Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 2.883 IF 2.883
  • IF 5-year value: 3.321 IF 5-year
    3.321
  • CiteScore value: 3.07 CiteScore
    3.07
  • SNIP value: 1.336 SNIP 1.336
  • IPP value: 2.80 IPP 2.80
  • SJR value: 1.024 SJR 1.024
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 81 Scimago H
    index 81
  • h5-index value: 43 h5-index 43
Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-239
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-239
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 02 Aug 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).

Erosion after an extreme storm event in an arid fluvial system of the southern Atacama Desert: an assessment of magnitude, return time, and conditioning factors of erosion caused by debris flows

Germán Aguilar1, Albert Cabré1,2, Victor Fredes1,3, and Bruno Villela1,3 Germán Aguilar et al.
  • 1Advanced Mining Technology Center, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad de Chile, Avenida Tupper 2007, Santiago, Chile
  • 2Departamento de Ciencias Geolólogicas, Universidad Católica del Norte, Avenida Angamos 0610, Antofagasta, Chile
  • 3Departamento de Geología, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad de Chile, Plaza Ercilla 803, Santiago, Chile

Abstract. We have calculated a mean erosion of 1.3 mm caused by an individual storm event in March 2015 that impacted a large mountainous area of the southernmost Atacama Desert. The calculated erosion agrees with millennial erosion rates and with return time of high sediment discharge events previously reported in the study area. Here, we quantify for the first time the contribution of an individual extreme storm event to long-term erosion rates in the Atacama Desert. This is significant because erosion rates, related to high sediment discharge events in arid fluvial systems, are hard to measure with sediment load due the destruction of gauges by devastating flashfloods and thus have not been directly measured yet. During the March 2015 storm, debris flows were reported as the main sediment transport process. Erosion of gullies and channels are the main source of sediments that finally generate debris flows that reach the tributary junctions and the trunk valleys. The sediment yield to the tributary outlets strongly depends on the hydraulic capacity of catchments to store sediments in the drainage network between storms. Larger tributary catchments, high hydrological hierarchy, low topographic gradient and gentle slopes are the most susceptible catchments to generate debris flows that reach alluvial fans at any storm event from large debris volumes stored in the drainage network. Our findings better assess debris flow susceptibility of arid catchments, which is significant for the southernmost Atacama Desert valleys because human settlements and industries are mostly established in alluvial fans.

Germán Aguilar et al.
Germán Aguilar et al.
Germán Aguilar et al.
Viewed  
Total article views: 281 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
221 57 3 281 20 2 3
  • HTML: 221
  • PDF: 57
  • XML: 3
  • Total: 281
  • Supplement: 20
  • BibTeX: 2
  • EndNote: 3
Views and downloads (calculated since 02 Aug 2019)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 02 Aug 2019)
Viewed (geographical distribution)  
Total article views: 119 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 118 with geography defined and 1 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Cited  
Saved  
No saved metrics found.
Discussed  
No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 20 Oct 2019
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
We have calculated erosion caused by an extreme storm in the Atacama Desert. Erosion distribution depends on the hydraulic capacity of catchments to store sediments between storms and generate debris flows during the storm. The magnitude-order of erosion is the same as the erosion rates calculated over the long term, so these storms have a relevant influence on the evolution of these arid fluvial systems.
We have calculated erosion caused by an extreme storm in the Atacama Desert. Erosion...
Citation