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Sample records for abstract debris flows

  1. DEBRIS FLOWS AND HYPERCONCENTRATED STREAMFLOWS.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wieczorek, Gerald F.

    1986-01-01

    Examination of recent debris-flow and hyperconcentrated-streamflow events in the western United States reveals (1) the topographic, geologic, hydrologic, and vegetative conditions that affect initiation of debris flows and (2) the wide ranging climatic conditions that can trigger debris flows. Recognition of these physiographic and climatic conditions has aided development of preliminary methods for hazard evaluation. Recent developments in the application of electronic data gathering, transmitting, and processing systems shows potential for real-time hazard warning.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Looking inside a debris flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowman, Elisabeth; Sanvitale, Nicoletta; Bird, Joshua

    2014-05-01

    Debris flows, masses of saturated, channelized, granular materials that flow at high speeds downslope, present a hazard to lives and infrastructure in regions of high relief and runoff. They also present a challenge to modelling due to the heterogeneous, multi-phase, nature of the constituent materials, with particles ranging from boulder-size to silt-size and fluid viscosity being altered by the presence of fine particles and clay. As a debris flow travels on its flow path, it will tend to segregate, with larger particles being focused to the flow front and fluid being concentrated in the tail - resulting in different rheological behaviour in time and space. It will also tend to erode and deposit material as it moves through different channel segments or reaches, with this behaviour influenced by the confinement of the channel and the angle of the slope within each reach. Flume studies offer the potential to examine in detail the behaviour of model debris flows within the penultimate and final (deposit fan area) reaches - zones which are generally of most interest in terms of human risk. Flume studies which are conducted using transparent debris offer additional benefits to more traditional methods that use opaque materials, enabling insights to the flow behaviour that are inaccessible via other physical methods. We present flume model work which has been designed to capture some essential aspects of debris flow behaviour using well graded (polydisperse) transparent debris, albeit at reduced scale. These aspects include the final deposit spread or runout increasing for a lower concentration of solids and a higher penultimate reach slope angle, and observable particle size segregation during downslope motion. We present time-varying measurements made internally and externally at a point in the channel via Plane Laser Induced Fluorescence and Particle Image Velocimetry, PIV. The measurements enable velocity distributions of the segregating flows over time to be

  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. Debris Flow Distributed Propagation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregoretti, C.

    The debris flow distributed propagation model is a DEM-based model. The fan is dis- cretized by square cells and each cell is assigned an altitude on the sea level. The cells of the catchment are distinguished in two categories: the source cells and the stripe cells. The source cells receive the input hydograph: the cells close to the torrent which are flooded by the debris flow overflowing the torrent embankment are source cells. The stripes cells are the cells flooded by debris flow coming from the surrounding cells. At the first time step only the source cells are flooded by debris flow coming from the torrent. At the second time step a certain number of cells are flooded by de- bris flow coming from the source cells. These cells constitute a stripe of cells and are assigned order two. At the third time step another group of cells are flooded by the debris flow coming from the cells whose order is two. These cells constitute another stripe and are assigned order three. The cell order of a stripe is the time step number corresponding to the transition from dry to flooded state. The mass transfer or mo- mentum exchange between cells is governed by two different mechanisms. The mass transfer is allowed only by a positive or equal to zero flow level difference between the drained cell and the receiving cell. The mass transfer is limited by a not negative final flow level difference between the drained cell and the receiving cells. This limitation excludes the case of possible oscillations in the mass transfer. Another limitation is that the mass drained by a cell should be less than the available mass in that cell. This last condition provides the respect of mass conservation. The first mechanism of mass transfer is the gravity. The mass in a cell is transferred to the neighbouring cells with lower altitude and flow level according to an uniform flow law: The second mecha- nism of mass transfer is the broad crested weir. The mass in a cell is transferred to the

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Autogenic dynamics of debris-flow fans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van den Berg, Wilco; de Haas, Tjalling; Braat, Lisanne; Kleinhans, Maarten

    2015-04-01

    Alluvial fans develop their semi-conical shape by cyclic avulsion of their geomorphologically active sector from a fixed fan apex. These cyclic avulsions have been attributed to both allogenic and autogenic forcings and processes. Autogenic dynamics have been extensively studied on fluvial fans through physical scale experiments, and are governed by cyclic alternations of aggradation by unconfined sheet flow, fanhead incision leading to channelized flow, channel backfilling and avulsion. On debris-flow fans, however, autogenic dynamics have not yet been directly observed. We experimentally created debris-flow fans under constant extrinsic forcings, and show that autogenic dynamics are a fundamental intrinsic process on debris-flow fans. We found that autogenic cycles on debris-flow fans are driven by sequences of backfilling, avulsion and channelization, similar to the cycles on fluvial fans. However, the processes that govern these sequences are unique for debris-flow fans, and differ fundamentally from the processes that govern autogenic dynamics on fluvial fans. We experimentally observed that backfilling commenced after the debris flows reached their maximum possible extent. The next debris flows then progressively became shorter, driven by feedbacks on fan morphology and flow-dynamics. The progressively decreasing debris-flow length caused in-channel sedimentation, which led to increasing channel overflow and wider debris flows. This reduced the impulse of the liquefied flow body to the flow front, which then further reduced flow velocity and runout length, and induced further in-channel sedimentation. This commenced a positive feedback wherein debris flows became increasingly short and wide, until the channel was completely filled and the apex cross-profile was plano-convex. At this point, there was no preferential transport direction by channelization, and the debris flows progressively avulsed towards the steepest, preferential, flow path. Simultaneously

  10. 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,.

  11. Analysis of the Mobilization of Debris Flows

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1974-10-01

    transported by a debris flow. 83 ..... .... penetrometer tests, both In the field and In the laboratory (e.g., Laobe and Whitman, 1969; Sanglerat ...the potential for debris flow. Sanglerat , G., 1972, The penetrometer and soil exploration; Elsevier Publishing Co., New York, A64 p. Shield, R. T

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Amplification of postwildfire peak flow by debris

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kean, Jason W.; Mcguire, Luke; Rengers, Francis; Smith, Joel B.; Staley, Dennis M.

    2016-01-01

    In burned steeplands, the peak depth and discharge of postwildfire runoff can substantially increase from the addition of debris. Yet methods to estimate the increase over water flow are lacking. We quantified the potential amplification of peak stage and discharge using video observations of postwildfire runoff, compiled data on postwildfire peak flow (Qp), and a physically based model. Comparison of flood and debris flow data with similar distributions in drainage area (A) and rainfall intensity (I) showed that the median runoff coefficient (C = Qp/AI) of debris flows is 50 times greater than that of floods. The striking increase in Qp can be explained using a fully predictive model that describes the additional flow resistance caused by the emergence of coarse-grained surge fronts. The model provides estimates of the amplification of peak depth, discharge, and shear stress needed for assessing postwildfire hazards and constraining models of bedrock incision.

  18. Amplification of postwildfire peak flow by debris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

    In burned steeplands, the peak depth and discharge of postwildfire runoff can substantially increase from the addition of debris. Yet methods to estimate the increase over water flow are lacking. We quantified the potential amplification of peak stage and discharge using video observations of postwildfire runoff, compiled data on postwildfire peak flow (Qp), and a physically based model. Comparison of flood and debris flow data with similar distributions in drainage area (A) and rainfall intensity (I) showed that the median runoff coefficient (C = Qp/AI) of debris flows is 50 times greater than that of floods. The striking increase in Qp can be explained using a fully predictive model that describes the additional flow resistance caused by the emergence of coarse-grained surge fronts. The model provides estimates of the amplification of peak depth, discharge, and shear stress needed for assessing postwildfire hazards and constraining models of bedrock incision.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chen, C.-L.; Major, J.J.

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. Prevention of debris flow disasters on Chengdu-Kunming Railway.

    PubMed

    Wang, W; Xu, W L; Liu, S J

    2001-07-01

    Chengdu-Kunming Railway is an important transport line on southwestern China. However, this railway's safety is often threatened by debris flows. How to effectively forecast and alarm the debris flow disasters and reduce the losses is the aim to study the prevention system in this paper. The factors to cause or influence debris flow are divided into four parts--the basin environmental factors, the basin meteoric factors, the prevention work's elements and the flood-relief work's elements, and the prevention system is made up of three models--a judgment model to assess the debris flow gully's seriousness, a forecast model to predict the debris flow's occurrence and an alarm model to evaluate the debris flow's disaster. Afterwards, a concise structure chart is worked out and verified by the field data from Chengdu-Kunming Railway. This prevention system will provide beneficial reference for the debris flow's monitoring network to be executed on Chengdu-Kunming Railway.

  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. Debris flows in Glacier National Park, Montana: geomorphology and hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilkerson, Forrest D.; Schmid, Ginger L.

    2003-09-01

    Debris flows are one of the many active slope-forming processes within Glacier National Park, Montana. Most debris flow landforms exhibit classic morphology with a distinct failure scarp, incised channel, channel levees, and toe deposits that often develop a lobate form. The Precambrian metasediments that dominate Glacier National Park's geology weather into angular clasts that range in size from platy gravels to boulders. Classic debris flows occur in areas where the topographic expression provides a debris source from cliff faces and an accumulation of regolith, often in the form of talus slopes. Many of these debris flows have long runout zones and can travel many hundreds of meters. Often they cross hiking trails or roads, including the main east-west highway, Going-to-the-Sun Road. Debris flows impacting the road have resulted in several near fatalities, and hikers have been forced to cross active debris flows to reach safe ground. The magnitude of debris flows varies between high magnitude channel incising events and low magnitude channel filling and/or reworking events. The frequency of debris flow events is irregular and appears to be controlled by the hydrology of triggering storms and antecedent moisture conditions, not by the debris supply. As a result, debris flow magnitude is not a function of frequency, but is more closely related to the characteristics of antecedent conditions and individual storms.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Bentonite debris flows in northern alaska.

    PubMed

    Anderson, D M; Reynolds, R C; Brown, J

    1969-04-11

    Seasonal freezing and thawing and the extreme cold of the arctic lead to the development of a variety of characteristic geomorphic features. A new one, bentonite debris flow channels, has been identified near Umiat, Alaska. These flows form when bentonite-rich Cretaceous Shales are exposed to Surface water on slopes of 5 to 30 degrees. The characteristic landform developed is a U-shaped channel 1 to 2 meters deep and from 8 to 10 meters in width. The channel shows a fluted floor and walls and is commonly flanked by a levee. The flow material is appa rently derived from the entire surface of the head portions of associated gullies. When this surface layer hydrates during snowmelt and runoff or during prolonged rain, the bentonite imbibes water and swells to a point at which its viscosity is lowered sufficiently to initiate creep or viscous flow.

  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. Sources of debris flow material in burned areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Santi, P.M.; deWolfe, V.G.; Higgins, J.D.; Cannon, S.H.; Gartner, J.E.

    2008-01-01

    The vulnerability of recently burned areas to debris flows has been well established. Likewise, it has been shown that many, if not most, post-fire debris flows are initiated by runoff and erosion and grow in size through erosion and scour by the moving debris flow, as opposed to landslide-initiated flows with little growth. To better understand the development and character of these flows, a study has been completed encompassing 46 debris flows in California, Utah, and Colorado, in nine different recently burned areas. For each debris flow, progressive debris production was measured at intervals along the length of the channel, and from these measurements graphs were developed showing cumulative volume of debris as a function of channel length. All 46 debris flows showed significant bulking by scour and erosion, with average yield rates for each channel ranging from 0.3 to 9.9??m3 of debris produced for every meter of channel length, with an overall average value of 2.5??m3/m. Significant increases in yield rate partway down the channel were identified in 87% of the channels, with an average of a three-fold increase in yield rate. Yield rates for short reaches of channels (up to several hundred meters) ranged as high as 22.3??m3/m. Debris was contributed from side channels into the main channels for 54% of the flows, with an average of 23% of the total debris coming from those side channels. Rill erosion was identified for 30% of the flows, with rills contributing between 0.1 and 10.5% of the total debris, with an average of 3%. Debris was deposited as levees in 87% of the flows, with most of the deposition occurring in the lower part of the basin. A median value of 10% of the total debris flow was deposited as levees for these cases, with a range from near zero to nearly 100%. These results show that channel erosion and scour are the dominant sources of debris in burned areas, with yield rates increasing significantly partway down the channel. Side channels are

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    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

  19. Enhancing debris flow modeling parameters integrating Bayesian networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graf, C.; Stoffel, M.; Grêt-Regamey, A.

    2009-04-01

    Applied debris-flow modeling requires suitably constraint input parameter sets. Depending on the used model, there is a series of parameters to define before running the model. Normally, the data base describing the event, the initiation conditions, the flow behavior, the deposition process and mainly the potential range of possible debris flow events in a certain torrent is limited. There are only some scarce places in the world, where we fortunately can find valuable data sets describing event history of debris flow channels delivering information on spatial and temporal distribution of former flow paths and deposition zones. Tree-ring records in combination with detailed geomorphic mapping for instance provide such data sets over a long time span. Considering the significant loss potential associated with debris-flow disasters, it is crucial that decisions made in regard to hazard mitigation are based on a consistent assessment of the risks. This in turn necessitates a proper assessment of the uncertainties involved in the modeling of the debris-flow frequencies and intensities, the possible run out extent, as well as the estimations of the damage potential. In this study, we link a Bayesian network to a Geographic Information System in order to assess debris-flow risk. We identify the major sources of uncertainty and show the potential of Bayesian inference techniques to improve the debris-flow model. We model the flow paths and deposition zones of a highly active debris-flow channel in the Swiss Alps using the numerical 2-D model RAMMS. Because uncertainties in run-out areas cause large changes in risk estimations, we use the data of flow path and deposition zone information of reconstructed debris-flow events derived from dendrogeomorphological analysis covering more than 400 years to update the input parameters of the RAMMS model. The probabilistic model, which consistently incorporates this available information, can serve as a basis for spatial risk

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

    PubMed

    Arattano, Massimo; Marchi, Lorenzo

    2008-04-04

    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 nonstructural 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, photocells

  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. 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.

  4. Depositional processes in large-scale debris-flow experiments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Major, J.J.

    1997-01-01

    This study examines the depositional process and characteristics of deposits of large-scale experimental debris flows (to 15 m3) composed of mixtures of gravel (to 32 mm), sand, and mud. The experiments were performed using a 95-m-long, 2-m-wide debris-flow flume that slopes 31??. Following release, experimental debris flows invariably developed numerous shallow (???10 cm deep) surges. Sediment transported by surges accumulated abruptly on a 3?? runout slope at the mouth of the flume. Deposits developed in a complex manner through a combination of shoving forward and shouldering aside previously deposited debris and through progressive vertical accretion. Progressive accretion by the experimental flows is contrary to commonly assumed en masse sedimentation by debris flows. Despite progressive sediment emplacement, deposits were composed of unstratified accumulations of generally unsorted debris; hence massively textured, poorly sorted debris-flow deposits are not emplaced uniquely en masse. The depositional process was recorded mainly by deposit morphology and surface texture and was not faithfully registered by interior sedimentary texture; homogeneous internal textures could be misinterpreted as the result of en masse emplacement by a single surge. Deposition of sediment by similar, yet separate, debris flows produced a homogenous, massively textured composite deposit having little stratigraphic distinction. Similar deposit characteristics and textures are observed in natural debris-flow deposits. Experimental production of massively textured deposits by progressive sediment accretion limits interpretations that can be drawn from deposit characteristics and casts doubt on methods of estimating flow properties from deposit thickness or from relations between particle size and bed thickness.

  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. Initiation and Frequency of Debris Flows in Grand Canyon, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

    Debris flows occur in 600 tributaries of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, Arizona when intense precipitation causes slope failures in bedrock or colluvium. These slurries transport poorly sorted sediment, including very large boulders that form rapids at the mouths of tributaries and control the longitudinal profile of the Colorado River. Although the amount of rainfall on the days of historic debris flows typically is not unusual, the storm rainfall on consecutive days before the debris flows typically had recurrence intervals greater than 10 yrs. Four types of failure mechanisms initiate debris flows: bedrock failure (12 percent), failure of colluvial wedges by rainfall (21 percent), failure of colluvial wedges by runoff (the ?firehose effect;? 36 percent), and combinations of these failure mechanisms (30 percent). Failure points are directly or indirectly associated with terrestrial shales, particularly the Permian Hermit Shale, shale units within the Permian Esplanade Sandstone of the Supai Group, and the Cambrian Bright Angel Shale. Shales either directly fail, produce colluvial wedges downslope that contain clay, or form benches that store poorly sorted colluvium in wedge-shaped deposits. Terrestrial shales provide the fine particles and clay minerals?particularly kaolinite and illite?essential to long-distance debris-flow transport, whereas marine shales mostly contain smectites, which inhibit debris-flow initiation. Using repeat photography, we determined whether or not a debris flow occurred in the last century in 164 of 600 tributaries in Grand Canyon. We used logistic regression to model the binomial frequency data using 21 morphometric and lithologic variables. The location of shale units, particularly the Hermit Shale, within the tributary is the most consistent variable related to debris-flow frequency in Grand Canyon. Other statistically significant variables vary with large scale changes in canyon morphology. Standard morphometric measures such

  7. Forecasting Inundation from Debris Flows That Grow By Entraining Sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, M. E.; Coe, J. A.; Brien, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Destructive debris flows often grow, and extend their runouts, by entraining sediment as they travel. However, incorporating varied entrainment processes into physics-based flow routing models is challenging. As an alternative, we developed a relatively simple, automated method for forecasting the inundation hazards posed by debris flows that entrain sediment and coalesce from multiple flows. Within a drainage network, we amalgamate the effects of many possible debris flows with each flow volume proportional to an entrainment rate scaled by the upslope contributing area, and then use these volumes in the USGS GIS-based inundation model LAHARZ. Our approach only requires estimates of two parameters: spatial entrainment rate & maximum entrainment area or maximum volume. Our procedure readily integrates various sediment sources and it can portray different inundation hazard levels on a GIS-based map by varying our two parameters. We applied this approach to part of the Coast Range, southern Oregon, USA. Using aerial photography, we mapped debris flows triggered by a large 1996 rain event on a LiDAR-derived topographic base, and identified initiation locations, travel paths, and areas of channel erosion and deposition. Many catchments experienced multiple debris flows that coalesced downstream and about 95% of the debris flows entrained sediment as they traveled. Flows typically stopped entraining sediment before the upslope contributing area reached ~500,000 m2. We used pre- and post-debris-flow stereo photos to estimate spatial entrainment rates in four clear-cut catchments having both channel erosion and coalescence of flows; these rates varied from 0.12 to 0.2 m3/m2. GIS-based inundation maps, using our automated methods, are quite similar to the mapped flow paths and deposits. Given appropriate parameters, our approach could be applied to a variety of steep, channelized environments where entrainment is important, such as alpine and post-wildfire slopes.

  8. 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

  9. Analysis of debris-flow velocities due to superelevation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheidl, C.; Rickenmann, D.; McArdell, B. W.

    2012-12-01

    For debris flows the estimation of the maximum flow-velocity is considered to be essential. Often the runout or the degree of exposure of a debris-flow event can only be predicted, based on the assessment of the maximum velocity. In practice, geomorphologic traces like flood marks on banks provide important information about the flowing process of a debris flow. A possible approach to estimate maximum flow velocities is based on the vortex equation by using superelevation marks. Superelevation can be observed in bending channels, where the flow-height of the inner-curvature is lower than the flow-height of the outer-curvature, caused by the centrifugal acceleration of the flow. For the estimation of debris-flow velocities with the vortex equation, a correction factor (>1) is often introduced, accounting for the viscosity and vertical sorting of the bulk mixture. Several studies show that the correction factor may be as high as 10 and may depend on bend geometry and debris flow material properties. The objective of this work is therefore to analyze the influence of channel geometry and material properties on the vortex equation when applying to debris flows. In particular, the project aims to compare observed flow velocities from physical modeling in flume experiments with observations from debris-flow field sites. In a first step experimental investigations are done at the laboratory of the Swiss Federal Institute WSL, Birmensdorf. The flume consists of a flexible plastic half-pipe and is mounted on a wooden plane construction. At the moment two different bend radii (1.0 m and 3.0 m) with a bend angle of 60° are implemented. The total length of the flume is further covered with 40 grit silicon carbide sandpaper reflecting a constant basal friction layer. To apply for the complexity of a debris-flow process, three different material mixtures based on three different grain size distributions, were defined. Superelevation is measured by using high speed cameras

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Vulnerability Assessment of Rainfall-Induced Debris Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, G. Y.; Wong, D. W.; Chiu, L. S.

    2006-05-01

    Debris flow is a common hazard triggered by large amount of rainfall over mountainous areas. A debris flow event results from a complex interaction between rainfall and topographical properties of watersheds. Heavy rainfall facilitates this process by increasing pore water pressure, seepage force and reducing effective stress of soils (normal stress carried by soil particles at the points of contact). Since debris flow events are closely related to topography and rainfall, the goal of this research is to assess debris flow vulnerability related to these two factors. Objectives of this research are to: (1) examine new spatial interpolation techniques to estimate high spatial rainfall data relevant to debris flows. (2) develop topographical factors using Geography Information System (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) approaches and (3) combine the estimated rainfall and topographical factors to assess the vulnerability of debris flow. We examined three spatial interpolation techniques: adaptive inversed distance weight (AIDW), simple kriging and spatial disaggregation using wind induced-topographic effect that incorporates gauge measurements, satellite remote sensing data (TRMM). The topographical factors are derived from high resolution digital elevation model (DEM), and adopt fuzzy-based topographical models proposed by Tseng (2004). Estimated rainfall and topographical factors are processed by self-organizing maps (SOM) to provide vulnerability assessment. To demonstrate our technique, rainfall data collected by 39 rain gauges in the central part of Taiwan during the passage of Typhoon Tori-Ji around July 29, 2001 were used. Results indicate that the proposed spatial interpolation methods outperform existing methods (i.e. kriging, inverse distance weight, and co-kriging methods). The vulnerability assessment of 187 debris flows watersheds in the study area will be presented. Keyword: Debris flow, spatial interpolation, adaptive inverse distance weight, TRMM, self

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iverson, Richard M.

