USGS Joins Efforts in Montecito to Assess Debris-Flow Aftermath

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Detailed Description

A team of USGS geologists provide science support following Montecito post-fire debris-flow event.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:01:57

Location Taken: Montecito, CA, US


Text on Screen:

On Jan. 9, 2018 a fatal debris flow struck the Montecito, California community.

USGS geologists joined county and state partners to assess the event’s aftermath.

Dennis Staley USGS Geologist:

We’re out here mapping the area that’s been inundated by the debris flow. We’re trying to get some sense of the spatial extent of the flow as well as the magnitude of the flow.

It’s important for basically being able to do forensic analysis of what happened during the event, how it unfolded as time went by throughout the hour-period that it occured.

There’s actually a two-fold goal here for this type of analysis. First is the immediate need of identifying the areas that have been inundated so that we can communicate hazardous area to the local officials and the emergency responders, in case there are additional events throughout the winter,they can position people in certain areas that we deem to be relatively out of harm’s way. As well as get the information to the public where future flows may go given the amount of change thats occured in topography.

So that’s the immediate,  first goal. The second goal is sort of a longer term strategy and a longer term program -oriented goal, where we’re going to use this information to be able to estimate areas of inundation in future events.