Mechanics of debris flows and rock avalanches: Chapter 43

Edited by: Harindra Joseph Fernando



Debris flows are geophysical phenomena intermediate in character between rock avalanches and flash floods. They commonly originate as water-laden landslides on steep slopes and transform into liquefied masses of fragmented rock, muddy water, and entrained organic matter that disgorge from canyons onto valley floors. Typically including 50%–70% solid grains by volume, attaining speeds >10 m/s, and ranging in size up to ∼109 m3, debris flows can denude mountainsides, inundate floodplains, and devastate people and property (Figure 43.1). Notable recent debris-flow disasters resulted in more than 20,000 fatalities in Armero, Colombia, in 1985 and in Vargas state, Venezuela, in 1999.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Mechanics of debris flows and rock avalanches: Chapter 43
ISBN 9781439816707
DOI 10.1201/b14241-47
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher CRC Press
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 15 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Handbook of environmental fluid dynamics, Volume One
First page 573
Last page 587
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