Acta Mechanica

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 161–178

Large debris flows: A macro-viscous phenomenon

  • T. R. H. Davies
Contributed Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF01182546

Cite this article as:
Davies, T.R.H. Acta Mechanica (1986) 63: 161. doi:10.1007/BF01182546


Field observations from a variety of sources suggest that destructive debris flows occur when the density of the fluid-solid mixture exceeds about 1.5 T/m3, and that their destructive ability is due to their pulsing nature and to their ability to carry large boulders.

If debris flows are treated as a macroviscous flow of large stones in a slurry of fine solids in water, several of their obvious characteristics (boulder transport, deep bed erosion, intermittent jamming) can be explained. Further, the amplification and translation in a main channel of random surges due to jamming in tributaries explains the regular, large pulses in Chinese debris flows as a roll-wave phenomenon.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. R. H. Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Engineering, Lincoln CollegeUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.E.A.f.V.BirmensdorfSwitzerland