and field mapping. The annual rates since the late 1940s are inferred accurately by using aerial photos from 1947, 1952, 1971, 1979, 1987, 2000 and 2010. These rates are compared to the mean Holocene/Lateglacial debris flow volume derived from the most prominent cone. The contact with the underlying till is revealed by electrical resistivity tomography (ERT). It shows that the mean annual debris flow volume has increased there by a factor of 10 from 1947-1952 (0.23 ± 0.07 10³m³/yr) to 1987-2000 (2.41 ± 0.66 10³m³/yr). A similar trend can be seen on all eight fans: mean post-1980 rates exceed pre-1980 rates by a factor of more than three. This increasing debris flow activity coincides with an enhanced rainstorm (def. 35 mm/d) frequency recorded at the nearest meteorological station. Since 1921 the frequency of heavy rainstorms has increased there on average by 10% per decade. Recent debris flow rates are also 2-3 times higher compared to mean Holocene/Lateglacial rates. Furthermore, we state a strong correlation between the non

  17. Numerical simulation of the debris flow dynamics with an upwind scheme and specific friction treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez Burillo, Guillermo; Beguería, Santiago; Latorre, Borja; Burguete, Javier

    2014-05-01

    Debris flows, snow and rock avalanches, mud and earth flows are often modeled by means of a particular realization of the so called shallow water equations (SWE). Indeed, a number of simulation models have been already developed [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]. Debris flow equations differ from shallow water equations in two main aspects. These are (a) strong bed gradient and (b) rheology friction terms that differ from the traditional SWE. A systematic analysis of the numerical solution of the hyperbolic system of equations rising from the shallow water equations with different rheological laws has not been done. Despite great efforts have been done to deal with friction expressions common in hydraulics (such as Manning friction), landslide rheologies are characterized by more complicated expressions that may deal to unphysical solutions if not treated carefully. In this work, a software that solves the time evolution of sliding masses over complex bed configurations is presented. The set of non- linear equations is treated by means of a first order upwind explicit scheme, and the friction contribution to the dynamics is treated with a suited numerical scheme [8]. In addition, the software incorporates various rheological models to accommodate for different flow types, such as the Voellmy frictional model [9] for rock and debris avalanches, or the Herschley-Bulkley model for debris and mud flows. The aim of this contribution is to release this code as a free, open source tool for the simulation of mass movements, and to encourage the scientific community to make use of it. The code uses as input data the friction coefficients and two input files: the topography of the bed and the initial (pre-failure) position of the sliding mass. In addition, another file with the final (post-event) position of the sliding mass, if desired, can be introduced to be compared with the simulation obtained result. If the deposited mass is given, an error estimation is computed by

  18. Determining the physical vulnerability of roads to debris flow by means of an expert judgement approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winter, M. G.; Smith, J. T.; Fotopoulou, S.; Pitlakis, K.; Mavrouli, O.-C.; Corominas, J.; Argyroudis, S.

    2012-04-01

    The physical vulnerability of roads to debris flow is expressed through fragility functions that relate flow volume to damage probabilities. Fragility relationships are essential components of quantitative risk assessments (QRA) as they allow for the estimation of risk within a consequence-based framework. To the best of the Authors' knowledge this is the first time that fragility curves have been produced in order to provide the conditional probability for a road to be in, or to exceed, a certain damage state for a given debris flow volume. Preliminary assessments were undertaken by means of a detailed questionnaire. A total of 47 returns were received from experts in 17 countries: 32% academia, 51% the commercial sector and 17% governments. Fragility curves have been defined for three damage states (limited damage, serious damage and destroyed) for each of low speed and high speed roads in order to cover the typical characteristics of roads vulnerable to debris flow. The probability of any given damage state being met or exceeded by a debris flow of a given volume (10 to 100,000m3) was derived from the mean of the responses received. Inevitably there was a degree of scatter in the results and the treatment of such variation, or 'experimental errors', was crucial to understanding the data and to developing the fragility curves. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of arriving at these preliminary fragility curves were utilised. The nature of the data is such that unless all respondents return that value the average probability at the largest flow volume cannot reach unity; as a result the upper ends of each curve were forced to unity and in order to account for larger potential volumes manual extrapolation was undertaken to 1,000,000m3. In addition to an assessment of the probabilities of given damage states being exceeded respondents to the questionnaire were polled as to their level of experience and confidence in their ability to provide a valid and

