30 May 2022
30 May 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Spatio-temporal analysis of slope-type debris flow activity in Horlachtal, Austria based on orthophotos and LiDAR data since 1947

Jakob Rom1, Florian Haas1, Tobias Heckmann1, Moritz Altmann1, Fabian Fleischer1, Camillo Ressl2, Sarah Betz-Nutz1, and Michael Becht1 Jakob Rom et al.
  • 1Chair of Physical Geography, Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, 85072 Eichstätt, Germany
  • 2Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Technische Universität Wien, 1040 Wien, Austria

Abstract. In order to get a better understanding about the future development of alpine slope-type debris flows in the frame of climate change, complete and gapless records for the last century for this type of geomorphologic process are necessary. However, up to now such records are scarce. Here, the slope-type debris flow activity in the Horlachtal, Austria since 1947 is investigated with the help of historic and recent area-wide orthophotos. Using geomorphological mapping, both spatial and temporal variabilities in debris flow dynamics can be shown. The results indicate short-term variations rather than consistent increasing or decreasing trends of slope-type debris flow activity in Horlachtal. Specifically, three active periods between 1954 and 1973, 1990 and 2009 as well as between 2015 and 2018 can be registered. Analyses of the deposited debris flow volumes show that for parts of the study area the largest volumes appeared in the early 1990s which might have even influenced the dynamics in the following years. Studies on the spatial variabilities revealed differences of slope-type debris flow activity within the study area and point to local thunderstorms as triggers for debris flows. However, long-term precipitation data of high temporal resolution do not reveal increasing or decreasing tendencies in the number of such events.

Jakob Rom 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-2022-138', Tjalling de Haas, 07 Jun 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Jakob Rom, 18 Aug 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2022-138', Anonymous Referee #2, 14 Jul 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Jakob Rom, 18 Aug 2022

Jakob Rom et al.

Jakob Rom et al.


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Short summary
In the present study, an area-wide slope-type debris flow record for the Horlachtal, Austria since 1947 based on historic and recent orthophotos is established. Spatial and temporal analyses show variations of debris flow activity in space and time in a high alpine region. The results can contribute to a better understanding of past slope-type debris flow dynamics in the frame of climate change and their possible future development.