    2015-09-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Mineralogy of Deposit Material from Debris Flows, a Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bardou, E.; Petrova, S.; Favre-Boivin, F.; Boivin, P.

    2003-04-01

    Extended survey on debris flow deposits show a wide variety of morphology, from well defined boundaries with smooth surface (muddy debris flow) to vague boundaries with rough surface (granular debris flow). To explain these differences we investigated the morphological and mineralogical properties of some fresh debris flow deposits. Due to the wide influence of fine components on rheological properties, particular attention was given to characterization of these components. Debris flow deposits from 4 different watersheds where sampled and analysed. Mechanical analysis was performed using laser grain size analysis. Clay fraction was extracted and analysed using X-ray diffraction (XRD). Critical Coagulation Curves (CCC) of extracted clays where established for a large range of Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR) and Total Electrolyte Concentration (TEC) and where compared. The grains size distribution shows significant differences between the different kind of deposit, mainly on the fine fraction (clays and silts). This figures the importance of the fine content of the whole mass on the mechanical behaviour. XRD analysis show sharp differences between the extracted clays. Two of the deposits contain a high proportion of smectites, which are well known to be far much dispersive than the other clays identified (mainly illite, chlorite and vermiculite). CCC determinations are in good agreement with XRD results. The clays with appreciable amount of smectite have much higher CCC values than others. This means that these clays will disperse more easily, and will induce lower shear strength of materials as previously demonstrated in literature. Moreover, it is suspected that a major proportion of the more dispersive clay was leached during deposition. The results of the mineralogical analysis and the deposit shape can be correlated. This could be a valuable tool for risk assessment in watershed prone to debris flows. Therefore, it is suggested that more attention should be given

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Geological mechanism of hazardous debris flows in central Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, H.; Chen, R. H.; Lin, M. L.; Su, D. Y.

    2003-04-01

    GEOLOGICAL MECHANISM OF HAZARDOUS DEBRIS FLOWS IN CENTRAL PART OF TAIWAN H. Chen (1), R. H. Chen (2), M. L. Lin (2), D.Y. Su (3) (1) Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, (2) Department of Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University, (3) MAA Ltd., Taiwan hche02@esc.cam.ac.uk/Fax:+44-01223-333450 This study revealed that the distribution of rock discontinuities, geomaterial characteristics and water pressure were the major hazardous factors of the triggering mechanism in the debris flows. Attention is drawn to the discontinuities pattern within the sidewalls of the gullies, which emphasized the significance of material slumping and forming the accumulated deposits in the gullies. The accumulated deposits are the main source of the debris flow once the disaster is triggered and produced large quantities of debris. A modified channel box test was used to comprehend the effect of water sources in this study. The results of this experimental test displayed that water supplied from the bottom or the top will both cause large material movement. But water supplied from the bottom tends to cause a larger and faster flow than water from the top. The visual evidence of a flushed network of discontinuities exposed after the debris flow provided in situ indications of increased pore water pressure. This rapidly increasing water pressure evidently contributed a sizable dynamic force to initiate movement of the debris flow. The heavy slurry became an effective cutting device to erode the sidewalls and move large quantities of the debris materials to the end of the gullies. Based on field investigations and laboratory tests, the precipitation could increase the water content and water pressure, and decrease the shear strength of the gullies material. It also can add confirmation to this research that debris flows are triggered by accumulated deposits from sidewalls and moved by high intensity precipitation.

  19. 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.

  20. Dynamics of unusual debris flows on Martian sand dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-07-01

    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 102 Pa s and the yield strength of 102 Pa can form the observed deposits with a flow rate of 0.5 m3/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.

  1. [Relations of landslide and debris flow hazards to environmental factors].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guo-ping; Xu, Jing; Bi, Bao-gui

    2009-03-01

    To clarify the relations of landslide and debris flow hazards to environmental factors is of significance to the prediction and evaluation of landslide and debris flow hazards. Base on the latitudinal and longitudinal information of 18431 landslide and debris flow hazards in China, and the 1 km x 1 km grid data of elevation, elevation difference, slope, slope aspect, vegetation type, and vegetation coverage, this paper analyzed the relations of landslide and debris flow hazards in this country to above-mentioned environmental factors by the analysis method of frequency ratio. The results showed that the landslide and debris flow hazards in China more occurred in lower elevation areas of the first and second transitional zones. When the elevation difference within a 1 km x 1 km grid cell was about 300 m and the slope was around 30 degree, there was the greatest possibility of the occurrence of landslide and debris hazards. Mountain forest land and slope cropland were the two land types the hazards most easily occurred. The occurrence frequency of the hazards was the highest when the vegetation coverage was about 80%-90%.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Traking of Laboratory Debris Flow Fronts with Image Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Image analysis technique is applied to track the time evolution of rapid debris flow fronts and their velocities in laboratory experiments. 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 slopes. The laboratory model consists of a large rectangular channel 1.4m wide and 10m long, with adjustable inclination and other flow configurations. The setup allows investigate different two phase material compositions including large fluid fractions. The large size enables to transfer the results to large-scale natural events providing increased measurement accuracy. The images are captured by a high speed camera, a standard digital camera. The fronts are tracked by the camera to obtain data in debris flow experiments. The reflectance analysis detects the debris front in every image frame; its presence changes the reflectance at a certain pixel location during the flow. The accuracy of the measurements was improved with a camera calibration procedure. As one of the great problems in imaging and analysis, the systematic distortions of the camera lens are contained in terms of radial and tangential parameters. The calibration procedure estimates the optimal values for these parameters. This allows us to obtain physically correct and undistorted image pixels. Then, we map the images onto a physical model geometry, which is the projective photogrammetry, in which the image coordinates are connected with the object space coordinates of the flow. Finally, the physical model geometry is rewritten in the direct linear transformation form, which allows for the conversion from one to another coordinate system. With our approach, the debris front position can then be estimated by combining the reflectance, calibration and the linear transformation. The consecutive debris front

  6. Some exact solutions for debris and avalanche flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pudasaini, Shiva P.

    2011-04-01

    Exact analytical solutions to simplified cases of nonlinear debris avalanche model equations are necessary to calibrate numerical simulations of flow depth and velocity profiles on inclined surfaces. These problem-specific solutions provide important insight into the full behavior of the system. In this paper, we present some new analytical solutions for debris and avalanche flows and then compare these solutions with experimental data to measure their performance and determine their relevance. First, by combining the mass and momentum balance equations with a Bagnold rheology, a new and special kinematic wave equation is constructed in which the flux and the wave celerity are complex nonlinear functions of the pressure gradient and the flow depth itself. The new model can explain the mechanisms of wave advection and distortion, and the quasiasymptotic front bore observed in many natural and laboratory debris and granular flows. Exact time-dependent solutions for debris flow fronts and associated velocity profiles are then constructed. We also present a novel semiexact two-dimensional plane velocity field through the flow depth. Second, starting with the force balance between gravity, the pressure gradient, and Bagnold's grain-inertia or macroviscous forces, we construct a simple and very special nonlinear ordinary differential equation to model the steady state debris front profile. An empirical pressure gradient enhancement factor is introduced to adequately stretch the flow front and properly model nonhydrostatic pressure in granular and debris avalanches. An exact solution in explicit form is constructed, and is expressed in terms of the Lambert-Euler omega function. Third, we consider rapid flows of frictional granular materials down a channel. The steady state mass and the momentum balance equations are combined together with the Coulomb friction law. The Chebyshev radicals are employed and the exact solutions are developed for the velocity profile and the

  7. Generation of Martian chaos and channels by debris flows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nummedal, D.; Prior, D. B.

    1981-01-01

    A debris flow mechanism is proposed to account for the formation of chaos and the large channels debouching into Crysae Planitia from the adjacent southern uplands of Mars. Based on considerations of the juxtaposition of individual channel environments, the morphological assemblages within each environment and flow dynamics, it is suggested that the debris flows were triggered by the large-scale failure of subsurface sediments, possibly initiated by a seismic event. During the initial, slow-moving phase of the flow, the debris would have formed gently sinuous channels with multiple side-wall slumps, grooves and ridges, and elongate erosional remnants. The flow would have gained mobility as the debris moved downslope, producing travel distances greatly in excess of those characteristic of terrestrial examples, and eroded, streamlined remnants at the distal reaches of the channel. Finally, due to internal and boundary friction, the flow would have been slowed down once it entered the Chryse plains, resulting in a thin debris blanket with no depositional relief.

  8. Analysis of a Large Debris Flow in Ganges Chasma, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coleman, N. M.

    2002-05-01

    Debris flow deposits formed by enormous landslides are common in the Valles Marineris canyons. Laser altimeter (MOLA) data from Mars Global Surveyor permit detailed studies of these deposits. MOLA pass 13088 crossed a large debris fan in Ganges Chasma at latitude 8.4 S, longitude 44.9 W. At this longitude the floor of Ganges Chasma is 5 km deeper than the south rim of the canyon. The deposit includes overlapping lobes from several other debris flows and reaches a maximum thickness of 450 m. The distal edge of the fan traveled about 44 km from its source in the southern wall of Ganges Chasma. This northern edge of the fan is abrupt with multiple lobes. The surface of the debris fan has ridges up to 100 m high. Using an average thickness of 250 m and the roughly circular shape of the fan, we estimate its volume exceeds 3E11 cubic meters. We estimate the runout efficiency by dividing the horizontal runout distance of the debris flow by the change in elevation from the source to the deposit (Iverson, R., Rev. of Geophysics, 35, 1997). Ideally these measurements are based on the center of mass of both the source zone and the deposit. On Earth, runout efficiencies of debris flows vary from about 2 to 25 and tend to increase with the flow volume. The Ganges Chasma deposit is 3 to 4 km lower than its source. Using a center-of-mass runout distance of 35 km, the debris flow had a runout efficiency in the range from 9 to 12. The volume of the Ganges Chasma fan is about 100 times that of the Osceola mudflow at Mount Rainier, WA, one of the largest well-documented debris flows on Earth, which had an estimated runout efficiency of 25 (Iverson, 1997). Therefore, the relatively low runout efficiency of the voluminous Ganges Chasma fan suggests that the landslide debris did not contain a large fraction of frozen volatiles. Such volatiles would have been liquified or vaporized by frictional heating during the slide, enhancing the runout distance. We suggest that runout efficiencies

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Influence of debris flow scale on equilibrium bed slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Itoh, T.; Egashira, S.; Papa, M.; Miyamoto, K.

    2003-04-01

    Results obtained from both of flume tests and theory suggest that an equilibrium bed slope in flow over an erodible bed is determined only by sediment discharge rate when the movements of sediment particles are laminar and thus no suspended transportation take place. This means that the static friction force is dominant in debris flow and that sediment concentration is determined by shear stress balance on the bed surface; i.e., the external shear stress must be equal to the resisting static shear stress of sediment particles, as seen in our previous studies. On the other hand, if part of sediment particles in debris flow body is transported in suspension, sediment concentration will be larger in comparison with that in case of laminar motion of sediment particles and the equilibrium bed slope will decrease. These facts are supported Egashira et al.'s experimental data. The present study discusses an influence of flow scales on an equilibrium bed slope and flow structure experimentally and theoretically. Equilibrium bed slopes and velocity profiles are measured for many flow conditions in flume tests. Those results emphasize that the equilibrium bed slope decreases with increasing of flow scale if part of debris flow body is turbulent, and it is predicted corresponding to increase of mass density of fluid phase. Experimental data for velocity profiles are compared to the results predicted by authors' constitutive equations for non-cohesive sediment and water mixture. When no turbulent diffusions take place, flow characteristics such as velocity profiles and flow resistance are predicted very well by our equations. However, the equations will underestimate the flow resistance if a part of the flow body becomes turbulent because of increase of flow scale. These suggest that the changes of equilibrium bed slope and flow structure are caused by phase-shift from solid phase to fluid phase depending on debris flow scale.

  14. 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

  15. Sedimentological evidence for debris-flow formation of Martian gullies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Haas, Tjalling; Hauber, Ernst; Ventra, Dario; Conway, Susan; Kleinhans, Maarten

    2015-04-01

    Gullies are among the youngest landforms formed by liquid water on Mars, and therefore of critical importance in resolving the planet's recent hydrologic and climatic history. The key to estimating the amount of liquid water involved in gully formation is their formative mechanism. Water-free sediment flows, debris flows and fluvial flows, which all require very different amounts of liquid water, contributed to gully formation but their abundance and effectiveness differs greatly between sites. We show that many gullies dominantly formed by debris flows, based on sedimentological analysis of outcrops in gully-fans rather than surficial debris-flow features, which are often degraded beyond recognition by weathering and wind erosion or masked by ice-dust mantling. This resolves the controversy between previously published morphometric analyses implying debris-flow formation and observations of modified fan surfaces often interpreted to have formed by fluvial flows. Furthermore, it shows that deriving formative processes on gullies from surface characteristics can be highly misleading, which should therefore be inferred from multiple approaches, including sedimentological outcrop and morphometric analyses.

  16. 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.

  17. Granular Dilatancy and its Effect on Debris-flow Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iverson, R. M.; George, D. L.

    2012-12-01

    Landslides and debris flows commonly exhibit the effects of variable granular dilatancy, but incorporation of these effects in predictive models of debris-flow dynamics has been lacking. We have developed a depth-averaged model of debris-flow initiation and motion that includes the effects of variable dilatancy without stipulating its influence on rheology. Instead, the apparent rheology of Coulomb-frictional debris evolves during coupled evolution of the grain concentration m, basal pore-fluid pressure, flow thickness, and flow velocity. The dilatancy angle ψ plays an intermediary role in this evolution and obeys the simple relationship tan ψ = m-meq, where meq is the grain concentration in equilibrium with the ambient stress state and flow rate. Results of recent stress-controlled rheometric experiments by Boyer et al. (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.188301) provide our basis for estimating meq. Relaxation of m toward meq, coupled with evolution of pore pressure, allows our model to simulate a smooth transition from static limiting equilibrium of slopes to disequilibrium flow dynamics. Use of variable friction coefficients or dam-break initial conditions is unnecessary. We have evaluated predictions of our model in three ways: (1) by examining physical implications of exact solutions of simplified model equations, (2) by comparing numerical solutions with results of controlled experiments at the USGS debris-flow flume, and (3) by comparing numerical predictions with the behavior of a large (~50 million m3) debris flow that occurred at Mt. Meager, British Columbia, in 2010. Model predictions depend mostly on initial conditions, flow-path topography, and the value of a single dimensionless parameter that represents the ratio of two key timescales. One timescale governs downslope, gravity-driven motion of debris, and the other governs pore-pressure diffusion. Values of these timescales are readily calculated from source-area geometry and standard geotechnical

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Concepts and parameterisation of Perla and FLM model using Flow-R for debris flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horton, P.; Jaboyedoff, M.; Rudaz, B.

    2012-04-01

    The Flow-R software was built to allow regional debris flow susceptibility assessment. It uses propagation algorithms such as the friction model from Perla and friction-limited models (FLM). By using concepts from both models, a methodology is proposed to evaluate the friction angle and mass-to-drag ratio based on the maximum velocity estimation for debris flows, and on the observed runout on the debris fan. The goal is to use the energy line concept, the debris fan slope, and the runout on the latter, to estimate the friction angle, the Mass to Drag ratio and maximum flow velocity for a given debris flow event and specific conditions of a catchment. A relation between those parameters themselves and between them and the observed characteristics of the flow (runout, speed of flow, viscosity, thickness) is established. The sensitivity of the Flow-R model is tested on two real cases and a theoretical topography for both model types. The importance of the friction angle, relative to M/D, is established. It demonstrates that the FLM model gives results similar to the Perla model, and is useful to determine the friction angle and M/D parameters on debris fan topography, using known events as calibration for each case. Those parameters can then be used as input for local hazard simulation and prediction. In addition, using a broad set of parameters instead of of an ideal one, inducing different propagation results, is proposed for debris flow hazard mapping and assessment.

  3. The mobilization of debris flows from shallow landslides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabet, Emmanuel J.; Mudd, Simon M.

    2006-03-01

    According to critical state theory, a soil will approach a critical void ratio during shear such that loose soils contract and dense soils dilate. Theory indicates that failing soils must be loose to generate the pore pressures needed for the mobilization of debris flows. Previously published results from large-scale experiments have also suggested that soils must be initially loose to fail as debris flows. In this contribution, this mechanism for soil liquefaction is tested in the field through observations and geotechnical analysis of soils that failed during a large storm in central California. Surprisingly, we find that the debris flows mobilized from soils that were initially dense. In addition, we find that the potential for debris flow mobilization was strongly linked to the fines/sand ratio. We present results from a numerical model that indicate that, as dilational soils approach the critical void ratio, the arresting effect of negative pore pressures generated by dilation is greatly reduced, leading to a rapid increase in basal pore pressure and rapid downslope acceleration. In addition, the model results suggest that the downslope displacement required to reach the critical state porosity in a dilative soil will be on the order of 0.1 to 1 m. Because the rate of the approach to critical state is fundamentally a function of the hydraulic conductivity of the soil, sandy soils will approach critical state much more rapidly than clay-rich soils.

  4. 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

  5. Latest Pleistocene-Holocene debris flow activity, Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona; Implications for modern debris-flow hazards under a changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Youberg, Ann M.; Webb, Robert H.; Fenton, Cassandra R.; Pearthree, Philip A.

    2014-08-01

    Hazard mitigation for extreme events such as debris flows requires geologic mapping and chronologic information, particularly for alluvial fans near mountain fronts in the southwestern United States. In July 2006, five consecutive days of monsoonal storms caused hundreds of debris flows in southeastern Arizona, particularly in the southern Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. Before 2006, no historical debris flows from the Santa Catalina Mountains reached the populated mountain front, although abundant evidence of prehistoric debris flows is present on downslope alluvial fans. We used a combination of surficial geologic mapping and 10Be exposure dating to produce a debris-flow history for Pima and Finger Rock Canyons. The largest debris flows, of latest Pleistocene to early Holocene age, covered much of the apices of alluvial fans formed at the mouths of these canyons and extended up to 3 km downslope. These debris-flow deposits were inset against higher and older alluvial surfaces with few debris-flow deposits of late Pleistocene age. The 10Be ages in this study have considerable scatter for surfaces believed to be of uniform age, indicating the dual possibilities of inheritance from previous cosmic-ray exposure, as well as the potential for composite deposits derived from numerous debris flows. We then used an empirical inundation model, LAHARZ, to assess probable magnitudes of the older debris flows to evaluate possible initiation mechanisms. In-channel and terrace storage within the canyons is not sufficient to generate volumes likely needed to produce the larger late Pleistocene to early Holocene debris-flow deposits. The abundance of latest Pleistocene and early Holocene deposits suggests that large debris flows were generated during the instability associated with climate and vegetation changes at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Under present watershed conditions with limited sediment supplies, modern debris-flow hazards are generally limited to

  6. 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.

  7. Valles Marineris, Mars: Wet debris flows and ground ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lucchitta, B.K.

    1987-01-01

    Detailed study of the Valles Marineris equatorial troughs suggests that the landslides in that area contained water and probably were gigantic wet debris flows: one landslide complex generated a channel that has several bends and extends for 250 km. Further support for water or ice in debris masses includes rounded flow lobes and transport of some slide masses in the direction of the local topographic slope. Differences in speed and emplacement efficiency between Martian and terrestrial landslides can be attributed to the entrainment of volatiles on Mars, but they can also be explained by other mechanisms. Support that the wall rock contained water comes from the following observations: (1) the water within the landslide debris must have been derived from wall rock; (2) debris appears to have been transported through tributary canyons; (3) locally, channels emerged from the canyons; (4) the wall rock apprarently disintegrated and flowed easily; and (5) fault zones within the troughs are unusually resistant to erosion. The study further suggests that, in the equatorial region of Mars, material below depths of 400-800 m was not desiccated during the time of landslide activity (within the last billion years of Martian history). Therefore the Martian ground-water or groundice reservoir, if not a relic from ancient times, must have been replenished. ?? 1987.

  8. 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.

  9. Superelevation measurements of debris flows in a curved flume construction.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheidl, Christian; Rickenmann, Dieter; McArdell, Brian W.

