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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 31 Aug 2018

Research article | 31 Aug 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Study on the combined threshold for gully-type debris flow early warning

Jian Huang1, Theodoor Wouterus Johannes van Asch1,2, Changming Wang1, and Qiao Li1 Jian Huang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu, Sichuan 610059, China
  • 2Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584, CS, the Netherlands

Abstract. Gully-type debris flow induced by high-intensity and short-duration rainfall, frequently cause a great loss of properties and causalities in mountainous regions of Southwest China. In order to reduce the risk by geohazards, early warning systems have been provided. A triggering index can be detected in an early stage by the monitoring of rainfall and the changes in physical properties of the deposited materials along debris flow channel. Based on the method of critical pore pressure for slope stability analysis, this study presents critical pore pressure thresholds in combination with rainfall factors for gully-type debris flow early warning. The Wenjia gully, which contains an enormous amount of loose materials, was selected as a case study to reveal the relationship between the rainfalls and pore pressure, which can be used as a combined warning threshold. A three-level early warning system (Zero, Attention, and Warning) is adopted and the corresponding judgement conditions are defined in real-time. Based on this threshold, several rainfall events in recent years have been validated to prove that such a comprehensive threshold may be a reliable approach for the early warning of debris flows to safeguard the population in the mountainous areas.

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Short summary
Wenjia gully is a typical gully-type debris flow, which has a large-scale catchment and great hazard risk to the local people. Based on the monitoring data for almost six years until now, the characteristic of debris-flow triggering parameters (pore pressure and rainfall) have been analyzed, especially the relationship to debris flow occurrences or not. Then, a combined threshold has been presented and tested in order to provide a method for safeguarding the population in the region.
Wenjia gully is a typical gully-type debris flow, which has a large-scale catchment and great...