Flow-r, a model for debris flow susceptibility mapping at a regional scale – some case studies


  • Pascal Horton
  • Michel Jaboyedoff
  • Markus Zimmermann
  • Benoit Mazotti
  • Celine Longchamp




model, regional, debris flow, susceptibility mapping


Every year, debris flows cause huge damage in mountainous areas. Due to population pressure in hazardous zones, the socio-economic impact is much higher than in the past. Therefore, the development of indicative susceptibility hazard maps is of primary importance, particularly in developing countries. However, the complexity of the phenomenon and the variability of local controlling factors limit the use of processbased models for a first assessment. A debris flow model has been developed for regional susceptibility assessments using digital elevation model (DEM) with a GIS-based approach. The automatic identification of source areas and the estimation of debris flow spreading, based on GIS tools, provide a substantial basis for a preliminary susceptibility assessment at a regional scale. One of the main advantages of this model is its workability. In fact, everything is open to the user, from the data choice to the selection of the algorithms and their parameters. The Flow-R model was tested in three different contexts: two in Switzerland and one in Pakistan, for indicative susceptibility hazard mapping. It was shown that the quality of the DEM is the most important parameter to obtain reliable results for propagation, but also to identify the potential debris flows sources.




How to Cite

Horton, P., Jaboyedoff, M., Zimmermann, M., Mazotti, B., & Longchamp, . C. (2011). Flow-r, a model for debris flow susceptibility mapping at a regional scale – some case studies. Italian Journal of Engineering Geology and Environment, 875–884. https://doi.org/10.4408/IJEGE.2011-03.B-095

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