    2013-04-01

    A possible approach to estimate maximum flow velocities is based on the vortex equation by using superelevation marks. Superelevation can be observed in bending channels, where the flow-height of the inner-curvature is lower than the flow-height of the outer-curvature, caused by the centrifugal acceleration of the flow. The objective of this work is to analyze the influence of channel geometry (bend radius and slope) and material properties on the vortex equation when applying to debris flows. In particular, the project aims to compare observed flow velocities from physical modeling in flume experiments with observations from debris-flow field sites. In a first step experimental investigations are done at the laboratory of the Swiss Federal Institute WSL, Birmensdorf. The flume consists of a flexible plastic half-pipe and is mounted on a wooden plane construction. Two different bend radii (1.0 m and 3.0 m) with a bend angle of 60° are implemented. The total length of the flume, of about 8 m, is further covered with 40 grit silicon carbide sandpaper reflecting a constant basal friction layer. To apply for the complexity of a debris-flow process, four different material mixtures based on four different grain size distributions, were defined. Superelevation is measured by laser devices mounted at two cross sections differing in their bend radii. The maximum flow velocity is measured by high-speed cameras. Additionally, a balance is placed to measure weight over time at the outflow. 80 experiments have been conducted, based on the maximum channel slope of 36 %. Another 38 experiments were performed with a channel slope of 27 %. In total, we accomplished 61 experiments for the 3.0 m bend radius and 57 experiments for the 1.0 m bend radius. Front velocities of the debris-flow experiments range between 0.4 m/s and 2.4 m/s. First analyses show plausible results when comparing observed and back calculated flow velocities. Beside the experiments, a second step of this

  10. 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.

  11. Debris flow runup on vertical barriers and adverse slopes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iverson, Richard M.; George, David L.; Logan, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Runup of debris flows against obstacles in their paths is a complex process that involves profound flow deceleration and redirection. We investigate the dynamics and predictability of runup by comparing results from large-scale laboratory experiments, four simple analytical models, and a depth-integrated numerical model (D-Claw). The experiments and numerical simulations reveal the important influence of unsteady, multidimensional flow on runup, and the analytical models highlight key aspects of the underlying physics. Runup against a vertical barrier normal to the flow path is dominated by rapid development of a shock, or jump in flow height, associated with abrupt deceleration of the flow front. By contrast, runup on sloping obstacles is initially dominated by a smooth flux of mass and momentum from the flow body to the flow front, which precedes shock development and commonly increases the runup height. D-Claw simulations that account for the emergence of shocks show that predicted runup heights vary systematically with the adverse slope angle and also with the Froude number and degree of liquefaction (or effective basal friction) of incoming flows. They additionally clarify the strengths and limitations of simplified analytical models. Numerical simulations based on a priori knowledge of the evolving dynamics of incoming flows yield quite accurate runup predictions. Less predictive accuracy is attained in ab initio simulations that compute runup based solely on knowledge of static debris properties in a distant debris flow source area. Nevertheless, the paucity of inputs required in ab initio simulations enhances their prospective value in runup forecasting.

  12. Debris flow runup on vertical barriers and adverse slopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iverson, Richard M.; George, David L.; Logan, Matthew

    2016-12-01

    Runup of debris flows against obstacles in their paths is a complex process that involves profound flow deceleration and redirection. We investigate the dynamics and predictability of runup by comparing results from large-scale laboratory experiments, four simple analytical models, and a depth-integrated numerical model (D-Claw). The experiments and numerical simulations reveal the important influence of unsteady, multidimensional flow on runup, and the analytical models highlight key aspects of the underlying physics. Runup against a vertical barrier normal to the flow path is dominated by rapid development of a shock, or jump in flow height, associated with abrupt deceleration of the flow front. By contrast, runup on sloping obstacles is initially dominated by a smooth flux of mass and momentum from the flow body to the flow front, which precedes shock development and commonly increases the runup height. D-Claw simulations that account for the emergence of shocks show that predicted runup heights vary systematically with the adverse slope angle and also with the Froude number and degree of liquefaction (or effective basal friction) of incoming flows. They additionally clarify the strengths and limitations of simplified analytical models. Numerical simulations based on a priori knowledge of the evolving dynamics of incoming flows yield quite accurate runup predictions. Less predictive accuracy is attained in ab initio simulations that compute runup based solely on knowledge of static debris properties in a distant debris flow source area. Nevertheless, the paucity of inputs required in ab initio simulations enhances their prospective value in runup forecasting.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. A Debris Flow Chronology and Analysis of Controls on Debris Flow Occurrence in the Upper Colorado River Valley, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimsley, K. J.; Rathburn, S. L.; Grosicki, G.

    2011-12-01

    In high gradient environments, debris flows are commonly a dominant source of sediment transport and erosion. The importance of debris flows along the Upper Colorado was recently highlighted when the Grand Ditch, a 19th century water-conveyance ditch, overtopped from snowmelt and triggered a large debris flow along Lulu Creek, a tributary of the Upper Colorado River. Earlier research suggests that multiple debris flows have been triggered from the Grand Ditch over the last century, with higher magnitude and frequency than naturally occurring debris flows. To thoroughly test this hypothesis, debris flows are being mapped, dated using dendrogeomorphic evidence from tree cores and tree scars, and analyzed for relative magnitude. A total of approximately 15-20 mappable debris flows along the Upper Colorado have been located and sampled using a combination of historic aerial photos and field exploration in the basin. Berms observed along these debris flows are up to 1.5 meters high and frequently extend to the Colorado River valley bottom. Where even-aged stands are observed as a result of simultaneous stand germination after a debris flow, tree cores are collected from the oldest trees in the stand to estimate the age of the debris flow. Species of sampled trees include Lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, and Engelmann spruce. Initial core dates from a debris flow that extends along the Colorado River to just north of the Lulu wetland range from 29 to 37 years. Sampling of scarred survivor trees from debris flow berms provides an even better indicator of age because the warped tree rings can be counted to precisely date scarring events. Thus far 40 tree scars have been wedged and will be processed and dated during Fall 2011. Relative flow magnitudes will be compared using the heights of tree scars above the channel thalweg. Debris flow occurrence is related to the distribution of hydrothermally altered rocks in addition to other factors such as the aspect and gradient of the

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Emplacement of a Debris Ocean on Mars by Regional-Scale Collapse and Flow at the Crustal Dichotomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, N.; Tanaka, K. L.; Kargel, J. S.; Banerdt, W. B.

    2001-01-01

    Giant debris flows could have filled the northern lowlands with approx. 2 km of sediment in 10(exp 3) to 10(exp 5) years by catastrophic regional terrain collapse. The outburst floods and chaos zones are probably the waning stage of this process. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hupp, C. R.

    1984-06-01

    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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The August 2010 Zhouqu debris flow: Likely causes and trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Diandong

    2014-05-01

    On August 8, 2010 in the northwestern Chinese province of Gansu, a rainstorm-triggered debris flow devastated the small county of Zhouqu. A modeling study, using a new multiple-phase scalable and extensible geo-fluid model, suggests that the cause is an intersection of several events. These were: a heavy rainstorm, not necessarily the result of global warming, which triggered the landslide and followed a drought that created surface cracks and crevasses; the geology of the region, notably the loess covering heavily weathered surface rock; and the bedrock damage, that deepened the surface crevasses inflicted by the 7.9 magnitude Wenchuan earthquake of May 12, 2008. Deforestation and topsoil erosion were critical contributors to the massive size of the debris flow. The modeling results underscore the urgency for a high priority program of re-vegetation of Zhouqu County, without which the region will remain exposed to future disastrous, 'progressive bulking' type landslides. Debris flows are more predictable types of landslides; consequently, a series of 'pseudo-climate change' model experiments of future extreme precipitation events is carried out using the WRF model, forced by temperature perturbations from an ensemble of climate models. In a likely future warmer climate, extreme precipitation events are anticipated to be more severe, and this study has identified an atmospheric blocking pattern that might produce future extreme precipitation events in the peri-Tibetan Plateau (TP) area (located to the north east of the TP).

  11. 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.

  12. Contrasts between debris flows, hyperconcentrated flows and stream flows at a channel of Mount Semeru, East Java, Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavigne, Franck; Suwa, Hiroshi

    2004-07-01

    In order to differentiate between different types of sediment-laden-flows in volcanic channels, we carried out observation of debris flows, hyperconcentrated flows, and stream flows in the Curah Lengkong river on the southeast slope of Mount Semeru in East Java, Indonesia. The aims of this study are: (1) to provide quantitative data for these flows in motion; (2) to compare the data for different types of flow that occur in the same river; (3) to assess the influence of rainfall on debris flows, hyperconcentrated flows, and streamflow generation. The Curah Lengkong river transports large volumes of sediment, in the range of 1×10 5 to 5×10 5 m 3 per debris flow, and 10 3 to 10 5 m 3 per hyperconcentrated flow and stream flow. Large sediment discharges result from the following factors: continuous and voluminous sediment supply of fine juvenile material by daily explosions of the Semeru volcano, pyroclastic source material emplaced on steep slopes, strong erosion of weathered river banks, and strong rainfall intensities. The occurrence of the flows focuses in the period from November through April, and the daily timing of it is the mid to late afternoon. Nearly all debris flows are triggered by stationary rainfall confined to the upper slopes of Mount Semeru, whereas hyperconcentrated flows and stream flows are mainly generated by migratory or regional rains driven upwards on the eastern slope. This slope receives its maximum of annual rainfall (3800 mm) at 800 m asl. The peak surface velocity of debris flows is always greater than the peak frontal velocity. The peak discharge of debris flows occurs several minutes after the passage of the flow front. Volumetric concentrations of sediment are high (48% to 69%) between the debris flow front and the point of peak discharge; after the peak discharge it usually decreases gradually. Contrary to the case of debris flows, high concentration of sediment appears in various portion of hyperconcentrated flows and stream flows

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

    2014-11-01

    A detailed comparison between the performances of two different approaches to debris flow modelling has been carried out. In particular, the results of a mono-phase Bingham model (FLO-2D) and these of a two phase model (TRENT-2D) obtained from a blind test have been compared. As a benchmark test the catastrophic event of 1 October 2009 which struck Sicily causing several fatalities and damages has been chosen. The predicted temporal evolution of several parameters of the debris flow (as the flow depths and the propagation velocities) has been analyzed in order to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of the two models in reproducing the global dynamics of the event. 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 fairly good way. However, the main differences in the application rely in 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 homogeneous flow, in which the total mass is kept constant from initiation in the upper part of the basin up to the deposition on debris fan. On the contrary, the second approach is suite to reproduce the erosion and deposition processes and the displaced mass can be directly related to the rainfall event. Application of both models in an highly urbanized area

  16. 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.

  17. 1d Numerical Simulation of A Swiss Debris Flow: Comparison of Flow Laws

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McArdell, B. W.; Graf, Ch.; Naef, D.; Rickenmann, D.

    Efforts to numerically model debris flows have been limited by a lack of appropriate numerical tools. Here we report on our efforts to systematically evaluate different flow laws using a numerical tool under development at our institute. The model, DFEM, is a finite element solution of the shallow water equations in one or two dimensions and is based on the FEMTOOL libraries from Rutschmann (1993). Debris flow constitu- tive relations or flow laws include turbulent (e.g. Manning, Chézy, Voellmy), laminar (Bingham, Newtonian laminar), and inertial formulations (dilatant/grain shearing) as well as combinations of flow laws when appropriate. The model is applied to a recent debris flow event from the Schipfenbach torrent, Switzerland (Hürlimann, submitted), where we maintain an automated debris flow observation station. Observations include flow depth measurements from ultrasonic depth measurement devices, reach-averaged velocities estimated from the travel time between ultrasonic gages and geophones, velocity and flow behavior from video cam- eras situated near the flow retention basin on the fan, and post-event field surveys. Preliminary results suggest that the flow of debris in the steep reaches of the torrent channel can be reasonably described by a simple turbulent flow law (e.g. Manning- Strickler or Chézy) with a large overall flow resistance, and that both the flow in the channel and the deposition on the fan can be satisfactorily simulated using the Voellmy fluid approach. The results using the Voellmy fluid approach are in agree- ment with results calculated from the AVAL-1D snow avalanche simulation code and input parameters for debris instead of snow, corroborating the implementation in the DFEM model. The AVAL-1D code is commercially available, providing another tool that may be used by workers in the natural hazards field for debris flow routing in torrent channels and on alluvial fans. References: Hürlimann, M., Rickenmann, D. and Graf, Ch., Field

  18. 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.

  19. Variation in initiation condition of debris flows in the mountain regions surrounding Beijing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Chao; Wang, Yu-jie; Du, Cui; Wang, Yun-qi; Li, Yun-peng

    2016-11-01

    Debris flows in the mountain regions surrounding Beijing have been occurring for a long time and have resulted in great economic losses. In this study, 23 rainstorm events, surficial sediments, and debris flow deposits were analyzed to quantify the area's rainfall threshold and to investigate how such conditions may be used to predict debris flow in this region. Rainfall threshold of intensity-duration (I-D) functions after vegetation recovery was higher than before recovery and also higher than I-D levels in other regions where debris flows are closely associated with runoff. Field investigations revealed that surficial sediments were characterized by coarse-grained sediments and that debris flow deposits lacked fine particles. Local debris flows can be triggered by runoff; however, no single standard equation is used to predict the conditions that lead to runoff-triggered debris flow; and commonly used equations give different values. Here, we propose an empirical function that takes into account peak discharge per width and particle diameter. This model should be verified with further investigations so that it can be used as a reference to analyze the conditions that lead to debris flow in the study area. Finally, debris flows may have been related to occasional storms in the study area, which has been experiencing substantially increased temperatures and decreased annual precipitation. This work provides important information about the conditions that initiated debris flow in the Beijing mountain regions in the last few decades.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Dynamic Modelling of Erosion and Deposition Processes in Debris Flows With Application to Real Debris Flow Events in Switzerland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deubelbeiss, Y.; McArdell, B. W.; Graf, C.

    2011-12-01

    The dynamics of a debris flow can be significantly influenced by erosion and deposition processes during an event because volume changes have a strong influence on flow properties such as flow velocity, flow heights and runout distances. It is therefore worth exploring how to include these processes in numerical models, which are used for hazard assessment and mitigation measure planning. However, it is still under debate, what mechanism drives the erosion of material at the base of a debris flow. There are different processes attributed to erosion: it has been proposed that erosion correlates with the stresses due to granular interactions at the front, which in turn strongly depend on particle size or it may be related to basal shear forces. Because it is expected that larger flow heights result in larger stresses one can additionally hypothesize that there is a correlation between erosion rate and flow height. To test different erosion laws in a numerical model and its influence on the flow behavior we implement different relationships and compare simulation results with field data. Herefore, we use the numerical model, RAMMS (Christen et al., 2010), employing the Voellmy-fluid friction law. While it has already been shown that a correlation of erosion with velocity does not lead to a satisfying result (too high entrainment in the tail) a correlation with flow height combined with velocity (momentum) has been successfully applied to ice-avalanches. Currently, we are testing the momentum-driven and for comparison we reconsider the simple velocity-driven erosion rate. However, these laws do not consider processes on a smaller scale such as particle fluctuations resulting in energy production, which might play an important role. Therefore, we additionally consider an erosion model that has potential to draw new insights on the erosion process in debris flows. The model is based on an extended Voellmy model, which additionally employs an equation, which is a measure

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Remote sensing of rainfall for debris-flow hazard assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wieczorek, G.F.; Coe, J.A.; Godt, J.W.; ,

    2003-01-01

    Recent advances in remote sensing of rainfall provide more detailed temporal and spatial data on rainfall distribution. Four case studies of abundant debris flows over relatively small areas triggered during intense rainstorms are examined noting the potential for using remotely sensed rainfall data for landslide hazard analysis. Three examples with rainfall estimates from National Weather Service Doppler radar and one example with rainfall estimates from infrared imagery from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite are compared with ground-based measurements of rainfall and with landslide distribution. The advantages and limitations of using remote sensing of rainfall for landslide hazard analysis are discussed. ?? 2003 Millpress,.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Surge dynamics coupled to pore-pressure evolution in debris flows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Savage, S.B.; Iverson, R.M.; ,

    2003-01-01

    Temporally and spatially varying pore-fluid pressures exert strong controls on debris-flow motion by mediating internal and basal friction at grain contacts. We analyze these effects by deriving a one-dimensional model of pore-pressure diffusion explicitly coupled to changes in debris-flow thickness. The new pore-pressure equation is combined with Iverson's (1997) extension of the depth-averaged Savage-Hutter (1989, 1991) granular avalanche equations to predict motion of unsteady debris-flow surges with evolving pore-pressure distributions. Computational results illustrate the profound effects of pore-pressure diffusivities on debris-flow surge depths and velocities. ?? 2003 Millpress,.

  18. Debris Avalanches and Debris Flows Transformed from Collapses in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, México.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capra, L.; Macias, J.; Scott, K.; Abrams, M.; Garduño, V.

    2001-12-01

    Volcanoes of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB) have yielded numerous sector and flank collapses during Pleistocene and Holocene time. Sector collapses associated with magmatic activity have yielded debris avalanches with generally limited runout extent (e.g. Popocatépetl, Jocotitlán, and Colima volcanoes). In contrast, flank collapses (smaller failures not involving the volcano summit), both associated and unassociated with magmatic activity and correlated with intense hydrothermal alteration in ice-capped volcanoes, commonly have yielded highly mobile cohesive debris flows (e.g. Pico de Orizaba and Nevado de Toluca volcanoes). Collapse orientation in the TMVB is preferentially to the south and north-east, probably reflecting the tectonic regime of active E-W and NNW faults. The different mobilities of the flows transformed from collapses have important implications for hazard assessment. Both sector and flank collapse can yield highly mobile debris flows, but this transformation is more common in the case of the smaller failures. High mobility is related to factors such as water and clay content of the failed material, the paleotopography, and the extent of entrainment of sediment during flow (bulking). Both debris-avalanches and debris-flows are volcanic hazards that occur from both active volcanoes, as well as those that are inactive or dormant volcanoes, and may by triggered by earthquakes, precipitation, or simple gravity. There will be no precursory warning in such non-volcanic cases.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Post-Failure behaviour of pyroclastic debris flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scotto di Santolo, Anna; Pellegrino, Anna Maria; Evangelista, Aldo; Coussot, Philippe

    2010-05-01

    The Campania Region is covered by pyroclastic soils accumulated in the last tens of thousands of years as a result of volcanic activity of Campi Flegrei (Phlegrean Fields) and Somma-Vesuvio. These materials cover the slope of the hilly area of Naples and mountain sides of Appennino. Even if they present significant physical and mechanical differences from site to site, they are posing the same geotechnical problems: they are usually unsaturated and collapse due to the increase of water content after prolonged rains creating simple or complex type of landslides (translational or rotational sliding or falls that lead to debris flows). While the mechanical properties of natural soils are the object of a number of research works, the evolution of the material after failure is much less often studied. Typically the post failure behaviour of this material may be "solid-like" or "fluid-like", according to causes that are not well-known. The object of this presentation is the study of the rheological behaviour of the "fluid like" material mixtures with fluid mechanics tools. Three natural pyroclastic deposits were sampled and the soils were remixed with distilled water at different solid volume fractions. The behaviour of these mixtures was investigated like a fluid with a vane rotor rheometer and an inclined plane. The main results are that the rheological behaviour is strongly related to the solid volume concentration, but the transition between solid-like to fluid-like behaviour occurs in a small range of solid concentration slightly different for each material tested. In the fluid-like behaviour the material mixtures behave like a yield stress fluid and a classical Herschel-Bulkley model well represents the experimental data. Nevertheless a hysteresis effect, associated with instability of the material behaviour, is observed for the largest solid concentrations. In that case the material starts to flow abruptly beyond a critical stress and rapidly reaches a relatively

  2. 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.

  3. Magnitude and frequency of debris flows, and areas of hazard on Mount Shasta, northern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Osterkamp, W.R.; Hupp, C.R.; Blodgett, J.C.

    1985-01-01

    Debris flows on Mount Shasta, northern California, have occurred frequently during the late Holocene in response to rapid runoff from melting snow and ice. Glacial-meltwater streams that deeply incise unstable pyroclastic and related flow deposits typically from debris flows when high discharge rates cause slope failures within steep-walled gorges. The landslide material either adsorbs streamflow quickly and becomes a slurry or it briefly dams the stream and converts to a debris flow as breaching occurs. All glacial-meltwater streams on Mount Shasta have been repeated debris-flow activity during the last 500 years. During this period, large-magnitude, potentially destructive flows on Mount Shasta have occurred at a rate of four per century, but smaller flows contained by stream channels may be 10 to 20 times more numerous. The smaller debris flows on Mount Shasta pose little hazard to human life or property, whereas larger, out-of-channel flows could cause minor damage. Only the City of McCloud and inhabited areas on the Whitney-Bolam fan appear to be threatened by possible debris-flow activity. None of the streams lacking glacial meltwater have had significant debris-flow activity during late Holocene time. Sediment yields from upper fan areas of Mount Shasta are very high, but most of the sediment, moved by debris flows from upper slopes is redeposited on lower fan areas, locally causing extensive and rapid aggradation of the fan surface. Little sediment enters a through-flowing stream network. Correspondingly high denudation rates in the sediment source areas for debris flows (the deep gorges) suggest that a high frequency of debris flows may be unique in recent centuries. (USGS)

  4. 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.

  5. Magnitude and frequency data for historic debris flows in Grand Canyon National Park and vicinity, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Melis, T.S.; Webb, R.H.; Griffiths, P.G.; Wise, T.J.

