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The devastation of debris flows and the difficulty of predicting them

December 27, 2023

Current View

The risk of dangerous debris flows is increasing in British Columbia. Stantec’s Dr. Richard Guthrie talked to Innovation magazine about how to predict them.

In British Columbia’s steep terrain, debris flows are dangerous to homes and communities in their path. Debris flows can be triggered by extreme rainfall or earthquakes, and forest fires can increase their likelihood by loosening soil.

Predicting potential routes and developing solutions against debris flows is a costly and complicated challenge.

In this Innovation article, Stantec’s Dr. Richard Guthrie discusses the company’s cutting-edge DebrisFlow Predictor tool that can model debris flows and the hazards posed by them. Using the tool, Stantec has modelled over two million debris flows in several countries, though most of them are in British Columbia. The tool can help protect the increasing number of cities and communities exposed to mountain hazards.

  • Richard Guthrie

    Richard brings over 25 years of experience in geotechnical analysis and expert advice, gaining some impressive industry recognition along the way.

    Contact Richard
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