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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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The estimation of debris-flow velocity and volume is a fundamental task for the development of early warning systems and other mitigation measures. This work provide a first approach for estimating the velocity and the total volume of debris flows based on the seismic signal detected with simple, low-cost geophones installed along the debris-flow channel. The developed methods was applied to seismic data collected on three test sites in the Alps: Gadria (IT), Lattenbach (AT), and Cancia (IT).
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https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-411
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-411

  04 Jan 2021

04 Jan 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Debris-flow velocity and volume estimations based on seismic data

Andreas Schimmel1,2, Velio Coviello1, and Francesco Comiti1 Andreas Schimmel et al.
  • 1Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Faculty of Science and Technology, Italy
  • 2Andreas Schimmel - Alpine Monitoring Systems (ALMOSYS), Mkt. Piesting, Austria

Abstract. The estimation of debris-flow velocity and volume is a fundamental task for the development of early warning systems, the design of control structures and other mitigation measures. Previous analysis of the seismic energy produced by debris flows showed that the peak amplitudes are representative of the kinetic energy of each surge and debris-flow discharge can be therefore estimated based on seismic signals. Also, the debris-flow velocity can be calculated using seismic data recorded at two spatial separated stations located along the channel by the use of cross-correlation. This work provide a first approach for estimating the total volume of debris flows based on the seismic signal detected with simple, low-cost geophones installed along the debris-flow channel. The developed methods was applied to seismic data collected on three different test sites in the Alps: Gadria (IT), Lattenbach (AT), and Cancia (IT). An adaptable cross-correlation time window was used, which can offer a better estimation of the velocity compared to a constant window length. The analyses of the seismic data of 14 debris flows that occurred from 2014 to 2018 shows the strong control of the sampling rate and the sensor-distance on the velocity estimation. A simple approach based on a linear relation between square of the seismic amplitude and the event magnitude is proposed for a first order estimation of the debris-flow magnitude.

Andreas Schimmel et al.

Status: open (until 18 Feb 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Andreas Schimmel et al.

Andreas Schimmel et al.

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Short summary
The estimation of debris-flow velocity and volume is a fundamental task for the development of early warning systems and other mitigation measures. This work provide a first approach for estimating the velocity and the total volume of debris flows based on the seismic signal detected with simple, low-cost geophones installed along the debris-flow channel. The developed methods was applied to seismic data collected on three test sites in the Alps: Gadria (IT), Lattenbach (AT), and Cancia (IT).
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