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Compilation of runoff-generated debris-flow inventories for 17 fires across Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Washington, USA

September 12, 2023

This data release is an inventory of runoff-generated postfire debris flows compiled from 17 burn areas across five western U.S. states. Debris-flow data from the following fires are included:
Arizona: 2017 Pinal and 2019 Woodbury Fires
California: 2020 Apple, 2020 Bond, 2015 Butte, 2020 El Dorado, 2014 El Portal, 2018 Ferguson, 2016 Fish (San Gabriel Complex), 2011 Motor, and 2017 Thomas Fires
Colorado: 2020 Cameron Peak and 2018 Spring Creek Fires
New Mexico: 2018 Buzzard Fire
Washington: 2021 Cedar Creek, 2021 Cub Creek 2, and 2021 Muckamuck Fires

The included table, “Combined_Inventory.csv”, contains debris-flow records represented as “1” or “0”, indicating whether a debris flow did occur or did not occur, respectively, in response to a given storm. In addition, for each observation, the corresponding fire name, observation location, storm date, and rainfall intensities are included. The “README.txt” file describes the fields (including units) for “Combined_Inventory.csv” in more detail. "0" values in the "Response" column indicate that no debris flow was observed, but a hydrologic response with lower sediment content may or may not have occurred.

Assembling these data in a unified format involved a combination of compiling data from published sources and synthesizing new debris-flow records from observations made by US Geological Survey staff and partners. All records in the included file, "Combined_Inventory.csv", are credited, according to the individuals or publications that provided the observation information, in the column labeled “ObservationSource”. To the best of our knowledge, all records included here correspond to debris flows generated by runoff, not by other mechanisms. These records have only limited spatial and temporal extent: they should not be taken as a comprehensive record of the hydrologic response in every catchment in response to every postfire storm. Fields with value “-9999” indicate that data are not available or do not exist.

Data Credits
Special thanks go to many colleagues who provided or helped to assemble debris-flow observation and/or rainfall data, including: Ann Youberg (Arizona Geological Survey); Paul Burgess, Jeremy Lancaster, Don Lindsay, John Oswald, and Brian Swanson (California Geological Survey); Chad Neptune (California State Water Resources Control Board); Stephanie Kampf, Lee MacDonald, Megan Sears, and Ellen Wohl (Colorado State University); Luke McGuire (University of Arizona); Maya Daurio (University of British Columbia); Laura Hempel, Jason Kean, Francis Rengers, Brittany Selander, and Matthew Thomas (U.S. Geological Survey); and Mitchell Allen and Kate Mickelson (Washington Geological Survey).

Publication Year 2023
Title Compilation of runoff-generated debris-flow inventories for 17 fires across Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Washington, USA
DOI 10.5066/P98Q4CDH
Authors Andrew P Graber
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Geologic Hazards Science Center