    1995-01-01

    Debris flows occur in 529 tributaries of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon between Lees Ferry and Diamond Creek, Arizona (river miles 0 to 225). An episodic type of flash flood, debris flows transport poorly-sorted sediment ranging in size from clay to boulders into the Colorado River. Debris flows create and maintain debris fans and the hundreds of associated riffles and rapids that control the geomorphic framework of the Colorado River downstream from Glen Canyon Dam. Between 1984 and 1994, debris flows created 4 new rapids and enlarged 17 existing rapids and riffles. Debris flows in Grand Canyon are initiated by slope failures that occur during intense rainfall. Three of these mechanisms of slope failure are documented. Failures in weathered bedrock, particularly in the Hermit Shale and Supai Group, have initiated many historic debris flows in Grand Canyon. A second mechanism, termed the fire-hose effect, occurs when runoff pours over cliffs onto unconsolidated colluvial wedges, triggering a failure. A third initiation mechanism occurs when intense precipitation causes failures in colluvium overlying bedrock. Multiple source areas and extreme topographic relief in Grand Canyon commonly result in combinations of these three initiation mechanisms. Interpretation of 1,107 historical photographs spanning 120 years, supplemented with aerial photography made between 1935 and 1994, yielded information on the frequency of debris flows in 168 of the 529 tributaries (32 percent) of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Of the 168 tributaries, 96 contain evidence of debris flows that have occurred since 1872, whereas 72 tributaries have not had a debris flow during the last century. The oldest debris flow we have documented in Grand Canyon occurred 5,400 years ago in an unnamed tributary at river mile 63.3-R. Our results indicate that the frequency of debris flows ranges from one every 10 to 15 years in certain eastern tributaries, to less than one per century in other

  6. Headless Debris Flows From Mount Spurr Volcano, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGimsey, R. G.; Neal, C. A.; Waythomas, C. F.; Wessels, R.; Coombs, M. L.; Wallace, K. L.

    2004-12-01

    Sometime between June 20 and July 15, 2004-and contemporaneous with an increase of seismicity beneath the volcano, and elevated gas emissions-a sudden release of impounded water from the summit area of Mt. Spurr volcano produced about a dozen separate debris flow lobes emanating from crevasses and bergschrunds in the surface ice several hundred meters down the east-southeast flank from the summit. These debris flows were first observed by AVO staff on a July 15 overflight and appeared to represent a single flooding event; subsequent snow cover and limited accessibility have prevented direct investigation of these deposits. Observed from the air, they are dark, elongate lobate deposits, up to several hundred meters long and tens of meters wide, draping the steep (up to ~45 degree) slopes and cascading over and into crevasses. A water-rich phase from the flows continued down slope of the termini of several lobate deposits, eroding linear rills into the snow and ice down slope. We infer that the dark material composing these flows is likely remobilized coarse lapilli from the June 1992 tephra fall produced by an eruption of Crater Peak, a satellite vent of Mt. Spurr located 3.5 km to the south. Between 1 and 2 meters of basaltic andesite tephra fell directly on the Spurr summit during the 1992 eruption. The exact mechanism for sudden release of water-laden remobilized tephra flows from the summit basin is not clear. However, observations in early August, 2004, of an 80 m x 110-m-wide pit in the summit area snow and ice suggest the possibility of a partial roof collapse of a summit meltwater basin, likely associated with subglacial melting due to recent heat flux. Such a collapse could have led to the hydraulic surge of meltwater, and rapid mixing with tephra to produce slurries. These slurries traveled down slope beneath the ice surface to emerge through existing crevasses and other easy points of exit on the steep inclines. Mount Spurr is an ice- and snow covered

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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).

  16. Linking rainfall-induced landslides with debris flows runout patterns towards catchment scale hazard assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Linfeng; Lehmann, Peter; McArdell, Brian; Or, Dani

    2017-03-01

    Debris flows and landslides induced by heavy rainfall represent an ubiquitous and destructive natural hazard in steep mountainous regions. For debris flows initiated by shallow landslides, the prediction of the resulting pathways and associated hazard is often hindered by uncertainty in determining initiation locations, volumes and mechanical state of the mobilized debris (and by model parameterization). We propose a framework for linking a simplified physically-based debris flow runout model with a novel Landslide Hydro-mechanical Triggering (LHT) model to obtain a coupled landslide-debris flow susceptibility and hazard assessment. We first compared the simplified debris flow model of Perla (1980) with a state-of-the art continuum-based model (RAMMS) and with an empirical model of Rickenmann (1999) at the catchment scale. The results indicate that predicted runout distances by the Perla model are in reasonable agreement with inventory measurements and with the other models. Predictions of localized shallow landslides by LHT model provides information on water content of released mass. To incorporate effects of water content and flow viscosity as provided by LHT on debris flow runout, we adapted the Perla model. The proposed integral link between landslide triggering susceptibility quantified by LHT and subsequent debris flow runout hazard calculation using the adapted Perla model provides a spatially and temporally resolved framework for real-time hazard assessment at the catchment scale or along critical infrastructure (roads, railroad lines).

  17. Bed Stability and Debris Flow Erosion: A Dynamic "Shields Criterion" Associated with Bed Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longjas, A.; Hill, K. M.

    2015-12-01

    Debris flows are mass movements that play an important role in transporting sediment from steep uplands to rivers at lower slopes. As the debris flow moves downstream, it entrains materials such as loose boulders, gravel, sand and mud deposited locally by shorter flows such as slides and rockfalls. To capture the conditions under which debris flows entrain bed sediment, some models use something akin to the Shields' criterion and an excess shear stress of the flow. However, these models typically neglect granular-scale effects in the bed which can modify the conditions under which a debris flow is erosional or depositional. For example, it is well known that repeated shearing causes denser packing in loose dry soils, which undoubtedly changes their resistance to shear. Here, we present laboratory flume experiments showing that the conditions for entrainment by debris flows is significantly dependent on the aging of an erodible bed even for narrowly distributed spherical particles. We investigate this quantitatively using particle tracking measurements to quantify instantaneous erosion rates and the evolving bed structure or "fabric". With progressive experiments we find a signature that emerges in the bed fabric that is correlated with an increasing apparent "fragility" of the bed. Specifically, a system that is originally depositional may become erosional after repeated debris flow events, and an erodible bed becomes increasingly erodible with repeated flows. We hypothesize that related effects of bed aging at the field scale may be partly responsible for the increasing destructiveness of secondary flows of landslides and debris flows.

  18. 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

  19. Initiation conditions for debris flows generated by runoff at Chalk Cliffs, central Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coe, Jeffrey A.; Kinner, David A.; Godt, Jonathan W.

    2008-04-01

    We have monitored initiation conditions for six debris flows between May 2004 and July 2006 in a 0.3 km 2 drainage basin at Chalk Cliffs; a band of hydrothermally-altered quartz monzonite in central Colorado. Debris flows were initiated by water runoff from colluvium and bedrock that entrained sediment from rills and channels with slopes ranging from about 14° to 45°. The availability of channel material is essentially unlimited because of thick channel fill and refilling following debris flows by rock fall and dry ravel processes. Rainfall exceeding I = 6.61( D) - 0.77 , where I is rainfall intensity (mm/h), and D is duration (h), was required for the initiation of debris flows in the drainage basin. The approximate minimum runoff discharge from the surface of bedrock required to initiate debris flows in the channels was 0.15 m 3/s. Colluvium in the basin was unsaturated immediately prior to (antecedent) and during debris flows. Antecedent, volumetric moisture levels in colluvium at depths of 1 cm and 29 cm ranged from 4-9%, and 4-7%, respectively. During debris flows, peak moisture levels in colluvium at depths of 1 cm and 29 cm ranged from 10-20%, and 4-12%, respectively. Channel sediment at a depth of 45 cm was unsaturated before and during debris flows; antecedent moisture ranged from 20-22%, and peak moisture ranged from 24-38%. Although we have no measurements from shallow rill or channel sediment, we infer that it was unsaturated before debris flows, and saturated by surface-water runoff during debris flows. Our results allow us to make the following general statements with regard to debris flows generated by runoff in semi-arid to arid mountainous regions: 1) high antecedent moisture levels in hillslope and channel sediment are not required for the initiation of debris flows by runoff, 2) locations of entrainment of sediment by successive runoff events can vary within a basin as a function of variations in the thickness of existing channel fill and the

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Mapping debris flow hazard on medium scale: Valtellina di Tirano, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blahut, Jan; Horton, Pascal; Sterlacchini, Simone; Jaboyedoff, Michel

    2010-05-01

    Debris flow hazard modelling on medium (regional) scale has been subject of various studies in recent years. Estimation of the hazard consists of incorporating information about spatial and temporal probability of occurrence, together with the delimitation of potential runout areas of debris flows. In this study an approach based on modelling the occurrence probability coupled with runout delimitation is proposed. For that purpose a map of debris flow hazard initiation probabilities was prepared, based on susceptibility zones available for the study area, and two sets of aerial photographs for the debris flow temporal probability estimation. Afterwards the runout zones were delimited. As the complexity of the phenomenon, the variability of the local controlling factors, and lacking data limit the use of process-based models for the runout zones delimitation a simple GIS-based model developed at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) was applied in the area of the Consortium of Mountain Municipalities Valtellina di Tirano (Central Alps, Italy). This approach, associating automatic detection of the source areas and a simple assessment of the debris flow spreading, provided results for the hazard analysis at the medium scale. The model used a digital elevation model, with a 10 m resolution, together with landuse, geology and debris flow hazard initiation map to automatically identify potential source areas. Afterwards runout areas were calculated using multiple flow and energy based algorithms. Maximum probable runout zones of debris flows were calibrated using documented past event as well as aerial photographs. Finally two debris flow hazard maps were prepared. First one is simply delimiting five hazard zones, while the second incorporates the information about debris flow spreading direction probabilities showing areas more likely affected by future debris flows.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Thirty-one years of debris-flow observation and monitoring near La Honda, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wieczorek, G.F.; Wilson, R.C.; Ellen, S.D.; Reid, M.E.; Jayko, A.S.

    2007-01-01

    From 1975 until 2006,18 intense storms triggered at least 248 debris flows within 10 km2 northwest of the town of La Honda within the Santa Cruz Mountains, California. In addition to mapping debris flows and other types of landslides, studies included soil sampling and geologic mapping, piezometric and tensiometer monitoring, and rainfall measurement and recording. From 1985 until 1995, a system with radio telemetered rain gages and piezometers within the La Honda region was used for issuing six debris-flow warnings within the San Francisco Bay region through the NOAA ALERT system. Depending upon the relative intensity of rainfall during storms, debris flows were generated from deep slumps, shallow slumps, shallow slides in colluvium and shallow slides over bedrock. Analysis shows the storms with abundant antecedent rainfall followed by several days of steady heavy intense rainfall triggered the most abundant debris flows. ?? 2007 millpress.

  9. Debris flows from small catchments of the Ma Ha Tuak Range, metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorn, Ronald I.

    2010-08-01

    Debris flows debauch from tiny but steep mountain catchments throughout metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Urban growth in the past half-decade has led to home construction directly underneath hundreds of debris-flow channels, but debris flows are not recognized as a potential hazard at present. One of the first steps in a hazard assessment is to determine occurrence rates. The north flank of the Ma Ha Tuak Range, just 10 km from downtown Phoenix, was selected to determine the feasibility of using the varnish microlaminations (VML) method to date every debris-flow levee from 127 catchment areas. Only 152 of the 780 debris-flow levees yielded VML ages in a first round of sampling; this high failure rate is due to erosion of VML by microcolonial fungi. The temporal pattern of preserved debris-flow levees indicates anomalously high production of debris flows at about 8.1 ka and about 2.8 ka, corresponding to Northern Hemisphere climatic anomalies. Because many prior debris flows are obliterated by newer events, the minimum overall occurrence rates of 1.3 debris flows per century for the last 60 ka, 2.2 flows/century for the latest Pleistocene, and 5 flows/century for the last 8.1 ka has little meaning in assessment of a contemporary hazard. This is because newer debris flows have obliterated an unknown number of past deposits. More meaningful to a hazards analysis is the estimate that 56 flows have occurred in the last 100 years on the north side of the range, an estimate that is consistent with direct observations of three small debris flows resulting events from a January 18-22, 2010 storm producing 70 mm of precipitation in the Ma Ha Tuak Range, and a 500 m long debris flow in a northern metropolitan Phoenix location that received over 150 mm of precipitation in this same storm. These findings support the need for a more extensive hazard assessment of debris flows in metropolitan Phoenix.

  10. 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

  11. 2D application of a friction-limited model for debris flow propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaboyedoff, M.; Demierre, J.; Rudaz, B.

    2012-04-01

    Debris flows are each year responsible of severe infrastructure damages and human losses. Accurate simulation of this phenomenon allows for prevention of risks related to such events and can help for a sustainable territorial planning. A simple and intuitive 2-D debris flow model is developed using MatLab. It is based on the coupling of a mass point motion along the slope and the flattening of a volume linked to this mass point. Three main parameters have to be tuned in order to obtain a realistic prediction: the basal friction angle, the flattening coefficient and the debris flow maximum velocity. The model enables to simulate the location of the debris as a function of time and thus predict an important parameter of debris flow events, the runout distance. This tool allows for rapid calculations and has the advantage to use parameters that are easily assessable, such as the thickness of the debris flow deposit. The model is applied and compared to a debris flow event that occurred in Switzerland (Fully, VS) in October 2000. Following heavy rainfall and a hydroelectric pipe failure, a morainic deposit failed and propagated as a debris flow, reaching human-occupied areas (vineyards and roads). The event is well documented, with the initiation point, the flow velocity and runout distance known. A good agreement is found between the model prediction and the data from the debris flow event described above. This shows that the developed simple model can be an efficient tool to predict important debris flow characteristics, such as the runout distance. A further development would be to implement a 3-D model based on this approach

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Interactions between accumulation conditions of sediment storage and debris flow characteristics in a debris-flow initiation zone in Ohya landslide, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imaizumi, Fumitoshi; Hayakawa, Yuichi S.; Hotta, Norifumi; Tsunetaka, Haruka; Tsuchiya, Satoshi; Ohsaka, Okihiro

    2015-04-01

    It is important to understand the behavior of debris flow in the initiation zone for the development of mitigative measures, such as warning systems and structures. Volume and surface topography of sediment storage in the initiation zones change with time affected by the sediment supply from hillslopes as well as the evacuation of sediment by occurrence of debris flows. However, influences of such changes on the characteristics of the debris flow are not well understood because of a lack of field data. To clarify interactions between accumulation conditions of sediment storage and debris flow characteristics in the initiation zone, we conducted field observations in the Ohya landslide, central Japan. Flows that monitored by our video-camera system could be classified as either flows comprising mainly muddy water, or flows comprising mainly cobbles and boulders. Flows comprising mainly muddy water are turbulent and are characterized by black surfaces due to high concentrations of silty shale, whereas muddy water is almost absent at the surface of flows comprising mainly cobbles and boulders. Changes in the topography in the initiation zones were periodically measured by the airbone LiDAR scanning and terrestrial laser scanning. Slope gradient in most parts of the sediment storage was steeper than 20˚ when the volume of sediment storage was large. In such cases, debris flows were usually dominated by flows comprising mainly cobbles and boulders, and topography formed by occurrence of the debris flows was also steeper than 20˚. Simple analysis on the shear stress and the shear strength elucidates that such steep topography can be formed by movement of unsaturated or nearly saturated sediments. In contrast, slope gradient in some parts of the sediment storage was gentler than 20˚ when only small volume of sediment existed in the initiation zone. Occurrence of debris flows comprising manly muddy water, which was usually monitored when the volume of sediment storage

  19. Procedures for the documentation of historical debris flows: application to the Chieppena Torrent (Italian alps).

    PubMed

    Marchi, Lorenzo; Cavalli, Marco

    2007-09-01

    The reconstruction of triggering conditions, geomorphic effects, and damage produced by historical floods and debris flows significantly contributes to hazard assessment, allowing improved risk mitigation measures to be defined. Methods for the analysis of historical floods and debris flows vary greatly according to the type and quality of available data, which in turn are influenced by the time the events occurred. For floods and debris flows occurring in the Alps a few decades ago (between about 1950 and 1980), the documentation is usually better than for previous periods but, unlike events of most recent years, quantitative data are usually scanty and the description of the events does not aim to identify processes according to current terminology and classifications. The potential, and also the limitations of historical information available for the reconstruction of historical debris flows in the Alps have been explored by analyzing a high-magnitude debris flow that occurred on November 4, 1966 in the Chieppena Torrent (northeastern Italy). Reconstruction of the event was based on the use of written documentation, terrestrial and aerial photographs, and geomorphological maps. The analysis aimed to define the temporal development of phenomena, recognizing the type of flow processes and assessing some basic flow variables, such as volume, channel-debris yield rate, erosion depth, total distance traveled, and runout distance on the alluvial fan. The historical development of torrent hydraulic works, both before and after the debris flow of November 1966, was also analyzed with regard to the technical solutions adopted and their performance.

  20. Debris flow run off simulation and verification -- case study of Chen-You-Lan Watershed, Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, M.-L.; Wang, K.-L.; Huang, J.-J.

    2005-06-01

    In 1996 typhoon Herb struck the central Taiwan area, causing severe debris flow in many subwatersheds of the Chen-You-Lan river watershed. More severe cases of debris flow occurred following Chi-Chi earthquake, 1999. In order to identify the potentially affected area and its severity, the ability to simulate the flow route of debris is desirable. In this research numerical simulation of debris flow deposition process had been carried out using FLO-2D adopting Chui-Sue river watershed as the study area. Sensitivity study of parameters used in the numerical model was conducted and adjustments were made empirically. The micro-geomorphic database of Chui-Sue river watershed was generated and analyzed to understand the terrain variations caused by the debris flow. Based on the micro-geomorphic analysis, the debris deposition in the Chui-Sue river watershed in the downstream area, and the position and volume of debris deposition were determined. The simulated results appeared to agree fairly well with the results of micro-geomorphic study of the area when not affected by other inflow rivers, and the trends of debris distribution in the study area appeared to be fairly consistent.

  1. Determination of the runoff threshold for triggering debris flows in the area affected by the Wenchuan Earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, P.; Guo, X. J.; Zhuang, J. Q.

    2014-07-01

    We constructed an experiment to determine the critical runoff discharge for debris flow initiation in Wenchuan Earthquake area. A single dimensionless discharge variable was integrated to incorporate influential parameters, including channel width, median particle diameter, and surface flow discharge. The results revealed that relationship with the debris flow density, slope and discharge required. Taking into account the behaviors of debris flow formation corresponding to different ranges of slopes, the critical runoff thresholds for debris flow initiation were calculated for three different scenarios. The thresholds were validated against actual debris flow events, and the use in this study is applicable.

  2. 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

  3. Debris flows: geologic process and hazard; illustrated by a surge sequence at Jiangjia Ravine, Yunnan, China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scott, Kevin M.; Yuyi, Wang

    2004-01-01

    Debris flows are slurries of sediment and water that are both an important geologic process and a major hazard. They present large risks to those living in mountainous areas, as well as downstream from volcanoes in the case of the flows known as lahars that may travel 100200 kilometers (62-124 miles). The accompanying video records a series of debris flow surges at Jiangjia Ravine, in Yunnan Province in southern China. This rugged and remote site is famous for the annual occurrence of debris flows triggered each summer by monsoonal rains. The video illustrates the unique characteristics of debris flows, how they behave, and why they cause large losses of life and property in China and many other parts of the world. This report is a summary for those wishing more information than is presented in the video, and for the specialist we include dynamical data on the flows and textural data on their deposits.

  4. Spatial and temporal patterns of debris flow deposition in the Oregon Coast Range, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    May, Christine L.; Gresswell, Robert E.

    2004-01-01

    Patterns of debris-flow occurrence were investigated in 125 headwater basins in the Oregon Coast Range. Time since the previous debris-flows was established using dendrochronology, and recurrence interval estimates ranged from 98 to 357 years. Tributary basins with larger drainage areas had a greater abundance of potential landslide source areas and a greater frequency of scouring events compared to smaller basins. The flux rate of material delivered to the confluence with a larger river influenced the development of small-scale debris-flow fans. Fans at the mouths of tributary basins with smaller drainage areas had a higher likelihood of being eroded by the mainstem river in the interval between debris-flows, compared to bigger basins that had larger, more persistent fans. Valley floor width of the receiving channel also influenced fan development because it limited the space available to accommodate fan formation. Of 63 recent debris-flows, 52% delivered sediment and wood directly to the mainstem river, 30% were deposited on an existing fan before reaching the mainstem, and 18% were deposited within the confines of the tributary valley before reaching the confluence. Spatial variation in the location of past and present depositional surfaces indicated that sequential debris-flow deposits did not consistently form in the same place. Instead of being spatially deterministic, results of this study suggest that temporally variable and stochastic factors may be important for predicting the runout length of debris-flows.

  5. Assessment of the debris-flow susceptibility in tropical mountains using clast distribution patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Carvalho Faria Lima Lopes, Laís; de Almeida Prado Bacellar, Luís; Amorim Castro, Paulo de Tarso

    2016-12-01

    Channel morphometric parameters and clast distribution patterns in selected basins of the Ferriferous Quadrangle tropical mountains, Brazil, were analyzed in order to assess susceptibility to debris flows. Median bed surface clast size (D50) in the main stream channel of these basins shows a coarsening downstream trend with drainage areas of up to 6 km2, which is attributed to debris flow dominated-channels by some authors. The composition and roundness of the bed load, clast sand, and the presence of allochthonous large boulders throughout the channels also suggest the occurrence of past debris flow in the region. Luminescence Optically Stimulated (LOE) dating points out that debris flow could have occurred as a consequence of climate changes in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene and it can now be triggered by deforestation or extreme rainfall events. There has not been any record of past debris flow in the study area, or in other mountainous regions of Brazil where debris flows have recently occurred. Thus, the adopted approach can be useful to assess debris flow susceptibility in this and other similar areas.

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godt, Jonathan W.; Coe, Jeffrey A.

