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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-135
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-135
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  11 May 2020

11 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Forecasting dam height and stability of dams formed by rock slope failures in Norway

Thierry Oppikofer1, Reginald L. Hermanns1,2, Vegard U. Jakobsen2,a, Martina Böhme1, Pierrick Nicolet1, and Ivanna Penna1 Thierry Oppikofer et al.
  • 1Geological Survey of Norway, Leiv Eirikssons vei 39, P.O. Box 6315 Torgarden, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
  • 2Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  • anow at: Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Steinskjer, Norway

Abstract. Based on an inventory of 69 dams formed by rock slope failures in southwestern Norway and published landslide dam inventories from other parts of the World we developed semi-empirical relationships linking the maximum dam height (HD.max in m) to dam volume (VD in 106 m3) and other relevant parameters such as valley width (WV in m) or dam area (AD in km2). Power-laws are obtained for HD.max = f(VD) and HD.max = f(VD, WV), while a linear relationship links HD.max to the ratio VD / AD. For dams in southwestern Norway, the linear relationship HD.max = 1.75 × VD / AD has least uncertainties and provides best results when comparing predicted dam heights with a validation dataset composed of existing dams in northern Norway and numerically modelled dams for possible rock slope failures. To assess the stability of future dams we use the predicted dam heights in the dimensionless blockage index DBI and relating this index to the probability of dam failure derived from our dataset and other published databases on landslide dams. This study underlines the potential of semi-empirical relationships for assessing dam height and stability that needs to be included in preliminary hazard and risk assessment for unstable rock slopes, because damming of a river is an important secondary effect of landslides due to upstream flooding and possible outburst floods in case of dam failure.

Thierry Oppikofer et al.

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Thierry Oppikofer et al.

Thierry Oppikofer et al.

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Latest update: 29 Sep 2020
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Short summary
Damming of rivers is an important secondary effect of landslides due to upstream flooding and possible outburst floods in case of dam failure. For preliminary regional hazard and risk assessment of dams formed by rock slope failures in Norway, we developed empirical relationships to assess the height and stability of landslide dams based on an inventory of 69 dams formed by rock slope failures in southwestern Norway and published landslide dam inventories from other parts of the World.
Damming of rivers is an important secondary effect of landslides due to upstream flooding and...
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