Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-47
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-47

  15 Mar 2021

15 Mar 2021

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

Rapid assessment of urban mega-gully and landslide events with Structure-from-Motion techniques validates link to water resources infrastructure failures

Napoleon Gudino-Elizondo1,2, Matthew W. Brand2, Trent W. Biggs3, Alvaro Gomez-Gutierrez4, Eddy Langendoen5, Ronald Bingner5, Yongping Yuan6, and Brett F. Sanders2 Napoleon Gudino-Elizondo et al.
  • 1Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Ensenada, 22760, México
  • 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 92697, USA
  • 3Department of Geography, San Diego State University, San Diego, 92182-4493, USA
  • 4Research Institute for Sustainable Territorial Development, University of Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain
  • 5National Sedimentation Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Oxford, 38655, USA
  • 6U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Research Triangle Park, Durham, 27711, USA

Abstract. Mega-gullies and landslides pose significant hazards to urban development on steep terrain. Water resources infrastructure failures (WRIFs), such as leaks and breaks in water supply pipes, have been postulated as a trigger of mass movement events but data for validation has been challenging to acquire since earthwork proceeds quickly after events to repair roads and other infrastructure. Urban development in Tijuana, Mexico was monitored for a five-year period to document the occurrence of mega-gullies and landslides, including sediment volumes. A rapid assessment approach was developed based on photogrammetric observations from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and Structure from Motion (SfM) digital processing. Three hazardous mass-movement events were observed including two mega-gullies and one landslide. Furthermore, all three events were linked to WRIFs. Frequency analysis points to the annual probability of a WRIF-based erosion event in the range of 40–60 %, which is far higher than design levels typically used for urban stormwater infrastructure (5–10 %). Additionally, sediment modelling points to WRIF-based erosion as a non-negligible contributor to sediment generation. These results suggest that WRIFs are a significant contributor to erosion hazards facing urban development on steep terrain, and call for expanded monitoring to characterize the occurrence and modes of WRIF-based erosion events.

Napoleon Gudino-Elizondo et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-47', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 May 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Napoleon Gudino-Elizondo, 08 Jul 2021
      • AC3: 'Reply on AC1', Napoleon Gudino-Elizondo, 08 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2021-47', Anonymous Referee #2, 19 May 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Napoleon Gudino-Elizondo, 08 Jul 2021
      • AC4: 'Reply on AC2', Napoleon Gudino-Elizondo, 08 Jul 2021

Napoleon Gudino-Elizondo et al.

Napoleon Gudino-Elizondo et al.

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Short summary
Mass movement hazards in the form of gullies and landsides pose significant risks in urbanizing areas, yet are poorly documented. This paper presents observations and modeling of mass movement events over a 5-year period in Tijuana, Mexico. Three major events were observed, and all were linked to water resources infrastructure failures (WRIFs), namely leaks and breaks in water supply pipes. Modeling shows that WRIF-based erosion events are significant with respect to the total sediment budget.
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