  19. Relative tectonics and debris flow hazards in the Beijing mountain area from DEM-derived geomorphic indices and drainage analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Weiming; Wang, Nan; Zhao, Min; Zhao, Shangmin

    2016-03-01

    The geomorphic setting of the tectonically active area around Beijing is a result of complex interactions involving Yanshan neotectonic movements and processes of erosion and deposition. The Beijing Mountain study area contains the junction of two mountain ranges (the Yanshan Mountains and the Taihang Mountains). Tectonic activity has significantly influenced the drainage system and the geomorphic situation in the area, leading to a high probability of the development of debris flows, which is one of the major abrupt geological disasters in the region. Based on 30-m-resolution ASTER GDEM data, a total of 752 drainage basins were extracted using ArcGIS software. A total of 705 debris flow valleys were visually interpreted from ALOS satellite images and published documents. Seven geomorphic indices were calculated for each basin including the relief amplitude, the hypsometric integral, the stream length gradient, the basin shape indices, the fractal dimension, the asymmetry factor, and the ratio of the valley floor width to the height. These geomorphic indices were divided into five classes and the ratio of the number of the debris flow valleys to the number of the drainage basins for each geomorphic index was computed and analyzed for every class. Average class values of the seven indices were used to derive an index of relative active tectonics (IRAT). The ratio of the number of the debris flow valleys to the number of the drainage basins was computed for every class of IRAT. The degree of probable risk level was then defined from the IRAT classes. Finally, the debris flow hazard was evaluated for each drainage basin based on the combined effect of probable risk level and occurrence frequency of the debris flows. The result showed a good correspondence between IRAT classes and the ratio of the number of the debris flow valleys to the number of the drainage basins. Approximately 65% of the drainage basins with occurred debris flow valleys are at a high risk level

  20. Space-time organization of debris flows-triggering rainfall: effects on the identification of the rainfall threshold relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borga, Marco; Nikolopoulos, Efthymios; Creutin, Jean Dominique; Marra, Francesco

    2015-04-01

    Debris flow occurrence is generally forecasted by means of empirical rainfall depth-duration thresholds which are often derived based on rain gauge observations (Guzzetti et al., 2008). Rainfall sampling errors, related to the sparse nature of raingauge data, lead to underestimation of the intensity-duration thresholds (Nikolopoulos et al., 2014, Nikolopoulos et al., 2015). This underestimation may be large when debris flows are triggered by convective rainfall events, characterized by limited spatial extent, turning into less efficient forecasts of debris flow occurrence. This work investigates the spatial and temporal structure of rainfall patterns and its effects on the derived rainfall threshold relationships using high-resolution, carefully corrected radar data for 82 debris flows events occurred in the eastern Italian Alps. We analyze the spatial organization of rainfall depths relative to the rainfall occurred over the debris flows initiation point using the distance from it as the main coordinate observing that, on average, debris flows initiation points are characterized by a maximum in the rainfall depth field. We investigate the relationship between spatial organization and duration of rainfall pointing out that the rainfall underestimation is larger for the shorter durations and increases regularly as the distance between rainfall measurement location and debris flow initiation point increases. We introduce an analytical framework that explains how the combination of the mean rainfall depth spatial pattern and its relationship with rainfall duration causes the bias observed in the raingauge-based thresholds. The consistency of this analytical framework is proved by using a Monte Carlo sampling of radar rainfall fields. References Guzzetti, F., Peruccacci, S., Rossi, M., Stark, C.P., 2008. The rainfall intensity-duration control of shallow landslides and debris flows: an update. Landslides 5, 3-17, 10.1007/s10346-625 007-0112-1 Nikolopoulos, E.I., S

