Periglacial Preconditioning of Debris Flows in the Southern Alps, New Zealand

  • KatrinĀ Sattler

Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Katrin Sattler
    Pages 1-8
  3. Katrin Sattler
    Pages 9-16
  4. Katrin Sattler
    Pages 17-76
  5. Katrin Sattler
    Pages 209-222
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 223-276

About this book


This thesis represents one of the few studies so far that systematically analyses environmental conditions within debris flow source areas to determine their relative importance for debris flow development. Environmental site conditions, such as slope gradient and debris availability, influence the spatial and temporal distribution of debris flows in high-alpine areas. However, current understanding of these preconditioning controls is mostly qualitative and inadequate for debris-flow hazard assessments and climate change impact studies.

The author's research investigates the role of frost weathering and permafrost in the occurrence of debris flows in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Analyses are based on an extensive debris flow inventory, documenting debris flow occurrence and activity over the last 60 years in selected catchments. Debris flow activity is compared to frost-weathering intensity estimates from two models, allowing the practical comparison of two competing frost-weathering hypotheses currently discussed in literature. Information on permafrost occurrence is based on a new distributed permafrost estimate for the Southern Alps, derived from climatic conditions at active rock glacier sites.

This pioneering thesis provides empirical evidence that frost weathering promotes debris-flow formation. It further highlights the potential and limitations of regional-scale studies for advancing our understanding of debris-flow preconditioning factors.


Debris Flow in Southern Alps New Zealand Permafrost in Southern Alps New Zealand Frost-weathering and Debris Flow in High Alpine Areas Goemorphological Mapping and Debris Flow in High Alpine Areas Statistical Analysis of Debris Flow Preconditioning Factors

Authors and affiliations

  • KatrinĀ Sattler
    • 1
  1. 1.Geography, Environment and Earth SciencesVictoria University of Wellington Geography, Environment and Earth Sci.WellingtonNew Zealand

Bibliographic information

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