Articles | Volume 4, issue 3
28 May 2004
28 May 2004

An example of debris-flows hazard modeling using GIS

L. Melelli and A. Taramelli

Abstract. We present a GIS-based model for predicting debris-flows occurrence. The availability of two different digital datasets and the use of a Digital Elevation Model (at a given scale) have greatly enhanced our ability to quantify and to analyse the topography in relation to debris-flows. In particular, analysing the relationship between debris-flows and the various causative factors provides new understanding of the mechanisms. We studied the contact zone between the calcareous basement and the fluvial-lacustrine infill adjacent northern area of the Terni basin (Umbria, Italy), and identified eleven basins and corresponding alluvial fans. We suggest that accumulations of colluvium in topographic hollows, whatever the sources might be, should be considered potential debris-flow source areas. In order to develop a susceptibility map for the entire area, an index was calculated from the number of initiation locations in each causative factor unit divided by the areal extent of that unit within the study area. This index identifies those units that produce the most debris-flows in each Representative Elementary Area (REA). Finally, the results are presented with the advantages and the disadvantages of the approach, and the need for further research.