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Dynamic hazard assessment of debris flow based on TRIGRS and flow-R coupled models

Abstract

Evaluating the hazards of debris flows is necessary for risk assessment. The May 12, 2008 earthquake in Wenchuan County, China caused many landslides and loose slopes. Under continuous or heavy rainfall, the landslides and loose slopes are easily destabilized and provide huge amounts of material source for debris flows, significantly increasing the hazard level of associated disasters. Moreover, the hazard of debris flows is not always constant, but variable over time because of the changes in influencing factors (e.g., geomorphology, rainfall conditions, and earthquakes). This study proposes a coupled model based on the TRIGRS (Transient Rainfall Infiltration and Grid based Regional Slope-stability Model) and Flow-R (Flow path assessment of gravitational hazards at a Regional scale) models for a dynamic hazard assessment of debris flows applied in a small watershed, Bayi Gully. This coupled model considers the impact of the actual rainfall process, potential debris sources on slope surfaces, and existing loose sources in the debris flow channel. The results indicate that (1) the hazard assessment by the coupled model is superior to that by the static Flow-R model; (2) the spatial distribution of landslides, debris flow sources, debris flow hazard areas, hazard probability, and debris flow energy vary with rainfall duration; and (3) the debris flow hazard area is strongly affected by topographic and geomorphic factors. Thus, the coupled model provides a powerful and robust tool for the hazard assessment and disaster prevention and mitigation of debris flows.

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source areas of debris flow under various rainfall durations in the coupled model

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source areas, b hazard probability, and c energy

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source areas, b hazard probability, and c energy

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Data availability and material

The data are not publicly available due to privacy or ethical restrictions.

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Acknowledgements

The authors give a special thanks to the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. The authors also wish to give a thanks to Cassian Crasto of Editage for serious language polish and revision.

Funding

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.41772386), the National Key Research and Development Plan of China (No.YS2018YFGH000001), the Strategic Leading Science and Technology Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Class A) (No. XDA23090203) and South China Branch Project of China Petroleum Pipeline Network Group Co., Ltd (GWHT20210014429).

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Xiuzhen Li and Yinping Nie contributed equally to this work. Xiuzhen Li contributed the idea of this study, Yinping Nie finished the calculation process of this study, and both of them jointly completed the writing of the paper. Ruichi Xu drew some figures.

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Correspondence to Xiuzhen Li.

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Nie, Y., Li, X. & Xu, R. Dynamic hazard assessment of debris flow based on TRIGRS and flow-R coupled models. Stoch Environ Res Risk Assess (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00477-021-02093-y

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Keywords

  • Landslide
  • Debris flow
  • Dynamic hazard assessment
  • Coupled model
  • TRIGRS
  • Flow-R