Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 249–260 | Cite as

Debris flows introduced in landslide deposits under rainfall conditions: The case of Wenjiagou gully

  • Jia-wen ZhouEmail author
  • Peng Cui
  • Xing-guo Yang
  • Zhi-man Su
  • Xiao-jun Guo


Debris flows often occur in landslide deposits during heavy rainstorms. Debris flows are initiated by surface water runoff and unsaturated seepage under rainfall conditions. A physical model based on an infinitely long, uniform and void-rich sediment layer was applied to analyze the triggering of debris-flow introduced in landslide deposits. To determine the initiation condition for rainfall-induced debris flows, we conducted a surface water runoff and saturated-unsaturated seepage numerical program to model rainfall infiltration and runoff on a slope. This program was combined with physical modeling and stability analysis to make certain the initiation condition for rainfall-introduced debris flows. Taking the landslide deposits at Wenjiagou gully as an example, the initiation conditions for debris flow were computed. The results show that increase height of surface-water runoff and the decrease of saturated sediment shear strength of are the main reasons for triggering debris-flows under heavy rainfall conditions. The debris-flow triggering is affected by the depth of surface-water runoff, the slope saturation and shear strength of the sediment.


Debris flow Rainfall Surface-water runoff Unsaturated seepage Physical modeling Numerical modeling 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jia-wen Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Peng Cui
    • 1
  • Xing-guo Yang
    • 2
  • Zhi-man Su
    • 1
  • Xiao-jun Guo
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Earth Surface ProcessChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River EngineeringSichuan UniversityChengduChina

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