, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp 2201–2217 | Cite as

The effect of check dams on the dynamic and bed entrainment processes of debris flows

  • Wei Shen
  • Dongpo WangEmail author
  • Huanan Qu
  • Tonglu Li
Original Paper


Bed entrainment plays a significant role in the formational process of a debris flow. Thus the influence of bed entrainment may be an important factor which cannot be neglected when assessing the prevention effect of check dams. However, since few studies have investigated the interaction between check dams and debris flows with considering bed entrainment, the interactive effect of check dams on the dynamic and bed entrainment processes of debris flows remains unclear. Therefore, in this paper, an improved depth-averaged model is proposed to overcome this weakness. In the improved model, the impeding effect of a check dam is simplified as a rigid constraint, and a new computational scheme is adopted to improve the simulation efficiency. Using this model, the dynamic and bed entrainment processes of the catastrophic 2010 Hongchun gully debris flow are analyzed, and the effects of check dams on this debris flow are studied. The results show that the present model can properly depict the dynamic and bed entrainment processes of the Hongchun gully debris flow. Without bed entrainment, the flow quantity tends to decrease gradually from the upstream to the downstream, while the flow quantity will show an opposite tendency if bed entrainment is considered. The check dams can largely reduce the bed entrainment scale and flow quantity of this debris flow. Additionally, the prevention effect of check dams tends to be better when they are constructed at the upper part of the gully by constraining bed entrainment.


Disaster prevention Debris flow Numerical simulation Check dam Bed entrainment 



We would like to thank the anonymous referees for careful reading the manuscript and providing insightful comments to help us improve the quality of this paper.

Funding information

This research is funded by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFC1501000, 2017YFC1501302), the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41790433, 41877266), the State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geo-environment Protection Independent Research Project (Grant No. SKLGP2016Z014), and the China Scholarship Council (CSC) — University of Bologna Joint Scholarship (File No. 201806560011).


