Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
13 Oct 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).
Hydrological control of large hurricane-induced lahars: evidences from rainfall, seismic and video monitoring
Lucia Capra1, Velio Coviello1, Lorenzo Borselli2, Víctor-Hugo Márquez-Ramírez1, and Raul Arámbula-Mendoza3 1Centro de Geociencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Campus Juriquilla, Queretaro, México
2Instituto de Geología, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, México
3Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones en Vulcanología (CUEIV), Universidad de Colima, Colima, México
Abstract. The Volcán de Colima, one of the most active volcanoes in Mexico, is commonly affected by tropical rains related to hurricanes that form over the Pacific Ocean. In 2001, 2013 and 2016 hurricanes Jova, Manuel and Patricia, respectively, promoted tropical storms that accumulated up to 400 mm of rain in 36 hrs, with maximum intensities of 50 mm/hrs. Effects were devastating, with the formation of multiple lahars along La Lumbre and Montegrande ravines, which are the most active channels in sediment delivery on the S-SW flank of the volcano. Deep erosion along the river channels and several landslides at their side were observed, and damages to bridges and paved roads for the arrival of block-rich fronts resulted in the distal reach of the ravines. Based on data from real-time monitoring (including images, seismic records and rainfall data), the temporal sequence of these events is reconstructed and analyzed with respect to the rainfall characteristics and the hydrological response of the watersheds based on rainfall/infiltration numerical simulation. For the studied events, lahars occurred after 5–6 hours since rainfall started, lasted several hours and were characterized by several pulses with block-rich fronts and a maximum flow discharge of 900 m3/s. Rainfall/infiltration simulations were performer with the Flo-2D code using the SCS-Curve number infiltration model. Results show different behaviors for the arrival times of the first lahar pulses that correlate with the catchment’s peak discharge for La Lumbre ravine and with the peaks in rainfall intensity for Montegrande ravine. This different behavior is strictly related to the area and shape of these two watersheds. Nerveless, for all the analyzed cases, the largest lahar pulse always corresponds with the last one and correlates with the maximum peak discharge of these catchments. Data here presented show that main pulses within a lahar are not randomly distributed in time, and they can be correlated with rainfall peak intensity and/or watershed discharge, depending on the watershed area and shape. This outcome has important implications for hazard assessment during extreme hydro-meteorological events since it could help in real-time alert. A stormwater was here designed based on the rainfall time distribution of hurricanes Manuel and Patricia and, in case on available weather forecasts, it can be used to run simulations prior to the event, and have an estimation of the time arrivals of main pulses, usually characterized by block-rich fronts that are responsible of damage to infrastructures and loss of goods and lives.

Citation: Capra, L., Coviello, V., Borselli, L., Márquez-Ramírez, V.-H., and Arámbula-Mendoza, R.: Hydrological control of large hurricane-induced lahars: evidences from rainfall, seismic and video monitoring, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Lucia Capra et al.
Lucia Capra et al.
Lucia Capra et al.


Total article views: 360 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
294 63 3 360 1 1

Views and downloads (calculated since 13 Oct 2017)

Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 13 Oct 2017)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 360 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

Thereof 360 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.

Country # Views %
  • 1



Latest update: 18 Jan 2018
Publications Copernicus