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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-406
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-406
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 28 Jan 2019

Research article | 28 Jan 2019

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

From examination of natural events a proposal for risk mitigation of lahars by a cellular automata methodology: a case study for Vascún valley, Ecuador

Valeria Lupiano1,2, Francesco Chidichimo3, Guillermo Machado4, Paolo Catelan3,5, Lorena Molina4, Salvatore Straface3, Gino M. Crisci1, and Salvatore Di Gregorio6,7 Valeria Lupiano et al.
  • 1Department of Biology, Ecology, Earth Sciences, University of Calabria, Arcavacata, 87036 Rende, Italy
  • 2Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, CNR - IRPI, Via Cavour 6, 87030 Rende, CS, Italy
  • 3Department of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, University of Calabria, Arcavacata, 87036 Rende, Italy
  • 4Faculty of Engineering, National University of Chimborazo, Riobamba, Ecuador
  • 5CEAA - Centro de Energías Alternativas y Ambiente,Escuela Superior Politécnica del Chimborazo, Riobamba, Ecuador
  • 6Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Calabria, Arcavacata, 87036 Rende, Italy
  • 7ISAC - CNR, Lamezia Terme, Zona Industriale 88046 Lamezia Terme, CZ, Italy

Abstract. Lahars are erosive floods, mixtures of water and pyroclastic deposits, they look the biggest environmental disaster as number of fatalities in the volcanic areas. Security measures have been recently adopted in the threatened territories, by constructing retaining dams and embankments in key positions. Such solutions could involve a strong environmental impact for the works and the continuous accumulation of volcanic deposits, such that equilibrium conditions could lack far, triggering more disastrous events. An improved version of the Cellular Automaton model LLUNPIY for lahars simulations is presented. The growing frequency of lahars, maybe for the climatic change, in the Vascún Valley of Tungurahua Volcano, Ecuador has recently produced smaller and less dangerous events, sometimes favoured by the collapse of temporary ponds, generated by small landslides. An investigation is here performed in order to reproduce such situations in controlled way by the use of LLUNPIY simulations. Using precise field data, points are individuated where dams by backfills, easy to collapse, can produce momentary ponds; LLUNPIY simulations permit to project triggering of small lahars by minor rainfall events or to project in the case of larger rainfalls the anticipation of lahar detachment, avoiding simultaneous and dangerous confluence with other lahars.

Valeria Lupiano et al.
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Valeria Lupiano et al.
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Short summary
A method for risk mitigation of secondary lahars, triggered by violent rainfalls, is proposed as alternative to works for their containment or deviation, that could cause future disasters. It is based on the controlled generation of small lahars as a result of collapse of frail dams by backfill, forming momentary ponds as in natural cases. LLUNPIY verifies by simulation path, velocity, thickness, erosion of lahars, that could be produced; a complex case study for Vascún Valley, Ecuador is shown.
A method for risk mitigation of secondary lahars, triggered by violent rainfalls, is proposed as...
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