    2007-02-01

    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 m 2), 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Abstracts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Biology Teacher, 1977

    1977-01-01

    Included are over 50 abstracts of papers being presented at the 1977 National Association of Biology Teachers Convention. Included in each abstract are the title, author, and summary of the paper. Topics include photographic techniques environmental studies, and biological instruction. (MA)

  16. The Rheology of Vegetative Ash-laden Debris Flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, K. A.; Gabet, E.

    2006-12-01

    There is mounting observational evidence that vegetative ash created in a forest fire may play a major role in reducing infiltration and leads to the generation of debris flows on these burned hillslopes. A viscometer was used to measure the viscosity of ash slurries of varying concentrations, as well as slurries containing both fine- grained clastic sediment (sand and silt sized) and vegetative ash at varying concentrations. Initial results from these experiments indicate that increasing the concentration of ash increases effective viscosity of the slurry. Increasing the ash concentration by 5% increases the effective viscosity of the slurry by 10-50% over a range of shear rates. Also, ash-only slurries appear to shear thin with increasing shear rate at all concentrations. For example, with a 60% ash concentration, increasing the shear rate from 5/s to 40/s reduces the effective viscosity by 90%. For the mixed ash and fine-grained sediment slurries, increasing the percentage of ash relative to the percentage of clastic sediment dramatically increases the viscosity of the slurry even though the ash and finest-grained sediment are approximately the same size. A 50% concentration slurry containing only silt-sized clastic particles has a 40-70% lower effective viscosity than a slurry of the same concentration containing only ash particles. Therefore, the ash particles behave differently than clastic sediment particles.

  17. 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.

  18. Fire-related hyperconcentrated and debris flows on Storm King Mountain, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, S.H.; Powers, P.S.; Savage, W.Z.

    1998-01-01

    The South Canyon Fire of July 1994 burned 800 ha of vegetation on Storm King Mountain near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, USA. On the night of 1 September 1994, in response to torrential rains, debris flows inundated seven areas along a 5-km length of interstate Highway 70. Mapping from aerial photographs, along with field observations and measurements, shows that the September rainstorm eroded unconsolidated, burned surficial soil from the hillsides, flushed dry-ravel deposits from the tributary channels, and transported loose, large material from the main channels. The hyperconcentrated flows and debris flows inundated 14 ha of Interstate Highway 70 with 70000 m3 of material. Although the burned area was seeded in November 1994, the potential for continuing debris-flow activity remains. Incision and entrainment of channel alluvium, as well as erosion of loose material from the hillslopes could result in future debris- and hyperconcentrated-flow activity.The South Canyon Fire of July 1994 burned 800 ha of vegetation on Storm King Mountain near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, USA. On the night of 1 September 1994, in response to torrential rains, debris flows inundated seven areas along a 5-km length of Interstate Highway 70. Mapping from aerial photographs, along with field observations and measurements, shows that the September rainstorm eroded unconsolidated, burned surficial soil from the hillsides, flushed dry-ravel deposits from the tributary channels, and transported loose, large material from the main channels. The hyperconcentrated flows and debris flows inundated 14 ha of Interstate Highway 70 with 70000 m3 of material. Although the burned area was seeded in November 1994, the potential for continuing debris-flow activity remains. Incision and entrainment of channel alluvium, as well as erosion of loose material from the hillslopes could result in future debris- and hyperconcentrated-flow activity.

  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. Initiation processes for run-off generated debris flows in the Wenchuan earthquake area of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, W.; Dong, X. J.; Xu, Q.; Wang, G. H.; van Asch, T. W. J.; Hicher, P. Y.

    2016-01-01

    The frequency of huge debris flows greatly increased in the epicenter area of the Wenchuan earthquake. Field investigation revealed that runoff during rainstorm played a major role in generating debris flows on the loose deposits, left by coseismic debris avalanches. However, the mechanisms of these runoff-generated debris flows are not well understood due to the complexity of the initiation processes. To better understand the initiation mechanisms, we simulated and monitored the initiation process in laboratory flume test, with the help of a 3D laser scanner. We found that run-off incision caused an accumulation of material down slope. This failed as shallow slides when saturated, transforming the process into debris in a second stage. After this initial phase, the debris flow volume increased rapidly by a chain of subsequent cascading processes starting with collapses of the side walls, damming and breaching, leading to a rapid widening of the erosion channel. In terms of erosion amount, the subsequent mechanisms were much more important than the initial one. The damming and breaching were found to be the main reasons for the huge magnitude of the debris flows in the post-earthquake area. It was also found that the tested material was susceptible to excess pore pressure and liquefaction in undrained triaxial, which may be a reason for the fluidization in the flume tests.

  1. Contrasting origin of two clay-rich debris flows at Cayambe Volcanic Complex, Ecuador

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Detienne, M.; Delmelle, P.; Guevara, A.; Samaniego, P.; Opfergelt, S.; Mothes, P. A.

    2017-04-01

    We investigate the sedimentological and mineralogical properties of a debris flow deposit west of Cayambe Volcanic Complex, an ice-clad edifice in Ecuador. The deposit exhibits a matrix facies containing up to 16 wt% of clays. However, the stratigraphic relationship of the deposit with respect to the Canguahua Formation, a widespread indurated volcaniclastic material in the Ecuadorian inter-Andean Valley, and the deposit alteration mineralogy differ depending on location. Thus, two different deposits are identified. The Río Granobles debris flow deposit ( 1 km3) is characterised by the alteration mineral assemblage smectite + jarosite, and sulphur isotopic analyses point to a supergene hydrothermal alteration environment. This deposit probably derives from a debris avalanche initiated before 14-21 ka by collapse of a hydrothermally altered rock mass from the volcano summit. In contrast, the alteration mineralogy of the second debris flow deposit, which may itself comprise more than one unit, is dominated by halloysite + smectite and relates to a shallower and more recent (<13 ky) mass movement of high-altitude (>3200 m) volcanic soils. Our study reinforces the significance of hydrothermal alteration in weakening volcano flanks and in favouring rapid transformation of a volcanic debris avalanche into a clay-rich debris flow. It also demonstrates that mineralogical analysis provides crucial information for resolving the origin of a debris flow deposit in volcanic terrains. Finally, we posit that slope instability, promoted by ongoing subglacial hydrothermal alteration, remains a significant hazard at Cayambe Volcanic Complex.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Wildfire-related debris-flow initiation processes, Storm King Mountain, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, S.H.; Kirkham, R.M.; Parise, M.

    2001-01-01

    A torrential rainstorm on September 1, 1994 at the recently burned hillslopes of Storm King Mountain, CO, resulted in the generation of debris flows from every burned drainage basin. Maps (1:5000 scale) of bedrock and surficial materials and of the debris-flow paths, coupled with a 10-m Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of topography, are used to evaluate the processes that generated fire-related debris flows in this setting. These evaluations form the basis for a descriptive model for fire-related debris-flow initiation. The prominent paths left by the debris flows originated in 0- and 1st-order hollows or channels. Discrete soil-slip scars do not occur at the heads of these paths. Although 58 soil-slip scars were mapped on hillslopes in the burned basins, material derived from these soil slips accounted for only about 7% of the total volume of material deposited at canyon mouths. This fact, combined with observations of significant erosion of hillslope materials, suggests that a runoff-dominated process of progressive sediment entrainment by surface runoff, rather than infiltration-triggered failure of discrete soil slips, was the primary mechanism of debris-flow initiation. A paucity of channel incision, along with observations of extensive hillslope erosion, indicates that a significant proportion of material in the debris flows was derived from the hillslopes, with a smaller contribution from the channels. Because of the importance of runoff-dominated rather than infiltration-dominated processes in the generation of these fire-related debris flows, the runoff-contributing area that extends upslope from the point of debris-flow initiation to the drainage divide, and its gradient, becomes a critical constraint in debris-flow initiation. Slope-area thresholds for fire-related debris-flow initiation from Storm King Mountain are defined by functions of the form Acr(tan ??)3 = S, where Acr is the critical area extending upslope from the initiation location to the

  8. Radar rainfall estimation for the identification of debris-flow precipitation thresholds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marra, Francesco; Nikolopoulos, Efthymios I.; Creutin, Jean-Dominique; Borga, Marco

    2014-05-01

    Identification of rainfall thresholds for the prediction of debris-flow occurrence is a common approach for warning procedures. Traditionally the debris-flow triggering rainfall is derived from the closest available raingauge. However, the spatial and temporal variability of intense rainfall on mountainous areas, where debris flows take place, may lead to large uncertainty in point-based estimates. Nikolopoulos et al. (2014) have shown that this uncertainty translates into a systematic underestimation of the rainfall thresholds, leading to a step degradation of the performances of the rainfall threshold for identification of debris flows occurrence under operational conditions. A potential solution to this limitation lies on use of rainfall estimates from weather radar. Thanks to their high spatial and temporal resolutions, these estimates offer the advantage of providing rainfall information over the actual debris flow location. The aim of this study is to analyze the value of radar precipitation estimations for the identification of debris flow precipitation thresholds. Seven rainfall events that triggered debris flows in the Adige river basin (Eastern Italian Alps) are analyzed using data from a dense raingauge network and a C-Band weather radar. Radar data are elaborated by using a set of correction algorithms specifically developed for weather radar rainfall application in mountainous areas. Rainfall thresholds for the triggering of debris flows are identified in the form of average intensity-duration power law curves using a frequentist approach by using both radar rainfall estimates and raingauge data. Sampling uncertainty associated to the derivation of the thresholds is assessed by using a bootstrap technique (Peruccacci et al. 2012). Results show that radar-based rainfall thresholds are largely exceeding those obtained by using raingauge data. Moreover, the differences between the two thresholds may be related to the spatial characteristics (i.e., spatial

  9. 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

  10. 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).

  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. Application of the Empirical Thresholds of Precipitation to the Debris Flows in Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso-Landa, G.

    2013-05-01

    The debris flows are particularly dangerous for the life and the properties due to its high speeds and great destructive force, destroying houses, ways, bridges, trees and cultures, currents and ecosystems throughout its trajectory. The extraordinary precipitation events are one of the predominant physical processes that produce the genesis of the debris flows. The empirical thresholds of precipitation are based on the historical analyses of the occurrence relation precipitation/debris flow, for example statistical analyses. At the present time a limited number of this type of empirical thresholds exists and have been used different diagrams to represent them, depending on the combinations of precipitation parameters more commonly used: antecedent precipitation, duration, accumulated intensity and rain, and the most commons are that obtained by Caine and Aleotti. An analytical presentation of the concept of threshold of precipitation of a debris flow was recently introduced by Iritanno et al. (1998), who introduced the called function of mobilization Y(t), indirectly describing all the factors that contribute to trigger a process of landslides and that is dependent, in every moment of time t, the amount of water infiltrate on the ground before the time t. In the full article was applied the Iritanno's function of mobilization to the records of precipitation that produced the debris flows in the north of Puebla State, in the country of México, obtaining relationships intensity of rain-duration for these debris flows are greater from 3.43 to 2.1 times over empirical thresholds of precipitation generators of debris flows proposed by Caine and Aleotti in other regions of the world. .Intensity of precipitation for the debris flows in Mexicot;

  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. 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.

  15. Pleistocene cohesive debris flows at Nevado de Toluca Volcano, central Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capra, L.; Macías, J. L.

    2000-10-01

    During the Pleistocene, intense hydrothermal alteration promoted a flank failure of the southern portion of Nevado de Toluca volcano. This event produced a debris avalanche that transformed into a cohesive debris flow (Pilcaya deposit) owing to water saturation and weakness of the altered pre-avalanche rocks. The Pilcaya debris flow traveled along a narrow tectonic depression up to a distance of 40 km and then spread over a flat plain reaching up to 55 km from the volcano summit. This transition zone corresponds with a sudden break in slope from 5 to 0.5° that caused a rapid reduction in velocity and thickening of the flow that consequently reduced its competence to transport large particles. The resulting deposit thickens from 15 to 40 m, and contains boulders up to 15 m in diameter that form hummocky morphology close to the transitional zone. Sometime after the emplacement of the Pilcaya debris flow, heavy rains and superficial drainage contributed to remobilize the upper portions of the deposit causing two secondary lahars. These debris flows called El Mogote, traveled up to 75 km from the volcano. The edifice collapse generated lahars with a total volume of 2.8 km 3 that devastated an approximate area of 250 km 2. The area versus volume plot for both deposits shows that the magnitude of the event is comparable to other cohesive debris flows such as the Teteltzingo lahar (Pico de Orizaba, Mexico) and the Osceola mudflow (Mount Rainier, Wa). The Pilcaya debris flow represents additional evidence of debris flow transformed from a flank failure, a potentially devastating phenomenon that could threaten distant areas from the volcano previously considered without risk.

  16. 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.

  17. Can we reduce debris flow to an equivalent one-phase flow?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chareyre, B.; Marzougui, D.; Chauchat, J.

    2015-09-01

    A recent extension of the discrete element method is reported for the simulation of dense mixtures of non-colloidal particles and viscous fluids in the non-inertial regime. As an application, we examine the interplay between rate dependent dilatancy and hydro-mechanical coupling which can be expected in debris flow. The numerical model includes sphere-sphere contacts using a soft contact approach [2], short range hydrodynamic interactions defined by frame-invariant expressions of forces and torques in the lubrication approximation, and drag forces resulting from the poromechanical coupling computed with the DEM-PFV technique [3]. The bulk shear stress is decomposed into contact stress and hydrodynamic stress. Both contributions are shown to be increasing functions of a dimensionless shear rate Iv, in agreement with experimental results [4]. Statistics of microstructural variables highlight a complex interplay between solid contacts and hydrodynamic interactions. In contrast with a popular idea, the results suggest that lubrication may not necessarily reduce the contribution of contact forces to the bulk shear stress. The proposed model is general and applies directly to sheared satured granular media in which pore pressure feedback plays a key role. We argue that it can be the case for debris fow, especially during the triggering phase, when run-out include transitional phases, and when the flow is stopped. It is then concluded that debris cannot be computed by assuming solely the rheological properties of an equivalent mixture.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

    2015-05-01

    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 (derived from a 5 m × 5 m DEM), surficial geology, permafrost distribution, 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.

  1. A theoretical model for the initiation of debris flow in unconsolidated soil under hydrodynamic conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, C.-X.; Zhou, J.-W.; Cui, P.; Hao, M.-H.; Xu, F.-G.

    2014-06-01

    Debris flow is one of the catastrophic disasters in an earthquake-stricken area, and remains to be studied in depth. It is imperative to obtain an initiation mechanism and model of the debris flow, especially from unconsolidated soil. With flume experiments and field investigation on the Wenjiagou Gully debris flow induced from unconsolidated soil, it can be found that surface runoff can support the shear force along the slope and lead to soil strength decreasing, with fine particles migrating and forming a local relatively impermeable face. The surface runoff effect is the primary factor for accelerating the unconsolidated slope failure and initiating debris flow. Thus, a new theoretical model for the initiation of debris flow in unconsolidated soil was established by incorporating hydrodynamic theory and soil mechanics. This model was validated by a laboratory test and proved to be better suited for unconsolidated soil failure analysis. In addition, the mechanism analysis and the established model can provide a new direction and deeper understanding of debris flow initiation with unconsolidated soil.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Rainfall threshold for triggering debris flow on Merapi volcano area, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusumawardani, Rini; Kurniadhi, Rizki; Mukhlisin, Muhammad; Legono, Djoko

    2017-03-01

    Eruption of Merapi volcano on 2010 produced around 130 million cubic meters of deposit material consisting of ash, sand, gravel, and stone. Potential hazards of Merapi eruption caused a massive damages and destructions for both of during and after eruption. Phenomenon of deposit material sedimentation in upstream area of volcano causes debris flow occurrences induced by heavy rainfall. Ranfall intensity and its duration are important parameters which trigger the occurrence of debris flow. Another important parameters that effect of debris flow initiation are slope angle, surface water flow level, sediment concentration, density of soil, soil shear angle, grain size distribution of sediment deposit. This paper investigated the influence of rainfall triggering the debris occurrences located in Putih River, Magelang. The soil properties were collected from the river, while the rainfall data was obtained from three rain gauge stations (i.e., Station Maron, Mranggen and Ngepos). The results revealed the intensity maximum rainfall which was more than 40 mm/hour triggered the debris flow in Putih River Merapi. While, the critical basic slope (θ) and water depth (ho) were variables that greatly affect Takahashi Equation to predict the incidence of debris flow.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

    Debris flows are a typical hazard on steep slopes after wildfire, but unlike debris flows that mobilize from landslides, most postwildfire 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Field investigations of the interaction between debris flows and forest vegetation in two Alpine fans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michelini, Tamara; Bettella, Francesco; D'Agostino, Vincenzo

    2017-02-01

    A key objective in debris-flow hazard mitigation is the reduction of the potential depositional area in the fan. From this point of view, forested areas are able to provide a protective function hindering the flow motion and promoting the surge deposition. Despite extensive research on Alpine forests and their protective functions, relatively few studies in the literature have quantitatively focused on the relationship between debris-flow depositional features and vegetation. In light of the above, our research investigates how vegetation characteristics in the fan area interact with debris-flow deposition. Field investigations were carried out in two Alpine fans where debris-flow events occurred in the summer of 2012. By recording the characteristics of 1567 involved trees and the associated deposit thicknesses, this paper provides a data set that contributes to the improvement of the knowledge of these interaction processes. The integration of literature findings and the analysis of the collected dataset adds insights into the relationships between tree characteristics and the dynamics of debris flow during the runout path. The main results prove the capacity of the forest of uniformly promoting flow-energy dissipation, presence of high species diversity in debris-flow deposits when comparing disturbed and undisturbed forest stands, tree mortality largely affecting small diameters < 10 cm in the upper/medium part of the cone, and deposit thicknesses depending on the trunk diameter only if the debris-flow regime was collisional. Based on the field results and their analysis, some criteria for the management of protection forests in alluvial fans are suggested.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Landslide and debris-flow hazard analysis and prediction using GIS in Minamata Hougawachi area, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Chunxiang; Esaki, Tetsuro; Xie, Mowen; Qiu, Cheng

    2006-10-01

    On July 20, 2003, following a short duration of heavy rainfall, a debris-flow disaster occurred in the Minamata Hougawachi area, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. This disaster was triggered by a landslide. In order to assess the landslide and debris-flow hazard potential of this mountainous region, the study of historic landslides is critical. The objective of the study is to couple 3D slope-stability analysis models and 2D numerical simulation of debris flow within a geographical information systems in order to identity the potential landslide-hazard area. Based on field observations, the failure mechanism of the past landslide is analyzed and the mechanical parameters for 3D slope-stability analysis are calculated from the historic landslide. Then, to locate potential new landslides, the studied area is divided into slope units. Based on 3D slope-stability analysis models and on Monte Carlo simulation, the spots of potential landslides are identified. Finally, we propose a depth-averaged 2D numerical model, in which the debris and water mixture is assumed to be a uniform continuous, incompressible, unsteady Newtonian fluid. The method accurately models the historic debris flow. According to the 2D numerical simulation, the results of the debris-flow model, including the potentially inundated areas, are analyzed, and potentially affected houses, river and road are mapped.

  19. Meteorological factors driving glacial till variation and the associated periglacial debris flows in Tianmo Valley, south-eastern Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Mingfeng; Chen, Ningsheng; Liu, Mei

    2017-03-01

    Meteorological studies have indicated that high alpine environments are strongly affected by climate warming, and periglacial debris flows are frequent in deglaciated regions. The combination of rainfall and air temperature controls the initiation of periglacial debris flows, and the addition of meltwater due to higher air temperatures enhances the complexity of the triggering mechanism compared to that of storm-induced debris flows. On the south-eastern Tibetan Plateau, where temperate glaciers are widely distributed, numerous periglacial debris flows have occurred over the past 100 years, but none occurred in the Tianmo watershed until 2007. In 2007 and 2010, three large-scale debris flows occurred in the Tianmo Valley. In this study, these three debris flow events were chosen to analyse the impacts of the annual meteorological conditions, including the antecedent air temperature and meteorological triggers. The remote sensing images and field measurements of the adjacent glacier suggested that sharp glacier retreats occurred in the 1 to 2 years preceding the events, which coincided with spikes in the mean annual air temperature. Glacial till changes providing enough active sediment driven by a prolonged increase in the air temperature are a prerequisite of periglacial debris flows. Different factors can trigger periglacial debris flows, and they may include high-intensity rainfall, as in the first and third debris flows, or continuous, long-term increases in air temperature, as in the second debris flow event.

  20. 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.

  1. A comparative 2D modeling of debris-flow propagation and outcomes for end-users

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bettella, F.; Bertoldi, G.; Pozza, E.; McArdell, B. W.; D'Agostino, V.

