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NOAA-USGS Debris-Flow Warning System

Once the smoke clears from a wildfire, the danger is not over. Flash floods and debris flows—or mudflows—can be one of the most hazardous consequences of rainfall on burned hill slopes. Just a small amount of rainfall on a burned area can lead to these hazards. The powerful force of rushing water, soil, and rock, both within the burned area and downstream, can destroy culverts, bridges, roadways, and structures, and can result in injury or death. The U.S. Geological Landslides Hazards Program strives to reduce loss of life and property to landslide hazards through improved understanding and effective mitigation. This is accomplished in three primary ways: development of improved approaches for landslide hazard assessments; post-disaster response; and public information and outreach.

Cover of the Debris-Flow Warning System Final Report
NOAA-USGS Debris-Flow Warning System—Final Report
Circular 1283
Picture of the fact sheet main page
NOAA-USGS Demonstration Flash-Flood and Debris-Flow Early-Warning System
Fact Sheet - 2005-3104
thumbnail image of a debris-flow

This film clip was taken by Mr. Davis, a resident of Devore, California, and shows a debris flow traveling down Greenwood Avenue on December 25, 2003. The debris flow was triggered by rainfall on the hillslopes above Devore that had been burned by wildfires during the fall of 2003.

View the video (Windows Media, 400 x 300, 2.4 MB)
(Note: No audio is contained in the video)

 

 

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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, July 08, 2008