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An analysis of the supply process of loose materials to mountainous rivers and gullies as a result of dry debris avalanches

Zhou, Jia-wen, Yang, Xing-guo, Hou, Tian-xing
Environmental earth sciences 2017 v.76 no.13 pp. 452
disasters, friction, laboratory experimentation, lakes, landslides, mathematical models, particle size, ravines, rivers, water flow
A dry debris avalanche will produce different volumes of colluviums or depositions (loose materials), which can have a significant impact on mountainous rivers or gullies. The loose material supply process caused by a debris avalanche is an important issue for understanding secondary disasters that form via the coupling of water flow and loose materials. Two flumes were designed for laboratory tests of the loose materials supply process to rivers/gullies, and the related impact factors were analyzed. Experimental results show that the supply of loose materials is a continuous process that directly relates to the avalanche’s mass movement processes. The sliding masses with smaller particle sizes are more sensitive to the flume slope and exhibited a longer supply time. The time-consuming for the debris avalanche travel in the flume decreased with the increasing particle size (such as flume B, time-consuming is decreased 0.2 s when the particle size increased from <1.0 to 20–60 mm), landslide volume and flume slope (flume A, consuming 1.6–2.1 s when flume slope is 29° decreased to consuming 1.3–1.5 s when flume slope is 41°), which means the increasing mobility of loose materials. The total supply time increased with the increasing landslide volume or decreasing particle size and flume slope. An empirical model for the process is presented based on numerous laboratory tests and numerical simulations, which can successfully describe the supply process for loose materials to a river/gully. The supply process of loose materials to mountainous gully from a dry debris avalanche is controlled by the material compositions of sliding masses, topographical conditions, landslide volume and bed friction, where large-volume debris avalanches that occur in mountainous river regions are more likely to obstruct the river flow and form a landslide-dammed lake.