    2012-04-01

    In Alpine regions gravity-driven natural hazards, in particular debris flows, endanger settlements and human life. Mitigation strategies based on hazard maps are necessary tools for land planning. These maps can be made more precise by using numerical models to forecasting the inundated areas after a careful setting of those 'key parameters' (K-P) which directly affect the flow motion and its interaction with the ground surface. Several physically based 2D models are available for practitioners and governmental agencies, but the selection criteria of model type and of the related K-P remain flexible and partly subjective. This remark has driven us to investigate how different models simulate different types of debris flows (from granular to muddy debris flows, going through intermediate types), in particular when the flow is influenced by the presence of deposition basins. Two commercial 2D physical models (RAMMS and FLO-2D) have been tested for five well-documented debris flows events from five Italian catchments were different geology and flow dynamics are observed: 1) a viscous debris flow occurred in 2009 in a catchment with a metamorphic geology (Gadria torrent, Bolzano Province); 2) the 2009 granular debris flow in an granitic geological setting (Rio Dosson, Trento Province); 3-4) two events occurred in the 'rio Val del Lago' and 'rio Molinara' (Trento Province) in 2010 where porphyritic lithology prevails (intermediate granular debris flow); 5) the Rotolon torrent (Vicenza Province) 2009 debris flow containing sedimentary rocks enclosed in an abundant clay-rich matrix (intermediate viscous case). Event volumes range from 5.000 to 50.000 cubic meters. The Gadria, Rotolon and Val del Lago events are also influenced by artificial retention basins. Case study simulations allowed delineation of some practical end-user suggestions and good practices in order to guide the model choice and the K-P setting, particularly related to different flow dynamics. The

  2. Quantitative reconstruction of late Holocene surface evolution on an alpine debris-flow fan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schürch, Peter; Densmore, Alexander L.; Ivy-Ochs, Susan; Rosser, Nick J.; Kober, Florian; Schlunegger, Fritz; McArdell, Brian; Alfimov, Vasili

    2016-12-01

    Debris-flow fans form a ubiquitous record of past debris-flow activity in mountainous areas, and may be useful for inferring past flow characteristics and consequent future hazard. Extracting information on past debris flows from fan records, however, requires an understanding of debris-flow deposition and fan surface evolution; field-scale studies of these processes have been very limited. In this paper, we document the patterns and timing of debris-flow deposition on the surface of the large and exceptionally active Illgraben fan in southwestern Switzerland. We use terrain analysis, radiocarbon dating of sediment fill in the Illgraben catchment, and cosmogenic 10Be and 36Cl exposure dating of debris-flow deposits on the fan to constrain the temporal evolution of the sediment routing system in the catchment and on the fan during the past 3200 years. We show that the fan surface preserves a set of debris-flow lobes that were predominantly deposited after the occurrence of a large rock avalanche near the fan apex at about 3200 years ago. This rock avalanche shifted the apex of the fan and impounded sediment within the Illgraben catchment. Subsequent evolution of the fan surface has been governed by both lateral and radial shifts in the active depositional lobe, revealed by the cosmogenic radionuclide dates and by cross-cutting geometrical relationships on the fan surface. This pattern of frequent avulsion and fan surface occupation provides field-scale evidence of the type of large-scale compensatory behavior observed in experimental sediment routing systems.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kean, Jason W.; Staley, Dennis M.; Cannon, Susan H.

    2011-12-01

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A real-scale field experiment of debris flow for investigating its deposition and entrainment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paik, J.; Son, S.; Kim, T.; Kim, S.

    2012-12-01

    In mountain area debris flows typically mobilize from slides and entrain channel materials as they propagate down over the surface of hill slope and valley. Consequently, cross-sectional averaged discharge of debris flows may increases due to the entrainment of channel materials over steep slopes while decrease due to deposition of large material at mile slopes. In this work, the erosional and depositional patterns of debris flow have been investigated through a real-scale field experiment in a mountain basin in Gangwon, Korea. The experimental basin is about 800 m long and the channel width ranges between 8 m and 25 m. The angle of the channel slope varies from 38° near the upstream end to 5° at the downstream end where a check has been installed. In the experiment, 300 cubic meters of saturated solid-fluid mixture is suddenly released by opening a gate of a concrete reservoir installed at the upstream of the basin, along with additional 10.0 cubic meters of water per second for 30 seconds. We employ several sensors for measuring the speed, depth variation and total normal and fluid pore pressures at the channel bed as the debris flow propagates downslope. The velocity and depth of the debris flow are measured using ultrasonic sensors with a measuring range up to 10 m and video recording systems. A load cell and eight pore pressure transducers ranging up 30 psia are used to measure the total normal and pore-water pressures at the base of the debris flow. Through a quantitative analysis of these experimental measurements and high-resolution LiDAR topographic data we investigate the deposition and entrainment features of debris flow. We introduce the details of the full-scale experimental basin, facility, sensors and procedure, and provide some our experimental observations.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Water fact sheet, history of landslides and debris flows at Mount Rainier

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1993-01-01

    Many landslides and debris flows have originated from Mount Rainier since the retreat of glaciers from Puget Sound about 10,000 years ago. The recurrent instability is due to several factors--height of the steep-sided volcanic cone, frequent volcanic activity, continuous weakening of rock by steam and hot, chemical-laden water, and exposure of unstable areas as the mountains glaciers have receded. The landslide scars and deposits tell a fascinating story of the changing shape of the volcano. Landslides occur when part of the volcano "collapses" or fails and slides away from the rest of the volcano. The failed mass rapidly breaks up into a jumble of disaggregated pieces that flow at high velocity like a fluid. Clay and water in the debris cause further change to a liquid slurry known as a debris flow or mudflow. Volcanic debris flows are also widely known by the Indonesian term "lahar." Although the largest debris flows at Rainier form from landslides, many smaller flows are caused by volcanic eruptions, intense rainfall, and glacial-outburst floods.

  15. Numerical simulation of failure behavior of granular debris flows based on flume model tests.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jian; Li, Ye-xun; Jia, Min-cai; Li, Cui-na

    2013-01-01

    In this study, the failure behaviors of debris flows were studied by flume model tests with artificial rainfall and numerical simulations (PFC(3D)). Model tests revealed that grain sizes distribution had profound effects on failure mode, and the failure in slope of medium sand started with cracks at crest and took the form of retrogressive toe sliding failure. With the increase of fine particles in soil, the failure mode of the slopes changed to fluidized flow. The discrete element method PFC(3D) can overcome the hypothesis of the traditional continuous medium mechanic and consider the simple characteristics of particle. Thus, a numerical simulations model considering liquid-solid coupled method has been developed to simulate the debris flow. Comparing the experimental results, the numerical simulation result indicated that the failure mode of the failure of medium sand slope was retrogressive toe sliding, and the failure of fine sand slope was fluidized sliding. The simulation result is consistent with the model test and theoretical analysis, and grain sizes distribution caused different failure behavior of granular debris flows. This research should be a guide to explore the theory of debris flow and to improve the prevention and reduction of debris flow.

  16. Numerical Simulation of Failure Behavior of Granular Debris Flows Based on Flume Model Tests

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jian; Li, Ye-xun; Jia, Min-cai; Li, Cui-na

    2013-01-01

    In this study, the failure behaviors of debris flows were studied by flume model tests with artificial rainfall and numerical simulations (PFC3D). Model tests revealed that grain sizes distribution had profound effects on failure mode, and the failure in slope of medium sand started with cracks at crest and took the form of retrogressive toe sliding failure. With the increase of fine particles in soil, the failure mode of the slopes changed to fluidized flow. The discrete element method PFC3D can overcome the hypothesis of the traditional continuous medium mechanic and consider the simple characteristics of particle. Thus, a numerical simulations model considering liquid-solid coupled method has been developed to simulate the debris flow. Comparing the experimental results, the numerical simulation result indicated that the failure mode of the failure of medium sand slope was retrogressive toe sliding, and the failure of fine sand slope was fluidized sliding. The simulation result is consistent with the model test and theoretical analysis, and grain sizes distribution caused different failure behavior of granular debris flows. This research should be a guide to explore the theory of debris flow and to improve the prevention and reduction of debris flow. PMID:23766700

  17. 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

  18. Gully recharge rates and debris flows: A combined numerical modeling and field-based investigation, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Yvonne E.; Johnson, E. A.; Chaikina, Olga

    2017-02-01

    Rainfall, snowmelt and/or other mass movements are possible triggers to initiate debris flows. In supply-limited landscapes, clastic and organic materials (together termed debris) accumulate in the gully via various geomorphic processes that occur on gully sidewalls. The conceptualization of this phenomenon has been termed the gully recharge rate, with several recent field studies measuring such rates in coastal British Columbia. In the present study, a simple numerical model is introduced to estimate debris flow volumes in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia based on debris flow recurrence intervals, gully recharge rates and factors affecting deposition of debris flow material. Debris flow volumes obtained in model runs are somewhat lower than field-based values by about half, which is a reasonable result for this exploratory study. The annual erosion rate (clastic material) for debris flows in the model run is 0.031 mm yr- 1. This value is about 0.57 × of the field-based value and is lower than the erosion rate for debris slides in Haida Gwaii of 0.1 mm yr- 1. Deposition of debris flows in the model occurs in 60% of cases due to a decrease in channel gradient, with deposition resulting from high stream junction angles being less common. Locations for initiation of debris flow deposition were situated in stream orders 3 and 4 in 60% of cases. Sensitivity analysis shows that in comparison to other model variables, recharge rate has the greatest effect on the statistics and frequency distributions of debris flow volumes and total debris flow volume (summation of all debris activity in a basin) over the study time period.

  19. 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.

  20. Wildfire-related debris-flow generation through episodic progressive sediment-bulking processes, western USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, S.H.; Gartner, J.E.; Parrett, C.; Parise, M.; ,

    2003-01-01

    Debris-flow initiation processes on hillslopes recently burned by wildfire differ from those generally recognized on unburned, vegetated hillslopes. These differences result from fire-induced changes in the hydrologic response to rainfall events. In this study, detailed field and aerial photographic mapping, observations, and measurements of debris-flow events from three sites in the western U.S. are used to describe and evaluate the process of episodic progressive sediment bulking of storm runoff that leads to the generation of post-wildfire debris flows. Our data demonstrate the effects of material credibility, sediment availability on hillslopes and in channels, the degree of channel confinement, the formation of continuous channel incision, and the upslope contributing area and its gradient on the generation of flows and the magnitude of the response are demonstrated. ?? 2003 Millpress.

  1. 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.

  2. Impact of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China on subsequent long-term debris flow activities in the epicentral area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, S.; Zhang, L. M.

    2017-01-01

    The 2008 Wenchuan earthquake triggered the largest number of landslides among the recent strong earthquake events around the world. The loose landslide materials were retained on steep terrains and deep gullies. In the period from 2008 to 2015, numerous debris flows occurred during rainstorms along the Provincial Road 303 (PR303) near the epicentre of the earthquake, causing serious damage to the reconstructed highway. Approximately 5.24 × 106 m3 of debris-flow sediment was deposited shortly after the earthquake. This paper evaluates the evolution of the debris flows that occurred after the Wenchuan earthquake, which helps understand long-term landscape evolution and cascading effects in regions impacted by mega earthquakes. With the aid of a GIS platform combined with field investigations, we continuously tracked movements of the loose deposit materials in all the debris flow gullies along an 18 km reach of PR303 and the characteristics of the regional debris flows during several storms in the past seven years. This paper presents five important aspects of the evolution of debris flows: (1) supply of debris flow materials; (2) triggering rainfall; (3) initiation mechanisms and types of debris flows; (4) runout characteristics; and (5) elevated riverbed due to the deposited materials from the debris flows. The hillslope soil deposits gradually evolved into channel deposits and the solid materials in the channels moved towards the ravine mouth. Accordingly, channelized debris flows became dominant gradually. Due to the decreasing source material volume and changes in debris flow characteristics, the triggering rainfall tends to increase from 30 mm h- 1 in 2008 to 64 mm h- 1 in 2013, and the runout distance tends to decrease over time. The runout materials blocked the river and elevated the riverbed by at least 30 m in parts of the study area. The changes in the post-seismic debris flow activity can be categorized into three stages, i.e., active, unstable, and

  3. Controls on debris flow bulking in proglacial gully networks on Mount Rainier, WA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legg, N. T.; Meigs, A.; Grant, G. E.; Kennard, P.

    2012-12-01

    Conversion of floodwaters to debris flows due to sediment bulking continues to be a poorly understood phenomenon. This study examines the initiation zone of a series of six debris flows that originated in proglacial areas of catchments on the flank of Mount Rainier during one storm in 2006. One-meter spatial resolution aerial photographs and LiDAR DEMs acquired before and after the storm reveal the lack of a single mass failure to explain the debris flow deposits. Rather, the imagery show appreciable gully widening along reaches up to approximately 1.5 km in length. Based on gully discharges estimated from rainfall rates and estimates of sediment contribution from gully wall width change, we find that the sediment volumes contributed from gully walls are sufficient to bulk floodwaters up to debris flow concentrations. Points in gullies where width change began (upstream limit) in 2006 have a power law trend (R2 = 0.58) in terms of slope-drainage area. Reaches with noticeable width change, which we refer to as bulking reaches (BR), plot along a similar trend with greater drainage areas and gentler slopes. We then extracted slope and drainage area of all proglacial drainage networks to examine differences in morphology between debris flow basins (DFB) and non-debris flow basins (NDFB), hypothesizing that DFB would have a greater portion of their drainage networks with similar morphology to BR than NDFB. A comparison of total network length with greater slope and area than BR reveals that the two basins types are not statistically different. Lengths of the longest reaches with greater slope and drainage area than the BR trend, however, are statistically longer in DFB than in the NDFBs (p<0.05). These results suggest that debris flow initiation by sediment bulking does not operate as a simple threshold phenomenon in slope-area space. Instead debris flow initiation via bulking depends upon slope, drainage area, and gully length. We suspect the dependence on length

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Hazard Assessment of Debris-Flow along the Baicha River in Heshigten Banner, Inner Mongolia, China

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Chen; Xu, Peihua; Chen, Jianping; Zheng, Lianjing; Niu, Cencen

    2016-01-01

    This study focused on a cloud model approach for considering debris-flow hazard assessment, in which the cloud model provided a model for transforming the qualitative and quantitative expressions. Additionally, the entropy method and analytical hierarchy process were united for calculating the parameters weights. The weighting method avoids the disadvantages inherent in using subjective or objective methods alone. Based on the cloud model and component weighting method, a model was established for the analysis of debris-flow hazard assessment. There are 29 debris-flow catchments around the pumped storage power station in the study area located near Zhirui (Inner Mongolia, China). Field survey data and 3S technologies were used for data collection. The results of the cloud model calculation process showed that of the 29 catchments, 25 had low debris-flow hazard assessment, three had moderate hazard assessment, and one had high hazard assessment. The widely used extenics method and field geological surveys were used to validate the proposed approach. This approach shows high potential as a useful tool for debris-flow hazard assessment analysis. Compared with other prediction methods, it avoids the randomness and fuzziness in uncertainty problems, and its prediction results are considered reasonable. PMID:28036079

  7. Debris flows on the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, Alaska: Implications for analogous processes on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooper, Donald M.; Dinwiddie, Cynthia L.

    2014-02-01

    We observed niveo-aeolian deposits, denivation features, and small meltwater-induced debris flows that had formed at the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, northwestern interior Alaska in late March 2010. This high-latitude, cold-climate dune field is being studied as a planetary analog to improve our understanding of factors that may trigger debris flows on the lee slopes of martian aeolian dunes. Debris flows consisted of a sand and liquid water mixture that cascaded down the lee slopes of two barchanoid dunes on days when measured ground surface temperatures were below freezing. We hypothesize that relatively dark sand on snow caused local hot spots where solar radiation could be absorbed by the sand and conducted into the underlying snow, enabling meltwater to form and sand to be mobilized. This investigation provides insights into the interactions between niveo-aeolian deposition, slope aspect and insolation, thawing, and initiation of alluvial processes. These debris flows are morphologically similar to those associated with seasonal gullies or erosion tracks visible on the slopes of mid- to high-latitude dune fields in both martian hemispheres. Localized heating and thawing at scales too small for orbital sensors to identify may yield martian debris flows at current climate conditions.

  8. Sedimentology and clast fabric of subaerial debris flow facies in a glacially-influenced alluvial fan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eyles, N.; Kocsis, S.

    1988-09-01

    A large alluvial fan (2 km 2), constructed between 11,000 and 7000 years B.P. at the mouth of Cinquefoil Creek in interior British Columbia, Canada, is identified as "glacially-influenced, debris flow-dominated". The fan was rapidly constructed during and immediately after deglaciation when large volumes of glacial debris were resedimented downslope; fans of this type are widespread in the glaciated portion of the North American Cordillera. Diamict facies, deposited as debris flows, account for 48% of the fan volume, sheetflodd gravels 37%, and other facies 15%. Diamicts show three facies types; crudely-bedded facies containing rafts of soft sediment that are attributed to downslope collapse and mixing of heterogeneous glacial deposits. These occur within the core of the fan. Massive and weakly graded (inverse to normal) diamict facies, derived from the downslope flow of weathered volcanic bedrock, occur within a well-defined bed that can be traced across the entire fan. The occurrence of weakly graded facies as lateral equivalents to massive facies within the same bed, implies the partial development of turbulent, high-velocity "streams" within a viscous debris flow moving over a slope of 6°. Clast fabrics in these facies show weakly-clustered a-axes dipping up and downslope comparable to other debris flows and lahars. The Cinquefoil fan, its internal structure and facies, provides a good "modern" analogue for ancient diamictite sequences deposited in areas of active uplift, rifting and glaciation.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. New insights into debris-flow hazards from an extraordinary event in the Colorado Front Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coe, Jeffrey A.; Kean, Jason W.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Baum, Rex L.; Jones, Eric S.; Gochis, David; Anderson, Gregory S

    2016-01-01

    Rainfall on 9–13 September 2013 triggered at least 1,138 debris flows in a 3430 km2 area of the Colorado Front Range. The historical record reveals that the occurrence of these flows over such a large area in the interior of North America is highly unusual. Rainfall that triggered the debris flows began after ~75 mm of antecedent rain had fallen, a relatively low amount compared to other parts of the United States. Most flows were triggered in response to two intense rainfall periods, one 12.5-hour-long period on 11–12 September, and one 8-hour-long period on 12 September. The maximum 10 min. intensities during these periods were 67 and 39 mm/hr. Ninety-five percent of flows initiated in canyons and on hogbacks at elevations lower than a widespread erosion surface of low slope and relief (25°), predominantly south- and east-facing slopes with upslope contributing areas 3300 m2. Areal concentrations of debris flows revealed that colluvial soils formed on sedimentary rocks were more susceptible to flows than soils on crystalline rocks. This event should serve as an alert to government authorities, emergency responders, and residents in the Front Range and other interior continental areas with steep slopes. Widespread debris flows in these areas occur infrequently but may pose a greater risk than in areas with shorter return periods, because the public is typically unprepared for them.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. Experimental Investigation of Entrainment Rate by Debris Flows: from Shear Stress to Granular Temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, K. M.; Longjas, A.; Moberly, D.

    2015-12-01

    Debris flows - flows of boulders, gravel, sand, fine particles, and fluids - erode sediment from steep hillsides and deposit them at lower slopes. Current model frameworks for erosion by debris flow vary significantly and include those that consider macroscopic fields such as excess shear stresses, similar to traditional models of bedload transport, to those that consider the "granular" physics, from force chains (related to bed fabric) to granular temperatures (related to random kinetic energy of the flow). We perform experiments to investigate the underlying mechanics associated with entrainment of bed materials by overlying flows in an instrumented laboratory debris flow flume. In particular, we investigate how the erosion rate of a flowing mass impinging on an erodible bed of particles depends on boundary conditions, dynamics of the flow, and the state of the bed. Using high speed imaging to capture average and instantaneous particle dynamics simultaneously with bed stress measurements, we investigate the effectiveness of a variety of model frameworks for capturing the relationships between flow dynamics and erosion rates. We find no correlation between the bed shear stress associated with the mass of the flow and erosion rate. Similarly, we found no correlation between the erosion rate and a Reynolds stress, that is, the stress associated with correlations between downstream and vertical velocity fluctuations. On the other hand, we found that granular temperature is well-correlated with entrainment rate during particular phases of our experimental debris flow. In particular, we found the instantaneous entrainment rate ɛ is linearly dependent on the ratio of the granular temperature Tg to the kinetic energy associated with the average flow velocity u: ɛ ~ (Tg / ρm u2) where ρm is the local instantaneous density of the flow. We present these results and discuss how they vary with the state of the flow, boundary conditions, and particle mixtures.

  18. Comparing models of debris-flow susceptibility in the alpine environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrara, Alberto; Crosta, Giovanni; Frattini, Paolo

    Debris-flows are widespread in Val di Fassa (Trento Province, Eastern Italian Alps) where they constitute one of the most dangerous gravity-induced surface processes. From a large set of environmental characteristics and a detailed inventory of debris flows, we developed five models to predict location of debris-flow source areas. The models differ in approach (statistical vs. physically-based) and type of terrain unit of reference (slope unit vs. grid cell). In the statistical models, a mix of several environmental factors classified areas with different debris-flow susceptibility; however, the factors that exert a strong discriminant power reduce to conditions of high slope-gradient, pasture or no vegetation cover, availability of detrital material, and active erosional processes. Since slope and land use are also used in the physically-based approach, all model results are largely controlled by the same leading variables. Overlaying susceptibility maps produced by the different methods (statistical vs. physically-based) for the same terrain unit of reference (grid cell) reveals a large difference, nearly 25% spatial mismatch. The spatial discrepancy exceeds 30% for susceptibility maps generated by the same method (discriminant analysis) but different terrain units (slope unit vs. grid cell). The size of the terrain unit also led to different susceptibility maps (almost 20% spatial mismatch). Maps based on different statistical tools (discriminant analysis vs. logistic regression) differed least (less than 10%). Hence, method and terrain unit proved to be equally important in mapping susceptibility. Model performance was evaluated from the percentages of terrain units that each model correctly classifies, the number of debris-flow falling within the area classified as unstable by each model, and through the metric of ROC curves. Although all techniques implemented yielded results essentially comparable; the discriminant model based on the partition of the study

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

    Forecasting the occurrence of debris flows is fundamental for issuing hazard warnings, and often focuses on rainfall as a triggering agent and on the use of empirical rainfall thresholds based on rain gauge observations. A recognized component of the uncertainty associated with the use of rainfall thresholds is related to the sampling of strongly varying rainfall variability with sparse rain gauge networks. In this work we examine the spatial distribution of rainfall depth in areas up to 10 km from the debris flow initiation points as a function of return period, and we exploit this information to analyze the errors expected in the estimation of debris flow triggering rainfall when rain gauge data are used. In particular, we investigate the impact of rain gauge density and of the use of different interpolation methods. High-resolution, adjusted radar rainfall estimates, representing the best available spatially-distributed rainfall estimates at the debris flows initiation point and in the surrounding area, are sampled by stochastically generated rain gauge networks characterized by varying densities. Debris flow triggering rainfall is estimated by means of three rainfall interpolation methods: nearest neighbor, inverse distance weighting and ordinary kriging. On average, triggering rainfall shows a local peak corresponding to the debris flow initiation point, with a decay of rainfall with distance which increases with the return period of the triggering rainfall. Interpolation of the stochastically generated rain gauge measurements leads to an underestimation of the triggering rainfall that, irrespective of the interpolation methods, increases with the return period and decreases with the rain gauge density. For small return period events and high rain gauge density, the differences among the methods are minor. With increasing the return period and decreasing the rain gauge density, the nearest neighbor method is less biased, because it makes use only of the

  8. 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.