  1. Non-local rheology of stony debris flow propagating over a cohesionless sediment bed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzoni, Stefano; Gregoretti, Carlo

    2016-04-01

    Velocity profiles of gravel-water mixtures observed in flume experiments often exhibit a double-slope behavior, with a lower narrower region where the velocity increases slowly, and an upper wider region often exhibiting a nearly linear behavior. Even though the flow can be classified within the grain-inertia regime, the overall profile seems to not conform to the power law (with exponent 1.5) distribution obtained by integrating along the normal to the flow the dispersive stresses envisaged by Bagnold (1954) in his pioneer work. Note that this formulation neglects the contribution to the velocity profile of the quasi-static (frictional) stresses that tend to dominate close to an erodible sediment bottom. The present work investigates the possibility to find out a uniformly valid distribution of shear stress from the bottom to the flow surface. To this aim we follow a heuristic coherence length approach (GDR-MIDI, 2004) similar to the mixing length procedure commonly used to study the atmospheric boundary layer over canopy (see, e.g., Harmann and Finnegan, 2007). A database built on 64 systematic debris flow experiments is used to disclose the general features of velocity profiles that establish within the body of almost steady water-sediment flows and the dependence of transport sediment volumetric concentration on the relevant parameters. The almost steady water-sediment flows considered in the study were generated by releasing a prescribed water discharge on a saturated layer of sediment (specifically, 3 mm gravel, 6 mm gravel, and 3 mm glass spheres) initially placed in a 10 m long and 0.2 m wide laboratory flume. The analysis clearly indicates that stony debris flow conditions characterized the experiments. The mixing length does not result constant, as required by a Bagnold-like profile, but varies gradually, from zero at the flow surface, to a finite value near the erodible bottom. We discuss this structure in terms of shear stress distribution along the

  2. Numerical simulation of the debris flow dynamics with an upwind scheme and specific friction treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez Burillo, Guillermo; Beguería, Santiago; Latorre, Borja; Burguete, Javier

    2014-05-01

    Debris flows, snow and rock avalanches, mud and earth flows are often modeled by means of a particular realization of the so called shallow water equations (SWE). Indeed, a number of simulation models have been already developed [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]. Debris flow equations differ from shallow water equations in two main aspects. These are (a) strong bed gradient and (b) rheology friction terms that differ from the traditional SWE. A systematic analysis of the numerical solution of the hyperbolic system of equations rising from the shallow water equations with different rheological laws has not been done. Despite great efforts have been done to deal with friction expressions common in hydraulics (such as Manning friction), landslide rheologies are characterized by more complicated expressions that may deal to unphysical solutions if not treated carefully. In this work, a software that solves the time evolution of sliding masses over complex bed configurations is presented. The set of non- linear equations is treated by means of a first order upwind explicit scheme, and the friction contribution to the dynamics is treated with a suited numerical scheme [8]. In addition, the software incorporates various rheological models to accommodate for different flow types, such as the Voellmy frictional model [9] for rock and debris avalanches, or the Herschley-Bulkley model for debris and mud flows. The aim of this contribution is to release this code as a free, open source tool for the simulation of mass movements, and to encourage the scientific community to make use of it. The code uses as input data the friction coefficients and two input files: the topography of the bed and the initial (pre-failure) position of the sliding mass. In addition, another file with the final (post-event) position of the sliding mass, if desired, can be introduced to be compared with the simulation obtained result. If the deposited mass is given, an error estimation is computed by

  3. New models for avalanches and debris flows down non-trivial natural terrain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pudasaini, S. P.; Hutter, K.

