Rainfall Intensity (I)–Duration (D) Induced Debris Flow Occurrences in Peninsular Malaysia

  • N. KasimEmail author
  • K. A. Taib
  • N. A. A. Ghazali
  • W. N. A. W. Azahar
  • N. N. Ismail
  • Nadiah Md Husain
  • A. B. Ramli
  • S. A. Saad
  • S. A. Masjuki
  • S. L. Ibrahim
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 53)


This paper evaluates the rainfall-induced debris flow in Peninsular Malaysia from the perspective of rainfall threshold. Eight selected debris flow occurrences in Peninsular Malaysia have been used for this study. Rainfall records are obtained from the nearest meteorological station of Drainage and Irrigation Department and the Malaysia Meteorology Department. In order to determine the reasonable correlation of rainfall with the occurrence of debris flow, the relationship between rainfall intensity (I) and duration (D) has been analysed. Furthermore, to analyze the empirical rainfall threshold, the values of the maximum hourly rainfall intensity and durations that correlate with debris flow have been plotted along with the intensity against duration in log-log graph. Comparison made between the compiled Peninsular Malaysia data and the worldwide threshold value shows that the triggering threshold is mostly higher for the Peninsular Malaysia events. The presence of thicker soil layers are likely the reason of higher thresholds limit, as more rainfalls are required to cause extensive localized failures to occur.


Debris flow Rainfall threshold Empirical rainfall threshold 



The authors want to thank all the staff of the Research Development Division, Slope Engineering Branch, Public Works Department of Malaysia for providing the necessary debris flow data. Likewise, the authors also thank the Drainage and Irrigation Department of Malaysia and the Malaysia Meteorology Department for providing the meteorological data.


  1. 1.
    Brand EW (1984) Landslides in Southeast Asia: a state-of-art report. In: Proceedings 4th international symposium on land slides, Toronto, pp 17–59Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rahardjo H, Lim TT, Chang MF, Fredlund DG (1995) Shear-strength characteristics of a residual soil. Can Geotech J 32(1):60–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chen H, Lee CF, Law KT (2004) Causative mechanisms of rainfall-induced fill slope failures. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 130(6):593–602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Caine N (1980) The rainfall intensity duration control of shallow landslides and debris flows. Geogr Ann 62(1–2):23–27Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Guzzetti F, Peruccacci S, Rossi M, Stark C (2008) The rainfall intensity–duration control of shallow landslides and debris flows: an update. Landslides 5:3–17. Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cannon SH, Gartner JE (2005) Wildfire-related debris flow from a hazards perspective. In: Jakob M, Hungr O (eds) Debris flow hazards and related phenomena. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, pp 363–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Salvati P, Bianchi C, Rossi M, Guzzetti F (2010) Societal landslide and flood risk in Italy. Nat Hazard Earth Syst Sci 10(3):465–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pereira S, Zêzere JL, Quaresma I, Bateira C (2014) Landslide incidence in the North of Portugal: analysis of a historical landslide database based on press releases and technical reports. Geomorphology 214:514–525CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zezere JL, Vaz T, Pereira S, Oliveira SC, Marques R, Garcia RAC (2015) Rainfall threshold for landslide activity in Portugal: a state of art. Environ Earth Sci 73:2917–2936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Onodera T, Yoshinaka R, Kazama H (1974) Slope failures caused by heavy rainfall in Japan. In: Proceedings of the 2nd international congress of the international association of engineering geology, vol 11. San Paulo, pp 1–10Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Keefer D, Wilson R, Mark R, Brabb E, Brown W, Ellen S et al (1987) Real-time landslide warning during heavy rainfall. Science 238:921–925CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Aleotti P (2004) A warning system for rainfall-induced shallow failures. Eng Geol 73:247–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Guzzetti F, Peruccacci S, Rossi M, Stark C (2007) Rainfall thresholds for the initiation of landslides in central and southern Europe. Meteorol Atmos Phys 98:239–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cannon S, Gartner J, Wilson R, Bowers J, Laber J (2008) Storm rainfall conditions for floods and debris flows from recently burned areas in southwestern Colorado and southern California. Geomorphology 96:250–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Coe J, Kinner D, Godt J (2008) Initiation conditions for debris flows generated by runoff at Chalk Cliffs, central Colorado. Geomorphology 96:270–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Dahal R, Hasegawa S (2008) Representative rainfall thresholds for landslides in the Nepal Himalaya. Geomorphology 100:429–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Reichenbach P, Cardinali M, De Vita P, Guzzetti F (1998) Regional hydrological thresholds for landslides and floods in the Tiber River Basin (central Italy). Environ Geol 35(2–3):146–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Larsen M, Simon A (1993) A rainfall intensity–duration threshold for landslides in a humid-tropical environment: Puerto Rico. Geogr Ann A 75:13–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Chien-Yuan C, Tien-Chien C, Fan-Chieh Y, Wen-Hui Y, Chun-Chieh T (2005) Rainfall duration and debris-flow initiated studies for real-time monitoring. Environ Geol 47:715–724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pereira S, Zezere JL (2012) Empirically-based rainfall thresholds for debris flow occurrence in the north of Portugal. In: XII Reunión Nacional de Geomorfología, Santander, pp 109–112Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Cancelli A, Nova R (1985) Landslides in soil debris cover triggered by rainstorms in Valtellina (central Alps—Italy). In: Proceedings of the 4th international conference and field workshop on landslides. The Japan Geological Society, Tokyo, pp 267–272Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Wieczorek GF (1987) Landslide triggering mechanisms. In: Turner AK, Schuster RL (eds) Landslides: investigation and mitigation. Special Report. Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, DC, pp 76–90Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ceriani M, Lauzi S, Padovan N (1992) Rainfall and landslides in the Alpine area of Lombardia Region, central Alps, Italy. In: Proceedings, interpraevent international symposium, vol 2, Bern, pp 9–20Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Kasim
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. A. Taib
    • 2
  • N. A. A. Ghazali
    • 2
  • W. N. A. W. Azahar
    • 1
  • N. N. Ismail
    • 1
  • Nadiah Md Husain
    • 1
  • A. B. Ramli
    • 1
  • S. A. Saad
    • 1
  • S. A. Masjuki
    • 1
  • S. L. Ibrahim
    • 1
  1. 1.International Islamic University MalaysiaGombakMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Structural EngineeringUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia

Personalised recommendations