Estimation of magnitudes of debris flows in selected torrential watersheds in Slovenia

Jošt Sodnik, Matjaž Mikoš

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3986/AGS46104

Abstract

In this paper the application of different methods for estimation of magnitudes of rainfall-induced debris flows in 18 torrents in the Upper Sava River valley, NW Slovenia, and in 2 torrents in Pohorje, N Slovenia is described. Additional verification of the methods was performed in the torrential watersheds with active debris flows in the recent past (Predelica and Brusnik in the Soča River basin, W Slovenia). For some of the methods, the knowledge of morphometric characteristics of a torrential watershed, torrential channel and torrential fan is enough.  For other methods, a mathematical tool (HEC-HMS) had to be applied in order to develop a hydrologic run-off model of precipitation that can trigger debris flows. Computed debris-flow magnitudes were of the order between 6,500 m3 and 340,000 m3. Their values are a function of torrential watershed parameters, such as: watershed area, Melton number, fan gradient, and torrential channel gradient. The investigated fans were classified into 3 groups with regard to the debris-flow hazard: debris-flow fans (hazard exists), torrential fans (no hazard), and transitional fans (debris flows are possible, but with low possibility). A limit between debris-flow fans and torrential fans is proposed: Melton number 0.3 and torrential fan gradient 4°, that is, 7%. Out of 24 investigated torrential fans, 13 fans were classified into the group of debris-flow fans, 5 fans were classified into the group of torrential fans, and the rest 6 fans were classified into the group of transitional fans.

Keywords

erosion; mass movements; debris flows; empirical models; hazard estimation; fans; Upper Sava River valley; Pohorje; Slovenia

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3986/AGS46104

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