  1. Armanini A (1997) On the dynamic impact of debris flows. In: Armanini A, Michiue M (eds) Recent developments on debris flows. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, pp 208–226. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berti M, Simoni A (2005) Experimental evidences and numerical modelling of debris flow initiated by channel runoff. Landslides 2:171–182. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen X, Cui P, You Y, Chen J, Li D (2015) Engineering measures for debris flow hazard mitigation in the Wenchuan earthquake area. Eng Geol 194:73–85. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen H-X, Li J, Feng S-J, Gao H-Y, Zhang D-M (2019) Simulation of interactions between debris flow and check dams on three-dimensional terrain. Eng Geol 251:48–62. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Crosta GB, Imposimato S, Roddeman D (2009) Numerical modelling of entrainment/deposition in rock and debris-avalanches. Eng Geol 109:135–145. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cui P, Chen X-Q, Zhu Y-Y, Su F-H, Wei F-Q, Han Y-S, Liu H-J, Zhuang J-Q (2011) The Wenchuan earthquake (may 12, 2008), Sichuan province, China, and resulting geohazards. Nat Hazards 56:19–36. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cui P, Zeng C, Lei Y (2015) Experimental analysis on the impact force of viscous debris flow. Earth Surf Process Landf 40:1644–1655. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cuomo S, Pastor M, Capobianco V, Cascini L (2016) Modelling the space–time evolution of bed entrainment for flow-like landslides. Eng Geol 212:10–20. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cuomo S, Moretti S, Aversa S (2019) Effects of artificial barriers on the propagation of debris avalanches. Landslides. 16:1077–1087. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dai Z, Huang Y, Cheng H, Xu Q (2017) Sph model for fluid–structure interaction and its application to debris flow impact estimation. Landslides 14:917–928. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Evans SG, Tutubalina OV, Drobyshev VN, Chernomorets SS, McDougall S, Petrakov DA, Hungr O (2009) Catastrophic detachment and high-velocity long-runout flow of Kolka Glacier, caucasus mountains, Russia in 2002. Geomorphology 105:314–321. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fraccarollo L, Capart H (2002) Riemann wave description of erosional dam-break flows. J Fluid Mech 461:183–228. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Frank F, McArdell BW, Huggel C, Vieli A (2015) The importance of entrainment and bulking on debris flow runout modeling: examples from the swiss alps. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 15:2569–2583. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gao L, Zhang LM, Chen HX (2017) Two-dimensional simulation of debris flow impact pressures on buildings. Eng Geol 226:236–244. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. García-Martínez R, López JL (2005) Debris flows of december 1999 in Venezuela. In: Debris-flow hazards and related phenomena. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, pp 519–538. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hu W, Dong XJ, Xu Q, Wang GH, van Asch TWJ, Hicher PY (2016) Initiation processes for run-off generated debris flows in the wenchuan earthquake area of China. Geomorphology 253:468–477. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huang R, Li W (2014) Post-earthquake landsliding and long-term impacts in the Wenchuan earthquake area, China. Eng Geol 182:111–120. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huang Y, Cheng H, Dai Z, Xu Q, Liu F, Sawada K, Moriguchi S, Yashima A (2015) Sph-based numerical simulation of catastrophic debris flows after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Bull Eng Geol Environ 74:1137–1151. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hungr O, Evans SG (2004) Entrainment of debris in rock avalanches: an analysis of a long run-out mechanism. GSA Bull 116:1240–1252. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hungr O, McDougall S (2009) Two numerical models for landslide dynamic analysis. Comput Geosci 35:978–992. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hungr O, Leroueil S, Picarelli L (2014) The Varnes classification of landslide types, an update. Landslides 11:167–194. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Iverson RM (2012) Elementary theory of bed-sediment entrainment by debris flows and avalanches. J Geophys Res Earth Surf 117:F03006. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Iverson RM, Ouyang C (2015) Entrainment of bed material by earth-surface mass flows: review and reformulation of depth-integrated theory. Rev Geophys 53:27–58. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Iverson RM, Reid ME, LaHusen RG (1997) Debris-flow mobilization from landslides. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci 25:85–138. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Iverson RM, Reid ME, Logan M, LaHusen RG, Godt JW, Griswold JP (2010) Positive feedback and momentum growth during debris-flow entrainment of wet bed sediment. Nat Geosci 4:116–121. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jakob M, Hungr O (2005) Introduction. In: Debris-flow hazards and related phenomena. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, pp 1–7. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kattel P, Kafle J, Fischer J-T, Mergili M, Tuladhar BM, Pudasaini SP (2018) Interaction of two-phase debris flow with obstacles. Eng Geol 242:197–217. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Liu W, He S (2016) A two-layer model for simulating landslide dam over mobile river beds. Landslides 13:565–576. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Liu K-F, Huang MC (2006) Numerical simulation of debris flow with application on hazard area mapping. Comput Geosci 10:221–240. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Liu J, Nakatani K, Mizuyama T (2013) Effect assessment of debris flow mitigation works based on numerical simulation by using kanako 2d. Landslides 10:161–173. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Liu W, He S, Li X, Xu Q (2016) Two-dimensional landslide dynamic simulation based on a velocity-weakening friction law. Landslides 13:957–965. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. McDougall S, Hungr O (2005) Dynamic modelling of entrainment in rapid landslides. Can Geotech J 42:1437–1448. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ouyang C, He S, Xu Q, Luo Y, Zhang W (2013) A maccormack-tvd finite difference method to simulate the mass flow in mountainous terrain with variable computational domain. Comput Geosci 52:1–10. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ouyang C, He S, Tang C (2015) Numerical analysis of dynamics of debris flow over erodible beds in Wenchuan earthquake-induced area. Eng Geol 194:62–72. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Parker RN, Densmore AL, Rosser NJ, de Michele M, Li Y, Huang R, Whadcoat S, Petley DN (2011) Mass wasting triggered by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake is greater than orogenic growth. Nat Geosci 4:449–452. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pastor M, Haddad B, Sorbino G, Cuomo S, Drempetic V (2009) A depth-integrated, coupled SPH model for flow-like landslides and related phenomena. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 33:143–172. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pirulli M, Pastor M (2012) Numerical study on the entrainment of bed material into rapid landslides. Géotechnique 62:959–972. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pitman EB, Le L (2005) A two-fluid model for avalanche and debris flows. Philos Trans R Soc A Math Phys Eng Sci 363:1573–1601. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ren D (2014) The devastating zhouqu storm-triggered debris flow of august 2010: likely causes and possible trends in a future warming climate. J Geophys Res-Atmos 119:3643–3662. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sassa K, Nagai O, Solidum R, Yamazaki Y, Ohta H (2010) An integrated model simulating the initiation and motion of earthquake and rain induced rapid landslides and its application to the 2006 Leyte landslide. Landslides 7:219–236. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Savage SB, Hutter K (1989) The motion of a finite mass of granular material down a rough incline. J Fluid Mech 199:177–215. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Scott KM, Macias JL, Naranjo JA, Rodriguez S and McGeehin JP (2001) Catastrophic debris flows transformed from landslides in volcanic terrains: mobility, hazard assessment and mitigation strategies. Professional paper, − edn., doi:
  43. Shen W, Li T, Li P, Guo J (2018a) A modified finite difference model for the modeling of flowslides. Landslides 15:1577–1593. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shen W, Li T, Li P, Shen Y, Lei Y, Guo J (2018b) The influence of the bed entrainment-induced rheology and topography changes on the propagation of flow-like landslides: a numerical investigation. Bull Eng Geol Environ. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Takahashi T (2009) A review of Japanese debris flow research. Int J Eros Cont Eng 2:1–14. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tang C, Zhu J, Ding J, Cui XF, Chen L, Zhang JS (2011) Catastrophic debris flows triggered by a 14 august 2010 rainfall at the epicenter of the Wenchuan earthquake. Landslides 8:485–497. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tang C, van Asch TWJ, Chang M, Chen GQ, Zhao XH, Huang XC (2012a) Catastrophic debris flows on 13 august 2010 in the qingping area, southwestern China: the combined effects of a strong earthquake and subsequent rainstorms. Geomorphology 139-140:559–576. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tang C, Zhu J, Chang M, Ding J, Qi X (2012b) An empirical–statistical model for predicting debris-flow runout zones in the Wenchuan earthquake area. Quat Int 250:63–73. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wang D, Chen Z, He S, Liu Y, Tang H (2018) Measuring and estimating the impact pressure of debris flows on bridge piers based on large-scale laboratory experiments. Landslides 15:1331–1345. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Xu Q, Zhang S, Li W, Van Asch TW (2012) The 13 august 2010 catastrophic debris flows after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, China. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 12:201–216. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment ProtectionChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  2. 2.Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Geological EngineeringChang’an UniversityXi’anChina

Personalised recommendations