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

Melo, Raquel; van Asch, Theo; Zêzere, José L.

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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Melo, Raquel / van Asch, Theo / Zêzere, José L.: Debris flow run-out simulation and analysis using a dynamic model. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Raquel Melo et al.

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