Debris Flow Analysis: From Lithological Classification of the Basin to Deposition

  • Chiara DeangeliEmail author
  • Erika Paltrinieri
  • Davide Tiranti


The aim of this study is the development of an integrated approach for definition of scenarios of debris flow deposition. The approach has been applied to basins located in the North-western Alps. Firstly the basins are classified on the basis of the bedrock lithology. Hence the features of debris flows are related to different bedrock lithologies: basin area/fan area ratios, alluvial fan architectures, depositional styles and triggering rainfall characteristics. This method permits to capture the essential features of flow phenomena and to address the choice of proper constitutive laws for the numerical modelling of debris flow propagation and deposition. The numerical model calibration is based on the observed styles of deposition of debris flows and architecture of the alluvial fans (shape, slope, grain-size distribution, etc.). The simulations do not match the deposit of a given past event, but the results are in terms of scenarios and supply a more realistic tool for risk mitigation.


Catchment lithology Sedimentary processes North-western Alps Numerical modelling Cellular Automata 



This research was supported by PARAmount project of Alpine Space Programme of European Union (2-2-2-AT) –


  1. Ancey C (2007) Plasticity and geophysical flows: a review. J Non-Newton Fluid Mech 142:4–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bagnold RA (1954) Experiments on a gravity-free dispersion of large solid spheres in a Newtonian fluid under shear. Proc R Soc Lond A 225:49–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Deangeli C, Grasso P (1996) The evolutive mechanism of debris flows: analysis and protection works. In: Proceedings of 7th international symposium on landslides, Balkema, Trondheim/Rotterdam, pp 1183–1188Google Scholar
  4. Deangeli C, Giani GP (1998) Physical and numerical models to rehabilitate a waste disposal site. In: Proceedings of 8th international congress IAEG, Balkema, Vancouver/Rotterdam, pp 1813–1818Google Scholar
  5. Deangeli C (2008) Laboratory granular flows generated by slope failures. Rock Mech Rock Eng 41(1):199–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Deangeli C, Gregoretti C, Paltrinieri E, Rabuffetti D, Tiranti D (2011) An integrated approach to simulate channelized debris flows from triggering to deposition. In: Proceedings of 5th international conference on debris-flow hazards mitigation: mechanics, prediction and assessment, University of Padua, Italy, 14–17 June 2011, pp 661–668,Google Scholar
  7. Moscariello A, Marchi L, Maraga F, Mortara G (2002) Alluvial fans in the Alps: sedimentary facies and processes. Spec Publ Int Assoc Sedimentol 32:141–166Google Scholar
  8. Segre E, Deangeli C (1995) Cellular automaton for realistic modelling of landslides. Nonlinear Processes Geophys 2(1):1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Takahashi T (1978) Mechanical characteristics of debris flow. J Hydraul Div 104(8):1153–1169Google Scholar
  10. Takahashi T (1991) Debris flow, IAIIR monograph. Balkema, RotterdamGoogle Scholar
  11. Tiranti D (2008) The sediment gravity flows triggering mechanisms, evolution and sedimentary processes in Western Italian Alps. Ph.D. thesis, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Torino (Italy) and the Cambridge Quaternary, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (UK), pp 100Google Scholar
  12. Tiranti D, Bonetto S, Mandrone G (2008) Quantitative basin characterization to refine debris-flow triggering criteria and processes: an example from the Italian Western Alps. Landslides 5(1):45–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chiara Deangeli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Erika Paltrinieri
    • 1
  • Davide Tiranti
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Land, Environmental and GeoengineeringPolitecnico di TorinoTurinItaly
  2. 2.Hydrology and Natural Hazards, Department of Forecasting SystemsEnvironmental Protection Agency of PiemonteTurinItaly

Personalised recommendations