Natural Hazards

, Volume 74, Issue 2, pp 1141–1161 | Cite as

A prediction model for debris flows triggered by a runoff-induced mechanism

  • Bin Yu
  • Yuan Zhu
  • Tao Wang
  • Yuanjing Chen
  • Yunbo Zhu
  • Yongbo Tie
  • Ke Lu
Original Paper


Many debris flows were triggered within and also outside the Dayi area of the Guizhou Province, China, during a rainstorm in 2011. High-intensity short-duration rainfall was the main triggering factor for these gully-type debris flows which are probably triggered by a runoff-induced mechanism. A revised prediction model was introduced for this kind of gully-type debris flows with factors related to topography, geology, and hydrology (rainfall) and applied to the Wangmo River catchment. Regarding the geological factor, the “soft lithology” and “loose sediments” in the channel were added to the list of the average firmness coefficient for the lithology. Also, the chemical weathering was taken into account for the revised geological factor. Concerning the hydrological factor, a coefficient of variation of rainfall was introduced for the normalization of the rainfall factor. The prediction model for debris flows proposed in this paper delivered three classes of the probability of debris flow occurrence. The model was successfully validated in debris flow gullies with the same initiation mechanism in other areas of southwest China. The generic character of the model is explained by the fact that its factors are partly based on the initiation mechanisms and not only on the statistical analyses of a unique variety of local factors. The research provides a new way to predict the occurrence of debris flows initiated by a runoff-induced mechanism.


Prediction model Debris flow Runoff Rainstorm Dayi 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC, contract number: 41372366) and the State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection Foundation (contract number: SKLGP2012Z011). We thank the reviewers for their comments that helped us to greatly improve the presentation of this work. We are grateful to Dr. Theo van Asch for having provided a very helpful review of the manuscript, and for help on the English editing of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bin Yu
    • 1
  • Yuan Zhu
    • 1
  • Tao Wang
    • 1
  • Yuanjing Chen
    • 1
  • Yunbo Zhu
    • 1
  • Yongbo Tie
    • 2
  • Ke Lu
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment ProtectionChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  2. 2.Chengdu Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources China Geological SurveyChengduChina
  3. 3.Sichuan Institute of Geological Engineering InvestigationChengduChina

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