Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, 12:569 | Cite as

Front velocity and deposition characteristics of debris avalanches using physical modeling test

  • Hailong Yang
  • Xiaoyi FanEmail author
  • Xiangjun Pei
Original Paper


Physical modeling test was designed to study the effects of slope angle, released volume, and type of materials on the front velocity and deposition characteristics of debris avalanches. An improved empirical prediction model of front velocity was proposed for quantitatively describing the characteristic of front velocity according to staged motion feature of mass-front particles of debris avalanches. In view of the overall variation tendency of velocity curve, the calculated curves of the front velocity agree well with the experimental curves and the average error of the maximum velocity and average velocity are 5.72% and 4.34% respectively. The practicability of the empirical prediction of front velocity was further verified by carrying out 3 new groups of physical modeling test. With regard to the deposition characteristics, the change of deposit shape reflects the variation characteristic of deposit thickness along the median longitudinal section. The center-of-mass coordinate of deposit shape might be a useful indicator for quantitative analysis of the change of deposit shape. Finally, an empirical formula was also proposed for describing the mathematical relationships between center-of-mass coordinate of deposit shape and parameter indicators of the influence factors.


Debris avalanches Front velocity Deposit thickness Deposit shape Center-of-mass coordinate 



We sincerely thank anonymous reviewers for their constructive and valuable suggestions, which help improving this manuscript substantially. In addition, we would also thank Zeng Yaohun for his support of the experimental data in this paper.

Funding information

This paper was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFC1501002), the National Nature Science Foundation of China (41572302, 41877524), and the Opening fund of Shock and Vibration of Engineering Materials and Structures Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province (18kfgk10).


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment ProtectionChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  2. 2.Shock and Vibration of Engineering Materials and Structures Key Laboratory of Sichuan ProvinceMianyangChina
  3. 3.School of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureSouthwest University of Science and TechnologyMianyangChina

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