    2003-04-01

    We present recently developed model equations for free gravity-driven flows of single- and multi-phase geo-materials like avalanches, debris and pyroclastic flows down complicated real mountain terrains generated by arbitrary space curves with slowly varying curvature and torsion. These are very important extensions to the successful Savage-Hutter-theory which incorporate an orthogonal metric of the sliding surface exhibiting curvature and torsion effects simultaneously. Their physical basis is the density preserving fluid obeying Mohr-Coulomb internal friction and an equivalent law for basal sliding. The internal friction angle, φ, and the basal friction angle, δ, with δ<=φ are the phenomenological coefficients of the model. The governing equations are formulated in a curvilinear coordinate system, and a von Kármán-Polhausen procedure is used to deduce thickness averaged equations for the time and space evolution of the avalanche and debris depth and the associated velocity profile. These new extended equations provide the necessary mathematical foundation to describe finite masses of grain-fluid mixtures that move down a mountain side across a more realistic and arbitrary terrain from initiation to run-out. Present model equations include pore fluid pressure and variable density of the mixture so as to account for some essential and fundamental characteristic variables of the avalanches, debris- and mud-flows. Equations derived from these extensions are two-dimensional, time-dependent, non-linear hyperbolic conservation system of PDEs with possibly discontinuous coefficients. We present some analytical solutions of simplest kind which demonstrate basic physical significance and validity of the model equations in realistic situation. Shock-capturing and front-tracking numerical schemes are required to capture possible discontinuities and the mapping of the flowing mass. We explain the integration procedure and present some numerical results.

  4. Reconstruction of Val Molinara 2010 debris flow and validation of the hazard mapping methodology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zorzi, Nadia; Begnudelli, Lorenzo; Rosatti, Giorgio

    2013-04-01

    In this work, a real debris flow over an urbanized conoid is studied and reconstructed using the bidimensional finite-volume mathematical model Trent2D (Armanini et. al, Computer & Geosciences 2009). The event occurred in August 2010 in the village of Campolongo (Province of Trento, Italy) as a result of torrential rains and is particularly well documented thanks to the availability of aerial pictures, ground surveys, sediment deposition measurements, and data of two nearby rain gauges as well of radar. The 2D mathematical model adopted in the study is based on a two-phase description of the debris flow with immediate adaptation of the transport to the local flow conditions. It adopts a rheological closure valid in the grain-inertia regime. The equations are solved on a structured quadrilateral grid using a Godunov-type scheme, where inter-cell fluxes are evaluated using a MUSCL-Hancock approach with second order spatial and temporal accuracy. In order to reconstruct the event, the following tasks have been carried out: a) computation of liquid discharge through a rainfall-runoff model; b) evaluation of the debris flow discharge (and therefore of the discharge of solid mass); c) estimation of the model's parameters; d) execution of simulation and comparison with available data. Model's predictions are compared with surveys in order to show its capabilities as well as understand its possible limitations arising from the hypothesis the model is based on. Moreover, the sensitivity of model to variations of parameters and boundary conditions (i.e. discharge) is tested showing interesting results. Finally, the hazard map for the area is generated adopting the standard procedure as required by national and local regulations in order to study how predictive simulations compare to the results of a back analysis process.

  5. Interaction between riverbed condition and characteristics of debris flow in Ichino-sawa subwatershed of Ohya-kuzure landslide, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsunetaka, Haruka; Hotta, Norifumi; Imaizumi, Fumitoshi; Hayakawa, Yuichi S.; Yumen, Noriki

    2015-04-01

    Large-scale sediment movements, such as a deep-seated landslide, not only induce immediate sediment disasters but also produce a large amount of unstable sediment upstream. Most of the unstable sediment residing in the upstream area is discharged as debris flow. Hence, after the occurrence of large-scale sediment movement, debris flows have a long-term effect on the watershed regime. However, the characteristics of debris flow in upstream areas are not well understood, due to the topographic and grain-size conditions that are more complicated than the downstream area. This study was performed to reveal the relationship between such a riverbed condition and the characteristics of debris flow by field observations. The study site was Ichinosawa-subwatershed in the Ohya-kuzure basin, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The basin experienced a deep-seated landslide about 300 years ago and is currently actively yielding sediment with a clear annual cycle. During the winter season, sediment is deposited on the valley bottom by freeze-thaw and weathering. In the summer season, the deposited sediment is discharged incrementally by debris flows related to storm events. Topographical survey and grain-size analysis were performed several times between November 2011 and November 2014. High-resolution digital elevation models (10 cm) were created from the results of a topographical survey using a terrestrial laser scanner. A grain-size analysis was conducted in the upper, middle, and lower parts of the study site. Debris flow occurrences were also monitored in the same period by a sensor-triggered video camera and interval camera. Rainfall was observed during the summer season for comparison with debris flow occurrence. Several debris flows of different magnitudes were observed during the study period. Although heavy rainfall events altered the bed inclination, the thickness of deposited sediment, and the grain-size distribution, more significant changes were detected after the debris

