Natural Hazards

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 523–542 | Cite as

Recent catastrophic debris flows in Luding county, SW China: geological hazards, rainfall analysis and dynamic characteristics

Original Paper


About 127 debris flow gullies have been identified, and debris flows have been an important type of geological hazards in Luding County, affecting cities, towns, rural areas, scenic spots and human’s engineering projects, such as mining and waterpower utilizing equipments. In this summary paper, recent two catastrophic debris flow events occurred on June 30, 2005, in Chuni town, in the central of the county, and on August 11, 2005, in Hailuogou scenic spot, in the southwest of the county, respectively, are reviewed. The debris flow events are introduced on the basis of field investigation and RS interpretation and the triggering factors for flow occurrence are identified. Furthermore, the rainfall related to flow occurrence including antecedent rainfall and intraday rainfall is analyzed, and a power-law function which can be used as a basic warning line is established based on both antecedent effective rainfall and intraday rainfall. Then dynamic parameters such as flow velocity and flow discharge are calculated, respectively. Through comparison and discussion, some conclusions are made including (1) The antecedent rainfall played an important role for debris flows which generated predominately based on the slope-instability due to the saturated loose sediments; (2) Despite slower flow velocity and smaller magnitude, the slope-type debris flows just like 2005-6-30 debris flows usually lead to serious damages for the difficulty to forecast and to prevent; (3) The mistaken recognition on debris flow hazards and lack of prevention consciousness strengthen the hazard and damage degree. This research is of certain significance for the prevention and mitigation of debris flow hazards and for the planning of the town building and tourism development in the future.


Debris flow Rainfall Dynamic characteristics Luding county 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance provided by China Geology Survey (Project No. 1212010640503) and Science Foundation for Young Scholar from CDCGS (2009–2010). Great thanks are given to Prof. Bingyan Tan and Prof. Xilin Liu for their guidence during fieldwork, to Prof. Jinghua Zhang for his help in dealing with RS explanation and to Yujie Liu and Zhi Song who surveyed partial debris flow gullies during field investigation. The authors would like to give their special thanks to Prof. Thomas Glade and two anonymous reviewers for their comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huayong Ni
    • 1
  • Wanmo Zheng
    • 1
  • Zongliang Li
    • 1
  • Renji Ba
    • 1
  1. 1.Chengdu Institute of Geology and Mineral ResourcesChina Geological SurveyChengduChina

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