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Debris-flow volume quantile prediction from catchment morphometry

De Haas, T.; Densmore, A.L.

Debris-flow volume quantile prediction from catchment morphometry Thumbnail


T. De Haas


Estimation of the volumes of potential future debris flows is a key factor in hazard assessment and mitigation. Worldwide, however, there are few catchments for which detailed volume-frequency information is available. We (1) reconstructed volume-frequency curves for 10 debris-flow catchments in Saline Valley, California (USA), from a large number of well-preserved, unmodified surficial flow deposits, and (2) assessed the correlations between lobe-volume quantiles and a set of morphometric catchment characteristics. We found statistically significant correlations between lobe-volume quantiles, including median and maximum, and catchment relief, length (planimetric distance from the fan apex to the most distant point along the watershed boundary), perimeter, and Melton ratio (relief divided by the square root of catchment area). These findings show that it may be possible to roughly estimate debris-flow lobe-volume quantiles from basic catchment characteristics that can be obtained from globally available elevation data. This may assist in design-volume estimation for debris-flow catchments where past flow volumes are otherwise unknown.


De Haas, T., & Densmore, A. (2019). Debris-flow volume quantile prediction from catchment morphometry. Geology, 47(8), 791-794.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 16, 2019
Online Publication Date Jun 10, 2019
Publication Date Aug 1, 2019
Deposit Date May 17, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 10, 2020
Journal Geology
Print ISSN 0091-7613
Electronic ISSN 1943-2682
Publisher Geological Society of America
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 47
Issue 8
Pages 791-794


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