  6. Postwildfire debris-flow hazard assessment of the area burned by the 2013 West Fork Fire Complex, southwestern Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Verdin, Kristine L.; Dupree, Jean A.; Stevens, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    This report presents a preliminary emergency assessment of the debris-flow hazards from drainage basins burned by the 2013 West Fork Fire Complex near South Fork in southwestern Colorado. Empirical models derived from statistical evaluation of data collected from recently burned basins throughout the intermountain western United States were used to estimate the probability of debris-flow occurrence, potential volume of debris flows, and the combined debris-flow hazard ranking along the drainage network within and just downstream from the burned area, and to estimate the same for 54 drainage basins of interest within the perimeter of the burned area. Input data for the debris-flow models included topographic variables, soil characteristics, burn severity, and rainfall totals and intensities for a (1) 2-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainfall, referred to as a 2-year storm; (2) 10-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainfall, referred to as a 10-year storm; and (3) 25-year-recurrence, 1-hour-duration rainfall, referred to as a 25-year storm. Estimated debris-flow probabilities at the pour points of the 54 drainage basins of interest ranged from less than 1 to 65 percent in response to the 2-year storm; from 1 to 77 percent in response to the 10-year storm; and from 1 to 83 percent in response to the 25-year storm. Twelve of the 54 drainage basins of interest have a 30-percent probability or greater of producing a debris flow in response to the 25-year storm. Estimated debris-flow volumes for all rainfalls modeled range from a low of 2,400 cubic meters to a high of greater than 100,000 cubic meters. Estimated debris-flow volumes increase with basin size and distance along the drainage network, but some smaller drainages also were predicted to produce substantial debris flows. One of the 54 drainage basins of interest had the highest combined hazard ranking, while 9 other basins had the second highest combined hazard ranking. Of these 10 basins with the 2 highest

  7. Sediment storage and evacuation in headwater valleys at the transition between debris-flow and fluvial processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lancaster, Stephen T.; Casebeer, Nathan E.

    2007-11-01

    Sediment from landscape disturbance often enters temporary storage in valleys and evacuates over longer times, which in steeplands are poorly delimited. We hypothesize that, across process transitions (e.g., debris flow versus fluvial transport), distributions of sediment transit times also change. We use field surveys and extensive radiocarbon dating to assess the distribution of transit (residence) times through the proxy measurement of ages of bank deposits in two mainstem reaches of a 2.23 km2 watershed in the Oregon Coast Range. In the downstream reach, debris fans impound fluvial deposits; debris-flow, fine fluvial, and coarse fluvial deposits compose nearly equal parts of the valley fill; and fluvial erosion evacuates deposits. Transit times have a sample mean of 1.22 × 103 14C yr and an exponential distribution, indicating uniform probability of evacuation from storage. In the upstream reach, valley-spanning debris jams impound debris-flow deposits composing >95% of the valley fill, which is routinely scoured by debris flows. Transit times have a sample mean of 4.43 × 102 14C yr and, if >100 14C yr, a power-law distribution, indicating preferential evacuation of younger deposits and retention of older deposits. In both reaches, most sediment has short transit times (<600 14C yr), but significant volumes remain for millennia. Less than 20% of basin-wide denudation passes through these reservoirs, but the latter are still significant buffers between hillslope disturbance and downstream aquatic habitat, especially for coarse sediment.

  8. The cohesive Naranjo debris-flow deposit (10 km 3): . A dam breakout flow derived from the Pleistocene debris-avalanche deposit of Nevado de Colima Volcano (México)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capra, L.; Macías, J. L.

