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Hydrological controls of erosion and sediment transport in volcanic torrents
- OKUNISHI, KAZUO, SUWA, HIROSHI, HAMANA, SHUJI
- Hydrological sciences journal 1988 v.33 no.6 pp. 575-587
- mass movement, prediction, rain, ravines, runoff, sediment transport, sediment yield, sediments, topography, Japan
- Sediment is transported in the form of debris flows in major gullies dissecting permeable volcanic slopes as exemplified by the Kami-kamihori Valley in the northern Japan Alps. Four years of hydrological observations in the headwater area of the gully showed that the surface runoff which triggers debris flows is related to peak 10- to 20-minute rainfall. Sediment production in such a short time is not sufficient to prepare a debris flow. Therefore, debris must have been accumulated at a particular section by repeated sediment discharge due to minor rainstorms. The volume of the debris produced in the headwaters was evaluated and correlated to an effective rainfall. The quantity of sediment transport at seven sections along the gully by debris flows in three periods was evaluated through the measurement of the topographic changes. It was compared with the total effective rainfall for the pertinent period, and the mean “sediment concentration” in the debris flow was calculated for each section and for each period. It was shown that the change in the sediment concentration along the gully reflects the entrainment of debris from the gully floor in the acceleration zone and the deposition in the deceleration zone. It was also demonstrated that the sediment delivery of a debris flow depends on the time distribution of rainfall, because rainfall time bases appropriate to prediction of the sediment transport at different reaches vary.