Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 636–648 | Cite as

Debris flow hazard assessment by means of numerical simulations: implications for the Rotolon creek valley (Northern Italy)

  • Teresa Salvatici
  • Stefano Morelli
  • Veronica Pazzi
  • William Frodella
  • Riccardo Fanti


On 4th November 2010, a debris flow detached from a large debris cover accumulated above the lowermost portion of the Rotolon landslide (Vicentine Pre-Alps, NE Italy) and channelized in the valley below within the Rotolon Creek riverbed. Such event evolved into a highly mobile and sudden debris flow, damaging some hydraulic works and putting at high risk four villages located along the creek banks. A monitoring campaign was carried out by means of a ground based radar interferometer (GB-InSAR) to evaluate any residual displacement risk in the affected area and in the undisturbed neighbouring materials. Moreover, starting from the current slope condition, a landslide runout numerical modelling was performed by means of DAN-3D code to assess the impacted areas, flow velocity, and deposit distribution of the simulated events. The rheological parameters necessary for an accurate modelling were obtained through the back analysis of the 2010 debris flow event. Back analysis was calibrated with all of the available terrain data coming from field surveys and ancillary documents, such as topographic, geomorphological and geological maps, with pre- and post-event LiDAR derived DTMs, and with orthophotos. Finally, to identify new possible future debris flow source areas as input data for the new modelling, all the obtained terrain data were reanalysed and integrated with the GB-InSAR displacement maps; consequently, new simulations were made to forecast future events. The results show that the integration of the selected modelling technique with ancillary data and radar displacement maps can be a very useful tool for managing problems related to debris flow events in the examined area.


Debris flow DAN-3D GB-InSAR Numerical modelling Deep Seated Gravitational Slope Deformation (DSGSD) Rotolon Creek 


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The GB-InSAR data were acquired in the framework of the monitoring activity carried out in the post-emergency management coordinated by the Italian Civil Protection Department. The available DTMs and aerial photos were acquired by means of aerial LiDAR surveys on behalf of the Veneto Soil Defense Regional Directorate on 21st October 2010 (pre-event) and 23rd November 2010 (post-event), respectively.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teresa Salvatici
    • 1
  • Stefano Morelli
    • 1
  • Veronica Pazzi
    • 1
  • William Frodella
    • 1
  • Riccardo Fanti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of FlorenceFirenzeItaly

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