  9. Historical Account to the State of the Art in Debris Flow Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pudasaini, Shiva P.

    2013-04-01

    In this contribution, I present a historical account of debris flow modelling leading to the state of the art in simulations and applications. A generalized two-phase model is presented that unifies existing avalanche and debris flow theories. The new model (Pudasaini, 2012) covers both the single-phase and two-phase scenarios and includes many essential and observable physical phenomena. In this model, the solid-phase stress is closed by Mohr-Coulomb plasticity, while the fluid stress is modeled as a non-Newtonian viscous stress that is enhanced by the solid-volume-fraction gradient. A generalized interfacial momentum transfer includes viscous drag, buoyancy and virtual mass forces, and a new generalized drag force is introduced to cover both solid-like and fluid-like drags. Strong couplings between solid and fluid momentum transfer are observed. The two-phase model is further extended to describe the dynamics of rock-ice avalanches with new mechanical models. This model explains dynamic strength weakening and includes internal fluidization, basal lubrication, and exchanges of mass and momentum. The advantages of the two-phase model over classical (effectively single-phase) models are discussed. Advection and diffusion of the fluid through the solid are associated with non-linear fluxes. Several exact solutions are constructed, including the non-linear advection-diffusion of fluid, kinematic waves of debris flow front and deposition, phase-wave speeds, and velocity distribution through the flow depth and through the channel length. The new model is employed to study two-phase subaerial and submarine debris flows, the tsunami generated by the debris impact at lakes/oceans, and rock-ice avalanches. Simulation results show that buoyancy enhances flow mobility. The virtual mass force alters flow dynamics by increasing the kinetic energy of the fluid. Newtonian viscous stress substantially reduces flow deformation, whereas non-Newtonian viscous stress may change the

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Performance and design of the debris-flow alarm system in the Alpine Illgraben catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graf, C.; Badoux, A.; McArdell, B. W.

    2009-04-01

    We present the design and first analysis of the performance of a warning system from the very active Alpine Illgraben debris-flow catchment and fan area. The catchment (9.5 km2), located in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland, is characterized by frequent and voluminous sediment transport and debris-flow events. The residents in Susten (municipality Leuk), tourists, and other land users, are exposed to a significant hazard. The warning system consists of four modules: community organizational planning (hazard awareness and preparedness), event detection and alerting, geomorphic catchment observation, and applied research to facilitate the development of an early warning system based on weather forecasting. The detection system presently provides automated alert signals near the active channel prior to (5-15 min) the arrival of a debris flow or flash flood at the uppermost used channel crossing. It is intended to provide data to support decision-making for warning and evacuation, especially when unusually large debris flows are expected to leave the channel near populated areas. At three frequently used channel crossings, optical and acoustic alert signals were installed which are activated by the detection system installed further up in the channel. Events are detected if the ground vibration signal and/or the flow depth exceed a predefined threshold value. First-year results of the detection and alert module in comparison with the independent automated debris-flow observation station (operated by the WSL since 2000) are generally favorable. Twenty automated alerts were issued in the first year of operation (2007), which triggered flashing lights and sirens at all major footpaths crossing the channel bed, for three debris flows and 16 flood flows. Only one false alarm occurred. In the second year (2008), nine automated alerts were emitted, for three debris flows and five flood flows. One false alarm was produced. The events help to fill a data base for optimizing the

  13. 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

  14. GIS-based two-dimensional numerical simulation of rainfall-induced debris flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, C.; Li, S.; Esaki, T.

    2008-02-01

    This paper aims to present a useful numerical method to simulate the propagation and deposition of debris flow across the three dimensional complex terrain. A depth-averaged two-dimensional numerical model is developed, in which the debris and water mixture is assumed to be continuous, incompressible, unsteady flow. The model is based on the continuity equations and Navier-Stokes equations. Raster grid networks of digital elevation model in GIS provide a uniform grid system to describe complex topography. As the raster grid can be used as the finite difference mesh, the continuity and momentum equations are solved numerically using the finite difference method. The numerical model is applied to simulate the rainfall-induced debris flow occurred in 20 July 2003, in Minamata City of southern Kyushu, Japan. The simulation reproduces the propagation and deposition and the results are in good agreement with the field investigation. The synthesis of numerical method and GIS makes possible the solution of debris flow over a realistic terrain, and can be used to estimate the flow range, and to define potentially hazardous areas for homes and road section.

  15. Fine-grained debris flows and extraordinary vertebrate burials in the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, Raymond R.

    2005-04-01

    Vertebrate fossils are remarkably abundant and exceptionally well preserved within the Upper Cretaceous Maevarano Formation of northwestern Madagascar. The vast majority of these fossils, including all of the currently known bone beds, are entombed within deposits of fine-grained cohesive debris flows. These deposits are typically massive and are characterized by very poor sorting and a significant montmorillonite-dominated silt-clay (mud) fraction ranging from 17% to 46% by weight. Deposition is attributed to recurrent exceptional rainfall events that prompted erosion and flooded ancient channel belts with sediment-laden flows. These extraordinary burial events shielded vertebrate remains from destructive surface processes and also afforded protection for soft tissues. Taphonomic attributes of associated bone concentrations suggest that debris flows had limited transport potential and generally entombed subaerially exposed bone assemblages. The remarkable and recurrent association of bone beds and debris-flow deposits likely reflects marked seasonality in this Late Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystem, with prolonged dry spells prompting mortality and subsequent rains setting debris flows in motion.

  16. Estimating construction and demolition debris generation using a materials flow analysis approach.

    PubMed

    Cochran, K M; Townsend, T G

    2010-11-01

    The magnitude and composition of a region's construction and demolition (C&D) debris should be understood when developing rules, policies and strategies for managing this segment of the solid waste stream. In the US, several national estimates have been conducted using a weight-per-construction-area approximation; national estimates using alternative procedures such as those used for other segments of the solid waste stream have not been reported for C&D debris. This paper presents an evaluation of a materials flow analysis (MFA) approach for estimating C&D debris generation and composition for a large region (the US). The consumption of construction materials in the US and typical waste factors used for construction materials purchasing were used to estimate the mass of solid waste generated as a result of construction activities. Debris from demolition activities was predicted from various historical construction materials consumption data and estimates of average service lives of the materials. The MFA approach estimated that approximately 610-78 × 10(6)Mg of C&D debris was generated in 2002. This predicted mass exceeds previous estimates using other C&D debris predictive methodologies and reflects the large waste stream that exists.

  17. Pedimentation versus debris-flow origin of plateau-side desert terraces in southern Utah.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, V.S.

    1984-01-01

    Plateau-side terraces in arid areas around the world are commonly described as pediment remnants, although, in many cases, they may have been formed by debris-flow deposition. Pediments do exist in the area of the Aquarius and Kaiparowits Plateaus of southern Utah; however, many alluvial terraces that were classified by previous workers as pediments are actually formed of thick deposits of sediment released into valleys by episodic landslide events. Although both pediment and debris-flow depositional terraces have smooth, alluvium-covered upper surfaces, the two can be distinguished by the shape of the underlying bedrock surface and the process of formation. The relation of younger terraces to landsliding is clear, because the terrace surfaces are graded to the toes of slide lobes, but the origin of older terraces is less obvious, because older lobes of slide debris have generally been removed by erosion. -from Author

  18. Debris avalanches and debris flows transformed from collapses in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, Mexico - behavior, and implications for hazard assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capra, L.; Macías, J. L.; Scott, K. M.; Abrams, M.; Garduño-Monroy, V. H.

    2002-03-01

    Volcanoes of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB) have yielded numerous sector and flank collapses during Pleistocene and Holocene times. Sector collapses associated with magmatic activity have yielded debris avalanches with generally limited runout extent (e.g. Popocatépetl, Jocotitlán, and Colima volcanoes). In contrast, flank collapses (smaller failures not involving the volcano summit), both associated and unassociated with magmatic activity and correlating with intense hydrothermal alteration in ice-capped volcanoes, commonly have yielded highly mobile cohesive debris flows (e.g. Pico de Orizaba and Nevado de Toluca volcanoes). Collapse orientation in the TMVB is preferentially to the south and northeast, probably reflecting the tectonic regime of active E-W and NNW faults. The differing mobilities of the flows transformed from collapses have important implications for hazard assessment. Both sector and flank collapse can yield highly mobile debris flows, but this transformation is more common in the cases of the smaller failures. High mobility is related to factors such as water content and clay content of the failed material, the paleotopography, and the extent of entrainment of sediment during flow (bulking). The ratio of fall height to runout distance commonly used for hazard zonation of debris avalanches is not valid for debris flows, which are more effectively modeled with the relation inundated area to failure or flow volume coupled with the topography of the inundated area.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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-...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Estimation of debris-flow prone basins based on geomorphic quantities and rainfall amount on granite slopes in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wakatsuki, Tsuyoshi; Sato, Masato; Inomata, Yasuhiro; Takeda, Naofumi; Aoki, Shinya

    2016-04-01

    In Japan, debris flows generally occur by fluidization of colluviums of soil slips after heavy rainfall on steep slopes. For the reduction of debris-flow disasters, the relationship among geomorphic quantities of the mountainous small drainage basin, the arrival of the debris flow to the basin outlet, and rainfall characteristics was examined by using the distribution maps of slope movements and digital elevation models (DEM) on five granite slopes. The results showed that there were geomorphic thresholds determining the lower limit of the arrival of the debris flow to the basin outlet based on the drainage area and the relief ratio. The geomorphic thresholds become smaller with an increase in rainfall amount, which increases the debris-flow risk in many basins.

  12. 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.

    2016-06-30

    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.

  13. Rainfall intensity-duration threshold and erosion competence of debris flows in four areas affected by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Chao; Wang, Yujie; Hu, Kaiheng; Du, Cui; Yang, Wentao

    2017-04-01

    Debris flows in the Wenchuan seismic region have caused human casualties and severe damage to local infrastructure. Consequently, the triggering rainfall threshold and erosion capability of post-quake debris flows has become an important research topic worldwide. In this study, we analyze five years of rainstorms and debris flow data from four typical earthquake-hit regions in order to examine the local rainfall intensity-duration (I-D) thresholds and debris supply conditions. It was found that debris flow events in the four seismic areas exhibited different I-D thresholds, related to local mean annual hourly precipitation and debris flow supply conditions. The I-D thresholds, normalized by mean annual maximum hourly rainfall, illustrate that post-quake rainfall thresholds were reduced by at least 30% compared to pre-quake levels. Regression analysis revealed a clear linear relationship between the debris supply condition and the empirical coefficient, α, of the I-D equation. This means that rainfall thresholds of post-quake debris flows in different areas are distinctive and are strongly affected by sediment volume. Different relationships between the entrainment rate and the debris volume per watershed area and its product with the channel gradient illustrate that stream sediments in Yingxiu and Dujiangyan are more eroded, and that local debris flows might persist over a shorter time than in Qingping and Beichuan in the future. Finally, debris flows in the studied area exhibit no tendency of reduction in erosion competence entrainment rate, as found in Taiwan, which might be indicative of a higher entrainment rate persisting for a longer time.

  14. Analysis of the relationship of occurrence between precipitation and debris flows in Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso-Landa, Guillermo

    2010-05-01

    The debris flows are the fast earth landslide movements, caused by hyperconcentrated flows of water and sediments, which happen in a great variety of environment throughout everybody. They are formed of a mixture of fine material (sand and clay), heavy material (gravel and rocks) and a variable amount of water, that a mud forms, which moves down towards slope, in swelling generally induced by the action of the gravity and the sudden collapse of the material in the bank. They are particularly dangerous for the life and the properties due to its high speeds and great destructive force, lowering natural houses, ways, bridges, trees and farmings, currents and ecosystems throughout its trajectory. Empirical thresholds are based on the historical analysis of the relationship of occurrence precipitation and debris flow (e.g., statistical analyses). There is now a limited number of this type of empirical thresholds and have been employed different diagrams to represent them, depending on rainfall parameters commonly used combinations: antecedent precipitation, duration, intensity and accumulated rain, to be the most famous obtained by Caine and Aleotti. In this article it was applied the function of mobilization of Iritanno and the propose relations of empirical thresholds by Caine and Aleotti to the precipitation registries that originated, among other factors, the debris flows happened in Teziutlán, México, being appraised that the relations intensity of rain-duration for this debris flow are greater from 3,43 to 2,1 times with respect to generating the empirical precipitation thresholds of debris flows proposed by Caine and Aleotti.

  15. 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.

  16. Assessment and mapping of debris flow hazard through integrated physically based models and GIS assisted methods.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aronica, Giuseppe T.; Cascone, Ernesto; Randazzo, Giovanni; Biondi, Giovanni; Lanza, Stefania; Fraccarollo, Luigi; Brigandi, Giuseppina

    2010-05-01

    Catastrophic events periodically occur in the area of Messina (Sicily, Italy). Both in October 2007 and in October 2009 debris/mud flows triggered by heavy rainfall affected various towns and villages located along the jonian coast of the town, highlighting the destructive potential of these events. The two events gave rise to severe property damage and in the latter more than 40 people were killed. Objective of this study is to present an integrated modelling approach based on three different models, namely an hydrological model, a slope stability model and an hydraulic model, to identify potential debris flow hazard areas. A continuous semi-distributed form of the well known hydrological model IHACRES has been used to derive soil moisture conditions by simulating the infiltration process in Hortonian form. As matter of fact, the soil is conceptually schematized with a catchment storage parameter which represents catchment wetness/soil moisture. The slope stability model allows identifying potential debris-flow sources and is based on the model SHALSTAB that permits to detect those parts of the catchment whose stability conditions are strongly affected by pore water pressure build-up due to local rainfall and soil conductivity and those parts of the basin that, conversely, are unconditionally stable under static loading conditions. Assuming that the solids and the interstitial fluid move downstream with the same velocity, debris flow propagation is described using a two dimensional depth averaged model. Based on extensive sediment sampling and morphological observations, the rheological characterization of the flowing mixture, along with erosion/deposition mechanisms, will be carefully considered in the model. Differential equations are integrated with an implicit Galerkin finite element scheme or, alternatively, finite volume methods. To illustrate this approach, the proposed methodology is applied to a debris flow occurred in the Mastroguglielmo catchment in

  17. 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

  18. Forecasting inundation from debris flows that grow volumetrically during travel, with application to the Oregon Coast Range, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, Mark E.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Brien, Dianne L.

    2016-11-01

    Many debris flows increase in volume as they travel downstream, enhancing their mobility and hazard. Volumetric growth can result from diverse physical processes, such as channel sediment entrainment, stream bank collapse, adjacent landsliding, hillslope erosion and rilling, and coalescence of multiple debris flows; incorporating these varied phenomena into physics-based debris-flow models is challenging. As an alternative, we embedded effects of debris-flow growth into an empirical/statistical approach to forecast potential inundation areas within digital landscapes in a GIS framework. Our approach used an empirical debris-growth function to account for the effects of growth phenomena. We applied this methodology to a debris-flow-prone area in the Oregon Coast Range, USA, where detailed mapping revealed areas of erosion and deposition along paths of debris flows that occurred during a large storm in 1996. Erosion was predominant in stream channels with slopes > 5°. Using pre- and post-event aerial photography, we derived upslope contributing area and channel-length growth factors. Our method reproduced the observed inundation patterns produced by individual debris flows; it also generated reproducible, objective potential inundation maps for entire drainage networks. These maps better matched observations than those using previous methods that focus on proximal or distal regions of a drainage network.

  19. Forecasting inundation from debris flows that grow during travel, with application to the Oregon Coast Range, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reid, Mark E.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Brien, Dianne

    2016-01-01

    Many debris flows increase in volume as they travel downstream, enhancing their mobility and hazard. Volumetric growth can result from diverse physical processes, such as channel sediment entrainment, stream bank collapse, adjacent landsliding, hillslope erosion and rilling, and coalescence of multiple debris flows; incorporating these varied phenomena into physics-based debris-flow models is challenging. As an alternative, we embedded effects of debris-flow growth into an empirical/statistical approach to forecast potential inundation areas within digital landscapes in a GIS framework. Our approach used an empirical debris-growth function to account for the effects of growth phenomena. We applied this methodology to a debris-flow-prone area in the Oregon Coast Range, USA, where detailed mapping revealed areas of erosion and deposition along paths of debris flows that occurred during a large storm in 1996. Erosion was predominant in stream channels with slopes > 5°. Using pre- and post-event aerial photography, we derived upslope contributing area and channel-length growth factors. Our method reproduced the observed inundation patterns produced by individual debris flows; it also generated reproducible, objective potential inundation maps for entire drainage networks. These maps better matched observations than those using previous methods that focus on proximal or distal regions of a drainage network.

  20. On the hyperbolicity of a two-fluid model for debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mineo, C.; Torrisi, M.

    2010-05-01

    We consider the system of partial differential equations associated with the mathematical model for debris flows proposed by E.B. Pitman and L. Le (Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, 363, 1573-1601, 2005) and analyze the problem of the hyperbolicity of the model.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Transient hazard model using radar data for predicting debris flows in Madison County, Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morrissey, M.M.; Wieczorek, G.F.; Morgan, B.A.

    2004-01-01

    During the rainstorm of June 27, 1995, roughly 330-750 mm of rain fell within a 16-hour period, initiating floods and over 600 debris flows in a small area (130 km2) of Madison County, VA. We developed a distributed version of Iverson's transient response model for regional slope stability analysis for the Madison County debris flows. This version of the model evaluates pore-pressure head response and factor of safety on a regional scale in areas prone to rainfall-induced shallow (<2-3 m) landslides. These calculations used soil properties of shear strength and hydraulic conductivity from laboratory measurements of soil samples collected from field sites where debris flows initiated. Rainfall data collected by radar every 6 minutes provided a basis for calculating the temporal variation of slope stability during the storm. The results demonstrate that the spatial and temporal variation of the factor of safety correlates with the movement of the storm cell. When the rainstorm was treated as two separate rainfall events and a larger hydraulic conductivity and friction angle than the laboratory values were used, the timing and location of landslides predicted by the model were in closer agreement with eyewitness observations of debris flows. Application of spatially variable initial pre-storm water table depth and soil properties may improve both the spatial and temporal prediction of instability.

  4. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eaton, L.S.; Morgan, B.A.; Kochel, R.C.; Howard, A.D.

    2003-01-01

    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 in 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. Spatiotemporal sequence of Himalayan debris flow from analysis of high-frequency seismic noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burtin, A.; Bollinger, L.; Cattin, R.; Vergne, J.; Nábělek, J. L.

    2009-10-01

    During the 2003 summer monsoon, the Hi-CLIMB seismological stations deployed across the Himalayan Range detected bursts of high-frequency seismic noise that lasted several hours to days. On the basis of the cross correlation of seismic envelopes recorded at 11 stations, we show that the largest transient event on 15 August was located nearby a village partially destroyed on that day by a devastating debris flow. This consistency in both space and time suggests that high-frequency seismic noise analysis can be used to monitor debris flow generation as well as the evacuation of the sediment. A systematic study of one year of seismic noise, focusing on the detection of similar events, provides information on the spatial and temporal occurrence of mass movements at the front of the Himalayas. With a 50% probability of occurrence of a daily event, a total of 46 debris flows are seismically detected. Most of them were generated in regions of steep slopes, large gullies, and loose soils during the 2003 summer monsoon storms. These events are compared to local meteorological data to determine rainfall thresholds for slope failures, including the cumulative rainfall needed to bring the soil moisture content to failure capacity. The inferred thresholds are consistent with previous estimates deduced from soil studies as well as sediment supply investigations in the area. These results point out the potential of using seismic noise as a dedicated tool for monitoring the spatiotemporal occurrence of landslides and debris flows on a regional scale.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Regional scale analysis of the topographic signatures of landslide/debris flow dominated processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarolli, P.; Righetto, A.

