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Geotechnical properties of debris-flow sediments and slurries

January 1, 1997

Measurements of geotechnical properties of various poorly sorted debris-flow sediments and slurries (??? 32 mm diameter) emphasize their granular nature, and reveal that properties of slurries can differ significantly from those of compacted sediments. Measurements show that: (1) cohesion probably offers little resistance to shear in most debris flows under low confining stresses normally found in nature; (2) intrinsic hydraulic permeabilities of compacted debris-flow sediments vary from about 10-14-10-9 m2; permeabilities of 'typical' debris-flow slurries fall toward the low end of the range; (3) debris-flow slurries are characterized by very large values of 'elastic' compressibility (C approx. 10-2 kPa-1); and (4) hydraulic diffusivities of quasistatically consolidating slurries are approx. 10-4-10-7 m2/s. Low hydraulic diffusivity of debris slurries permits excess fluid pressure and low effective strength to persist during sediment transport and deposition.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1997
Title Geotechnical properties of debris-flow sediments and slurries
Authors J. J. Major, R. M. Iverson, D.F. McTigue, S. Macias, B.K. Fiedorowicz
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70020072
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Cascades Volcano Observatory