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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 18, issue 2 | Copyright

Special issue: Landslide early warning systems: monitoring systems, rainfall...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 555-570, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-18-555-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 21 Feb 2018

Research article | 21 Feb 2018

Debris flow run-out simulation and analysis using a dynamic model

Raquel Melo1, Theo van Asch2, and José L. Zêzere1 Raquel Melo et al.
  • 1Centre for Geographical Studies, Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, Universidade de Lisboa, Edifício IGOT, Rua Branca Edmée Marques, 1600-276 Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80115, 3508 TC Utrecht, the Netherlands

Abstract. Only two months after a huge forest fire occurred in the upper part of a valley located in central Portugal, several debris flows were triggered by intense rainfall. The event caused infrastructural and economic damage, although no lives were lost. The present research aims to simulate the run-out of two debris flows that occurred during the event as well as to calculate via back-analysis the rheological parameters and the excess rain involved. Thus, a dynamic model was used, which integrates surface runoff, concentrated erosion along the channels, propagation and deposition of flow material. Afterwards, the model was validated using 32 debris flows triggered during the same event that were not considered for calibration. The rheological and entrainment parameters obtained for the most accurate simulation were then used to perform three scenarios of debris flow run-out on the basin scale. The results were confronted with the existing buildings exposed in the study area and the worst-case scenario showed a potential inundation that may affect 345 buildings. In addition, six streams where debris flow occurred in the past and caused material damage and loss of lives were identified.

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Only two months after a huge forest fire occurred in the upper part of a valley located in central Portugal, several debris flows were triggered by intense rainfall. This research aims to simulate the debris flow run-out for the entire basin, using a dynamic model. Three scenarios were developed and the results were confronted with the existing buildings exposed in the study area. The worst-case scenario showed a potential inundation that may affect 345 buildings.
Only two months after a huge forest fire occurred in the upper part of a valley located in...
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