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How well can we simulate complex hydro-geomorphic process chains? The 2012 multi-lake outburst flood in the Santa Cruz Valley (Cordillera Blanca, Perú)


Mergili, Martin; Emmer, Adam; Juřicová, Anna; Cochachin, Alejo; Fischer, Jan-Thomas; Huggel, Christian; Pudasaini, Shiva P (2018). How well can we simulate complex hydro-geomorphic process chains? The 2012 multi-lake outburst flood in the Santa Cruz Valley (Cordillera Blanca, Perú). Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 43(7):1373-1389.

Abstract

Changing high-mountain environments are characterized by destabilizing ice, rock or debris slopes connected to evolving glacial lakes. Such configurations may lead to potentially devastating sequences of mass movements (process chains or cascades). Computer simulations are supposed to assist in anticipating the possible consequences of such phenomena in order to reduce the losses. The present study explores the potential of the novel computational tool r.avaflow for simulating complex process chains. r.avaflow employs an enhanced version of the Pudasaini (2012) general two-phase mass flow model, allowing consideration of the interactions between solid and fluid components of the flow. We back-calculate an event that occurred in 2012 when a landslide from a moraine slope triggered a multi-lake outburst flood in the Artizón and Santa Cruz valleys, Cordillera Blanca, Peru, involving four lakes and a substantial amount of entrained debris along the path. The documented and reconstructed flow patterns are reproduced in a largely satisfactory way in the sense of empirical adequacy. However, small variations in the uncertain parameters can fundamentally influence the behaviour of the process chain through threshold effects and positive feedbacks. Forward simulations of possible future cascading events will rely on more comprehensive case and parameter studies, but particularly on the development of appropriate strategies for decision-making based on uncertain simulation results.

Abstract

Changing high-mountain environments are characterized by destabilizing ice, rock or debris slopes connected to evolving glacial lakes. Such configurations may lead to potentially devastating sequences of mass movements (process chains or cascades). Computer simulations are supposed to assist in anticipating the possible consequences of such phenomena in order to reduce the losses. The present study explores the potential of the novel computational tool r.avaflow for simulating complex process chains. r.avaflow employs an enhanced version of the Pudasaini (2012) general two-phase mass flow model, allowing consideration of the interactions between solid and fluid components of the flow. We back-calculate an event that occurred in 2012 when a landslide from a moraine slope triggered a multi-lake outburst flood in the Artizón and Santa Cruz valleys, Cordillera Blanca, Peru, involving four lakes and a substantial amount of entrained debris along the path. The documented and reconstructed flow patterns are reproduced in a largely satisfactory way in the sense of empirical adequacy. However, small variations in the uncertain parameters can fundamentally influence the behaviour of the process chain through threshold effects and positive feedbacks. Forward simulations of possible future cascading events will rely on more comprehensive case and parameter studies, but particularly on the development of appropriate strategies for decision-making based on uncertain simulation results.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Earth-Surface Processes, Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous), Geography, Planning and Development
Language:English
Date:15 June 2018
Deposited On:30 Jan 2019 13:44
Last Modified:30 Jan 2019 13:46
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0197-9337
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.4318
Project Information:
  • : FunderH2020
  • : Grant ID704133
  • : Project TitlePIEZOMACH - Piezoelectric Vibration Absorber for Machining Applications

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