Formation, breaching and flood consequences of a landslide dam near Bujumbura, Burundi

Nibigira, Léonidas; Havenith, Hans-Balder; Archambeau, Pierre; Dewals, Benjamin

This paper investigates the possible formation of a landslide dam on the Kanyosha River near Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, as well as the interplay between the breaching of this landslide dam and the flooding along the river. We present an end-to-end analysis, ranging from the origin of the landslide up to the computation of flood waves induced by the dam breaching. The study includes three main steps. First, the mass movement site was investigated with various geophysical methods that allowed us to build a general 3-D model and detailed 2-D sections of the landslide. Second, this model was used for dynamic landslide process modelling with the Universal Distinct Element Code. The results showed that a 15 m high landslide dam may form on the river. Finally, a 2-D hydraulic model was set up to find out the consequences of the breaching of the landslide dam on flooding along the river, especially in an urban area located downstream. Based on 2-D maps of maximum water depth, flow velocity and wave propagation time, the results highlight that neglecting the influence of such landslide dams leads to substantial underestimation of flood intensity in the downstream area.



Nibigira, Léonidas / Havenith, Hans-Balder / Archambeau, Pierre / et al: Formation, breaching and flood consequences of a landslide dam near Bujumbura, Burundi. 2018. Copernicus Publications.


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