Recent changes in the number of rainfall events related to debris-flow occurrence in the Chenyulan Stream Watershed, Taiwan
- 1Dept. of Environmental and Hazards-Resistant Design, Huafan University, New Taipei, Taiwan
- 2Dept. of Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
Abstract. This study analyzed the variability in the number of rainfall events related to debris-flow occurrence in the Chenyulan stream watershed located in central Taiwan. Rainfall data between 1970 and 2009 measured at three meteorological stations nearby/in the watershed were collected and used to determine the corresponding regional average rainfall for the watershed. Data on debris-flow events between 1985 and 2009 were collected and used to study their dependence on regional average rainfall. The maximum 24-h regional rainfall Rd was used to analyze the number of rainfall events Nr, the number of rainfall events that triggered debris flows Nd, and the probability of debris-flows occurrences P. The variation trends in Nr, Nd and P over recent decades under three rainfall conditions (Rd > 20, 230, and 580 mm) related to debris-flow occurrence were analyzed. In addition, the influences of the Chi-Chi earthquake on Nd and P were presented. The results showed that the rainfall events with Rd > 20 mm during the earthquake-affected period (2000–2004) strongly responded to the increases in the average number of rainfall events that triggered debris flows and the average probability of debris-flows occurrences. The number of rainfall events with Rd > 230 mm (the lower boundary for the rainfall ever triggering debris flow before the Chi-Chi earthquake), and Rd > 580 mm (the lower boundary for extreme rainfall ever triggering numerous debris flows) in the Chenyulan stream watershed increased after 2000. The increase in the number of extreme rainfall events with Rd > 580 mm augmented the number of rainfall events ever triggering numerous debris flows in the last decade. The increase in both the number of rainfall events that ever triggered debris flows and the probability of debris-flow occurrences was greater in the last decade (2000–2009) than in 1990–1999.