Articles | Volume 16, issue 2
Research article
19 Feb 2016
Research article |  | 19 Feb 2016

Application and analysis of debris-flow early warning system in Wenchuan earthquake-affected area

D. L. Liu, S. J. Zhang, H. J. Yang, L. Q. Zhao, Y. H. Jiang, D. Tang, and X. P. Leng

Abstract. The activities of debris flow (DF) in the Wenchuan earthquake-affected area significantly increased after the earthquake on 12 May 2008. The safety of the lives and property of local people is threatened by DFs. A physics-based early warning system (EWS) for DF forecasting was developed and applied in this earthquake area. This paper introduces an application of the system in the Wenchuan earthquake-affected area and analyzes the prediction results via a comparison to the DF events triggered by the strong rainfall events reported by the local government. The prediction accuracy and efficiency was first compared with a contribution-factor-based system currently used by the weather bureau of Sichuan province. The storm on 17 August 2012 was used as a case study for this comparison. The comparison shows that the false negative rate and false positive rate of the new system is, respectively, 19 and 21 % lower than the system based on the contribution factors. Consequently, the prediction accuracy is obviously higher than the system based on the contribution factors with a higher operational efficiency. On the invitation of the weather bureau of Sichuan province, the authors upgraded their prediction system of DF by using this new system before the monsoon of Wenchuan earthquake-affected area in 2013. Two prediction cases on 9 July 2013 and 10 July 2014 were chosen to further demonstrate that the new EWS has high stability, efficiency, and prediction accuracy.

Final-revised paper