    2012-04-01

    The morphology of alpine headwater basins is strongly influenced by erosion processes. The relationship between landforms and erosion processes has been analyzed based on the relationship between slope and drainage area (Montgomery and Foufoula-Georgiou, 1993), because among parameters derived from a DTM (Digital Terrain Model), slope and drainage area are deemed to be pertinent for studying overall erosion dynamics. Thanks to LiDAR and high resolution topography now is possible to reach a better representation of hillslope morphology, and then recognize in detail the topographic signature of valley incision by landslides and debris flows (Tarolli and Dalla Fontana, 2009). In this work we present a tentative of a regional scale analysis of such signature. In the analysis we derived the slope-area relationship using high-resolution DTMs with 2.5 m cells derived from LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data. We considered 23 catchments, characterized by soil-mantled landscape, and where several debris flows occurred in the year 2009. The results showed that in 83% catchments the topographic signature of debris flow processes is clearly present, while in the remaining catchments only hillslopes, unchanneled valleys and alluvial channels regions are recognized. The slope-area relationships of few catchments where no debris flows were observed during 2009 events, nor reported in the historical database, were then analyzed. For these basins the slope-area relationship does not evidence the topographic signature of debris flow processes. According to these results the presented methodology really can help for a right preliminary analysis and classification of alpine catchments based on their dominant geomorphological processes. The methodology should be used for a first and quick interpretation, in support to field surveys and more complex physically based modeling analysis.

  12. Large woody debris and flow resistance in step-pool channels, Cascade Range, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Curran, Janet H.; Wohl, Ellen E.

    2003-01-01

    Total flow resistance, measured as Darcy-Weisbach f, in 20 step-pool channels with large woody debris (LWD) in Washington, ranged from 5 to 380 during summer low flows. Step risers in the study streams consist of either (1) large and relatively immobile woody debris, bedrock, or roots that form fixed, or “forced,” steps, or (2) smaller and relatively mobile wood or clasts, or a mixture of both, arranged across the channel by the stream. Flow resistance in step-pool channels may be partitioned into grain, form, and spill resistance. Grain resistance is calculated as a function of particle size, and form resistance is calculated as large woody debris drag. Combined, grain and form resistance account for less than 10% of the total flow resistance. We initially assumed that the substantial remaining portion is spill resistance attributable to steps. However, measured step characteristics could not explain between-reach variations in flow resistance. This suggests that other factors may be significant; the coefficient of variation of the hydraulic radius explained 43% of the variation in friction factors between streams, for example. Large woody debris generates form resistance on step treads and spill resistance at step risers. Because the form resistance of step-pool channels is relatively minor compared to spill resistance and because wood in steps accentuates spill resistance by increasing step height, we suggest that wood in step risers influences channel hydraulics more than wood elsewhere in the channel. Hence, the distribution and function, not just abundance, of large woody debris is critical in steep, step-pool channels.

  13. 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

  14. Progress of a sediment wave along the Lillooet River, British Columbia following a large debris flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rego, K. G.; Eaton, B. C.; Hassan, M. A.; Lauer, J. W.

    2014-12-01

    We report field data and preliminary numerical modeling results documenting the transit of a sediment wave along the Lillooet River following a large debris flow in 2010. The Lillooet drains a midsize ( 4000 km2) glacially-influenced alpine catchment. Our study reach lies 70 km between the Mt. Meager Volcanic Complex (MMVC) and Lillooet Lake, which traps over 90% of incoming sediment. The channel transitions from braided and cobble-bedded to straight and sand-bedded, and the downstream half is dyked. Sediment supply is dominated by frequent debris flows originating in the MMVC. In 2010, a landslide on the MMVC released 48.5 x 106 m3 of material and triggered a debris flow that extended 2.5 km down the Lillooet Valley, briefly damming the river and causing an outburst flood. 1500 valley residents were evacuated temporarily, and the event led to $10 M CAD of damage to commercial forests and roads. The subsequent sediment wave is expected to lead to channel aggradation, putting pressure on the Lillooet's dyking system. We conducted bulk sampling and Wolman pebble counts along the river in 2014. Grainsize distributions from channel bars along the reach are compared to those of cutbanks to track the extent of the wave and the mobility of individual grainsize classes. We use the Morphodynamics and Sediment Tracers in 1-Dimension (MAST-1D) model to simulate the Lillooet's response to the debris flow on decadal timescales and to predict its recovery time. Sediment from the debris flow is traced in the model to estimate the proportion of the sediment wave that will remain in permanent storage within the valley fill. Future work will focus on quantifying the role of floodplain-channel interactions on sediment wave evolution for decadal and longer timescales.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Trace projection transformation: a new method for measurement of debris flow surface velocity fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Yan; Cui, Peng; Guo, Xiaojun; Ge, Yonggang

    2016-12-01

    Spatiotemporal variation of velocity is important for debris flow dynamics. This paper presents a new method, the trace projection transformation, for accurate, non-contact measurement of a debris-flow surface velocity field based on a combination of dense optical flow and perspective projection transformation. The algorithm for interpreting and processing is implemented in C ++ and realized in Visual Studio 2012. The method allows quantitative analysis of flow motion through videos from various angles (camera positioned at the opposite direction of fluid motion). It yields the spatiotemporal distribution of surface velocity field at pixel level and thus provides a quantitative description of the surface processes. The trace projection transformation is superior to conventional measurement methods in that it obtains the full surface velocity field by computing the optical flow of all pixels. The result achieves a 90% accuracy of when comparing with the observed values. As a case study, the method is applied to the quantitative analysis of surface velocity field of a specific debris flow.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    deWolfe, Victor G.; Santi, Paul M.; Ey, J.; Gartner, Joseph E.

    2008-04-01

    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 m 3 at Knight Canyon. The mitigation measures, therefore, reduced the debris volume by several orders of magnitude. For comparison, rainstorm-induced debris

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Hydrologic and Geomorphologic Assessment of Debris Flow Events for Mount Hood Highway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong, A.

    2003-04-01

    A hydrologic and geomorphologic assessment was performed for past debris flows events for Mount Hood Highway. This highway is located on the eastern and southern flank of the Mount Hood, a dormant volcano that is part of Cascade Range in Oregon State in western United States. There are at least twelve glaciers or named snowfields located on Mount Hood containing approximately 0.35 cubic kilometers of ice. Various streams crossing this highway have glacial origin and the glacial-melt provides majority of discharge. The highway crossings, bridges or culverts, on these streams have routinely suffered severe damage due to debris flows. This paper presents assessment for two stream drainages, White River and Pollalie Creek. The primary objective of this assessment was to select a design alternative with least total life cycle cost. A range of alternatives, including relocation of the highway, were considered. Glacial outbursts and associated lahar events on Mount Hood can generate peak discharges that are one to two orders of magnitude larger than seasonal peak flow discharge. Additionally, debris flows associated with these events have the potential to permanently alter the channel morphologies of streams that emanate from the upper reaches of the mountain. A number of triggering mechanisms, including glacial, geothermal, and meteorological, have been suggested as the cause of these events; however, a strong correlation between cause and effect has not been identified. Major streams such as White River, Newton Creek, and Clark Creek, whose headwaters are located at glacier termini, can become laden with debris flow material and inflict severe damage to highway structures located downstream. These structures are typically designed to pass a specific calculated peak discharge for rain-on-snow events and are not hardened or sized to withstand the forces of these extreme debris flows. During this assessment it was evident that conventional hydrologic methods, regression

  7. Different approaches to assess the volume of debris-flows deposits: are results comparable?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michelini, T.; Bertoldi, G.; D'Agostino, V.

    2012-04-01

    Debris-flow hazard planning is heavily dependent on the sediment-volume estimation along with its expected frequency. The reliable determination of this variable allows debris-flow simulation and derives from several methods: statistical elaboration of maximum rainfall/runoff/sediment volumes series, empirical approaches based on catchment morphology, and field surveys on the potential sediment availability. The historical series analysis should be one of the best solution to assess debris-flow magnitude and frequency, especially for unlimited sediment supply basins. Nevertheless this task is difficult due to the lack or non homogeneity of data. Over last decades some Alpine catchments authorities have initiated to systematically record the event features by means of post-event measures, but there is not yet a definitive standard method. An analysis on the variable estimation of volumes of debris-flow deposits volume is here presented. Study area is located in Italian Central Alps and deals with three neighboring small catchments (<5 square kilometers) characterized by unaltered and almost natural fans at the left side of the Sarca river of 'Val Genova' (Trentino Region, Italy). The investigated catchments, Dosson, Cercen and Gabbiolo, have an unlimited sediment supply which causes granular debris flows made of granitic cobbles and boulders in a sandy matrix. Five recent debris flows events have been studied: two occurred on the 11th of July 2010 and on the 20th of September 1999 in the Dosson torrent, one occurred on the 24th-25th of August 1987 in the Cercen torrent, and two on the 25th of September 2006 and on the 20th of September 1999 in the Gabbiolo torrent. The integration of digital terrain model analysis, information about soil geomorphology and forestry cover, and field observations has allowed mapping the debris-flow deposits. Furthermore, data about deposit thicknesses and angles of deposition at the fan surface were measured. Thanks to these data some

  8. 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

  9. 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. Such

  10. Holocene activity of an alpine debris-flow catchment: does climate control erosion rate variability?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savi, S.; Norton, K. P.; Brardinoni, F.; Akçar, N.; Kubik, P.; Picotti, V.; Schlunegger, F.

    2012-12-01

    The Zielbach catchment is located in the central-eastern Italian Alps. It covers an area of ca. 40 km2 and is characterized by fluvial sediment transport along the main drainage basin, and by the supply of sediment through debris flows, derived from a ca. 10 km2 tributary catchment. A debris-flow database demonstrates that nowadays this latter tributary dominates the sediment budget of the entire Zielbach. In this study, we analyze modern and paleo-erosion rates of the catchment through the application of the cosmogenic nuclides technique. For modern erosion rate, samples of river-born sand were taken from the main river and tributaries along the entire drainage system, while paleo-erosion rates are calculated thanks to cores' samples, which were collected on the alluvial fan and which were likewise dated based on 14C measurements of organic matter. Results obtained from the modern drainage system reveal the spatial erosion rate variability that characterizes the catchment nowadays (values ranging from 2.6 to 0.15 mm/yr). This spatial pattern is characterized by a generally increasing trend of 10Be values where hillslope contributions predominate and by a decreasing concentration trend where sediment has been supplied by debris flows. Results obtained from the cores allow the reconstruction of the Zielbach Holocene evolution and the assignment of the climate role on the temporal erosion rate variability (values ranging between 21 and 0.43 mm/yr). 14C concentrations of organic material collected from the core material indicate a lowermost age of 10'000 yr at ca. 35 m depth. The sedimentary fabric of the deposits indicates that the fan is built up by alternation of alluvial and debris-flow deposits, where the latter ones dominate in volumes. The stratigraphic architecture also infers that alluvial deposits correspond to periods of low activity of the debris-flow catchment. Most important, however, paleo-erosion rates indicate a decreasing trend for the debris-flow

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The influence of vegetation cover on debris-flow density during an extreme rainfall in the northern Colorado Front Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rengers, Francis; Mcguire, Luke; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Kean, Jason W.; Baum, Rex L.; Staley, Dennis M.; Godt, Jonathan W.

    2016-01-01

    We explored regional influences on debris-flow initiation throughout the Colorado Front Range (Colorado, USA) by exploiting a unique data set of more than 1100 debris flows that initiated during a 5 day rainstorm in 2013. Using geospatial data, we examined the influence of rain, hillslope angle, hillslope aspect, and vegetation density on debris-flow initiation. In particular we used a greenness index to differentiate areas of high tree density from grass and bare soil. The data demonstrated an overwhelming propensity for debris-flow initiation on south-facing hillslopes. However, when the debris-flow density was analyzed with respect to total rainfall and greenness we found that most debris flows occurred in areas of high rainfall and low tree density, regardless of hillslope aspect. These results indicate that present-day tree density exerts a stronger influence on debris-flow initiation locations than aspect-driven variations in soil and bedrock properties that developed over longer time scales.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Experiments on the dynamics of sub-aerial two-phase debris flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paleo Cageao, Paloma; Turnbull, Barbara; Bartelt, Perry

    2013-04-01

    Debris flows are a threatening natural phenomena to human life, infrastructure and the environment in mountain areas. They exhibit changing flow regimes from initiation to deposition. While regions are liquefied due to high fluid pressure during the motion, other regions contain coarser material with high internal friction exhibiting granular flow features. Existing models have significant limitations and many assumptions are required to fit these extremely complex fluid-particle interaction flows. In this work, a laboratory experiment has been designed to model debris flow motion, to measure crucial features such as bulk velocities, particle distribution and deposition patterns. The experiments were conducted in a flume of 1.5 m long, 0.15 m wide, 0.23 m deep. The chute angle was constant at 27°. Flows were generated by releasing glass bead-glycerol and glass bead-water mixtures from behind a lock- gate at the top of the chute. The evolution of the flow was captured with high speed video, and PIV analysis provided velocity profiles over the entire flow depth and along the slope. Shear and normal stresses were measured at the basal surface in addition to the fluid pore pressure. Data from a wide parameter space, testing the influence of different terrain roughness, fluid viscosity and particle size and dispersion, have been analysed to find the dependence of mean flow velocity and velocity profile on the multiphase mixture properties. These are a significant step in providing rigorous validation to depth-averaged models.

  18. Satellite-rainfall estimation for identification of rainfall thresholds used for landslide/debris flow prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maggioni, Viviana; Nikolopoulos, Efthymios I.; Marra, Francesco; Destro, Elisa; Borga, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Rainfall-induced landslides and debris flows pose a significant and widespread hazard, resulting in a large number of casualties and enormous economic damages worldwide. Rainfall thresholds are often used to identify the local or regional rainfall conditions that, when reached or exceeded, are likely to result in landslides or debris flows. Rain gauge data are the typical source of information for the definition of these rainfall thresholds. However, in-situ observations over mountainous areas, where these hazards mainly occur, are very sparse or inexistent. Therefore identification and use of gauge-based rainfall thresholds is impossible in many landslide prone areas over the globe. The vast advancements in satellite-based precipitation estimation over the last couple of decades have lead to the creation of a number of global precipitation datasets at various spatiotemporal resolutions. Although several investigations have shown that these datasets can be associated with considerable uncertainty, they provide the only source of precipitation information over many areas around the globe. Therefore it is important to assess their performance in the context of landslide/debris flow prediction and investigate how we can potentially benefit from the information they provide. In this work, we evaluate the performance of three widely used quasi-global satellite precipitation products (3B42v7, PERSIANN and CMORPH) for the identification of rainfall threshold for landslide/debris flow triggering. Products are available at 0.25deg/3h resolution. The study region is focused over the Upper Adige river basin, northern Italy where a detailed database of more than 400 identified debris flows (during period 2000-2015) and a raingauge network of 95 stations, is available. Rain-gauge based rainfall thresholds are compared against satellite-based thresholds to evaluate strengths and limitations in using satellite precipitation estimates for defining rainfall thresholds. Analysis of

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Rainfall thresholds for the initiation of debris flows at La Honda, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, R.C.; Wieczorek, G.F.

    1995-01-01

    A simple numerical model, based on the physical analogy of a leaky barrel, can simulate significant features of the interaction between rainfall and shallow-hillslope pore pressures. The leaky-barrel-model threshold is consistent with, but slightly higher than, an earlier, purely empirical, threshold. The number of debris flows triggered by a storm can be related to the time and amount by which the leaky-barrel-model response exceeded the threshold during the storm. -from Authors

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Seismic Detection of Debris Flow in the Himalayas and Their Spatiotemporal Characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burtin, A.; Bollinger, L.; Vergne, J.; Cattin, R.; Hi-Climb Team

    2008-12-01

    During the 2003 summer monsoon, the Hi-CLIMB seismological stations deployed at the front of the High Himalayan range have detected bursts of high-frequency seismic noise (up to 30 dB increase in the 2-22 Hz frequency band) that last for several hours. The largest transient event on August 15th 2003 is located by cross-correlating the envelope of the signal observed at 10 stations, nearby a village partially destroyed the same day by a devastating debris flow. Detailed analyses of the seismic signal help to depict the time sequence of the debris flow generation as well as the evacuation of the sediment supply. Moreover, a systematic scan of one year of seismic noise, focusing on the detection of similar events, brings information on the spatial and temporal occurrences of slope failures at the front of the High Himalayan range. A total of 19 debris flows are detected by the seismic stations, most of them being generated in a region of steep slopes, large gullies and loose soils during storms in the 2003 summer monsoon period. These seismic events are further compared to local meteorological data to determine some rainfall thresholds for hillslope processes, including the cumulative rainfall needed to bring the soils to moisture at which they reach their failure capacity. The inferred threshold value is consistent with previous estimates deduced from soil studies as well as sediment supply investigations in the area. These results point out the potential of using seismic noise as a dedicated tool for monitoring the spatiotemporal occurrence of landslides and debris flow at regional scale.

  17. Debris Flow Architecture and Processes in Offshore Trinidad: Implications for basin fill in tectonically active margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moscardelli, L.; Wood, L.; Mann, P.

    2004-12-01

    The eastern continental margin of Trinidad is situated along the tectonically active oblique converging southeastern boundary of the Caribbean and South American plates and proximal to the Orinoco Delta. Factors that have contributed to gravitational instabilities in the shelf edge include high sedimentation accumulation rates, high frequency sea-level fluctuations during the Quaternary, frequent earthquakes and the abundance of methane hydrate. This volatile mix of factors favor the formation of episodic gravity induced deposits that have affected thousands of square kilometers of the deep marine environment. Debris flows are the predominant type of gravity induced deposits in the area. Multiple episodes of debris flow occurrence have been identified using nearly 10,000 square kilometers of three-dimensional seismic data that cover the entire eastern margin. Units can reach up to 250 meters in thickness and occur over 100's of kilometer square areas. Maps that have been generated for the uppermost flow show significant basal scour, up to 33 meters deep generated during passage of the flow. Scours also show divergent patterns in map view indicating changes in the flow conditions. Flow scour erosional shadows around prominent seafloor mud volcanoes preserving evacuated strata on the downslope side of these obstructions. Internal architecture shows high amplitude discontinuous and chaotic seismic facies, and stacked thrust imbricates association with compressional bends in the flow path. The scale and occurrence frequency of these features suggest that they may form a significant threat to submarine installations and possibly generate tsunamigenic waves that can threaten shipping and coastal communities.

  18. 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

  19. A regional reconstruction of debris-flow activity in the Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Procter, Emily; Bollschweiler, Michelle; Stoffel, Markus; Neumann, Mathias

    2011-09-01

    Dendrogeomorphic dating of historical debris-flow events is a highly valuable tool for improving historical records in the field of natural hazard management. Previous dendrogeomorphic investigations generally have focused on case studies of single torrents; however, regional investigations may offer a more accurate reconstruction of regional patterns of activity and therefore may have an advantage over individual cases. The aim of the study is to provide a regional reconstruction of debris-flow events for a site in the Northern Calcareous Alps of western Austria (Gamperdonatal, Vorarlberg) and to document spatial and temporal morphological changes in individual and neighboring torrents. Analysis of 442 trees (268 Pinus mugo ssp. uncinata, 164 Picea abies, and 10 Abies alba) allowed identification of 579 growth disturbances corresponding to 63 debris-flow events since A.D. 1839. The majority of growth disturbances were in the form of growth suppression or release (76%) owing to the nature of both the deposited material and the process characteristics. Regional patterns of event frequency indicated a paucity of activity in the early to mid-twentieth century and increased activity since A.D. 1948, whereby large events were followed by subsequent years of continued activity of smaller magnitude. Patterns of frequency could be attributed primarily to spatiotemporal changes in channel morphology, but may also be reflective of changes in transport conditions within the valley. This study provides the first regional investigation in the Austrian Alps and contributes to the documentation of tree responses to geomorphic disturbances in calcareous material.

  20. Research on Rainfall data of Debris Flow Monitoring Station via WSN Technique and Spatial Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Y.; Lee, B.; King, C.; Chen, M.; Lien, J.; Yin, H.; Wang, H.

    2008-12-01

    Rainfall record is one of the most important Hydrological data. While analyzing the rainfall data, the integrality of the rainfall materials can't be neglected. There are correct rainfall materials that can just offer an intact hydrology analysis. In 2007, Taiwan suffered Krosa typhoon and caused debris flow disasters. This research discusses the Soil and Water Conservation Bureau's (SWCB) debris flow station's rainfall data with Central Weather Bureau's (CWB). Based on CWS's rainfall materials, remove the effect or terrain and then utilize ArcGIS9.1 of GIS software interpolation methods such as Kriging methods to estimate the debris flow station's rainfall value. In addition, we propose a wireless sensor network (WSN) based automatic weather stations (AWS), which takes advantage of the low-cost, real-time and infrastructure-free characteristics of WSN. We can therefore extend the scale of weather monitoring without increasing the number of telecommunication equipments. This WSN-based AWS is able to cover a plane and gather multiple sets of weather measurements in real-time at a better data resolution.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Intensity-duration threshold of rainfall-triggered debris flows in the Wenchuan Earthquake affected area, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Xiaojun; Cui, Peng; Li, Yong; Ma, Li; Ge, Yonggang; Mahoney, William B.

    2016-01-01

    The Ms 8.0 Wenchuan Earthquake has greatly altered the rainfall threshold for debris flows in the affected areas. This study explores the local intensity-duration (I-D) relationship based on 252 post-earthquake debris flows. It was found that I = 5.25 D-0.76 accounts for more than 98% of the debris flow occurrences with rainfall duration between 1 and 135 h; therefore the curve defines the threshold for debris flows in the study area. This gives much lower thresholds than those proposed by the previous studies, suggesting that the earthquake has greatly decreased the thresholds in the past years. Moreover, the rainfall thresholds appear to increase annually in the period of 2008-2013, and present a logarithmic increasing tendency, indicating that the thresholds will recover in the future decades.

  7. 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

  8. 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.