Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 213–222 | Cite as

Field observations of debris-flow initiation processes on sediment deposits in a previous deep-seated landslide site

  • Fumitoshi ImaizumiEmail author
  • Satoshi Tsuchiya
  • Okihiro Ohsaka


Although information regarding the initiation processes of debris flows is important for the development of mitigation measures, field data regarding these processes are scarce. We conducted field observations of debris-flow initiation processes in the upper Ichinosawa catchment of the Ohya landslide, central Japan. On 19 June 2012, our videocamera monitoring systems recorded the moment of debris-flow initiation on channel deposits (nine surges) and talus slopes (eight surges). The initiation mechanisms of these surges were classified into three types by analyzing the video images: erosion by the surface flow, movement of deposits as a mass, and upward development of the fluid area. The first type was associated with the progress of surface flow from the upper stream on unsaturated channel deposits. The second type was likely caused by an increase in the pore water pressure associated with the rising in the groundwater level in channel deposits; a continuous water supply from the upper stream by the surface flow might have induced this saturation. The third type was associated with changes in the downstream topography caused by erosion. The flow velocity of most surges was less than 3 m s−1 and they usually stopped within 100 m from the initiation point. Surges with abundant pore fluid had a higher flow velocity (about 3 – 5 m s−1) and could travel for a longer duration. Our observations indicate that the surface flow plays an important role in the initiation of debris flows on channel deposits and talus slopes.


Debris flow Initiation zone Field monitoring Ohya landslide 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fumitoshi Imaizumi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Satoshi Tsuchiya
    • 1
  • Okihiro Ohsaka
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environment and Forest Resources Science, Faculty of AgricultureShizuoka UniversityShizuokaJapan

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