    2002-09-01

    Mass movement processes on volcanic terrains such as landslides and debris avalanches can cause the obstruction of main drainages producing the formation of temporary dams. A good example of this occurred 18.5 ka ago when the eastern flank of the Nevado de Colima Volcano collapsed producing a debris-avalanche deposit that was previously described as one of the largest in the world. The deposit extended from the volcanic summit as far as the Pacific coast, 120 km away. New stratigraphic, sedimentological, and componentry data suggest that the volcanic collapse of Nevado de Colima resulted in a debris avalanche that traveled 20 km southeast to the Naranjo River. There it crashed against a topographic barrier consisting of Cretaceous limestones (Cerro la Carbonera) and the flow direction was diverted to the south down the Naranjo River channel for another 25 km before the avalanche came to a halt. The obstruction of the drainage produced a temporary dam that stored ca. 1 km 3 of water and deposited fluvial and slack-water sediments. Some time after the damming, the accumulated water-sediment load was able to overtop the obstructing material and to release a breakout flow with a calculated initial flow discharge of 3.5 million m 3/s. The resulting flood (cohesive debris flow) followed the channel of the Naranjo River and, due to the high erodibility of the channel and introduction of substrate material, the debris flow progressively increased its volume up to 10 km 3, six times its initial volume. This study highlights the relevance of evaluating the potential remobilization of debris-avalanche deposits to initiate large magnitude cohesive debris flows. Therefore, the hazard and risk analysis of future potential events of this nature must consider the pre-eruption conditions and the topography surrounding a volcano.

  9. Relationship Analysis of Debris Flow-inducing Factors in Typhoon Morakot Affected Area By Using Data Mining Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Che-Wei; Hsiao, Cheng-Yang; Ku, Bing-Huan; Tsao, Ting-Chi; Cheng, Chin-Tung; Lo, Wen-Chun; Chen, Chen-Yu

    2013-04-01

    Typhoon Morakot lashed Taiwan during Aug. 7 to 9, 2009. It dumped heavy rainfall in southern Taiwan, especially around the Central Mountain Range in Pingtung, Chia-Yi, and Kaohsiung County. In view of this, Comprehensive field investigation was carried out by government and private organizations after Typhoon Morakot, useful information of debris flow was gathered. Besides, after Typhoon Morakot, the debris flow-inducing factors become more challenging in Taiwan, many aspects had to be considered. The scope of this study was mainly discussed in debris flow-inducing factors in serious damaged areas which including Nantou, Chia-Yi, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Taitung County. Totally 218 torrents were included. Field investigation data and disaster records of Typhoon Morakot were utilized to analyze debris flow-inducing factors in three aspects: terrain, rainfall and sediment source. First, by using Principle Component Analysis(PCA) and Pearson Product Moment Correlation Analysis(CA) to select significant factors, 101 factors were reduced to the most important 18. Then through descriptive statistics and scatter diagram were selected to discuss the correlation among "Average slope gradient of watershed", "Landslide rate along the stream within 50m buffer zone" as well as the "rainfall intensity during Typhoon Morakot". The above charts were used to summarize the range of factor value which tend to occur phenomenon of debris flow in Typhoon Morakot. Besides, Random Forest Algorithm (RF) was utilized to research the relationship toward multi-variables. The significant factors which tend to affect the debris flow-inducing factor were "effective accumulated rainfall", "hourly rainfall", "landslide rate along the stream within 50m buffer zone", "average elevation value of effective watershed area higher than 10 degree", sequentially. By the results, the most significant factor is the rainfall factor during Typhoon Morakot. The results can be utilized in improving debris

  10. Application of a Monte Carlo method for modeling debris flow run-out

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luna, B. Quan; Cepeda, J.; Stumpf, A.; van Westen, C. J.; Malet, J. P.; van Asch, T. W. J.

    2012-04-01

    A probabilistic framework based on a Monte Carlo method for the modeling of debris flow hazards is presented. The framework is based on a dynamic model, which is combined with an explicit representation of the different parameter uncertainties. The probability distribution of these parameters is determined from an extensive collected database with information of back calibrated past events from different authors. The uncertai