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Advancing debris flow hazard and risk assessments with modeling and rainfall intensity data

August 28, 2023

Current View

By Richard Guthrie, Thad Wasklewicz and Graham Knibbs

Stantec Geohazards experts discuss radar derived rainfall intensity data at the 8th International Conference on Debris Flow Hazard Mitigation (DFHM8)

Stantec’s Dr. Rick Guthrie, Dr. Thad Wasklewicz, Graham Knibbs, and Rebecca Rossi discuss how the prediction of post-wildfire debris flows has been a constant theme of geomorphology and geohazard research. Climate change has been linked to increased magnitude and frequency of wildfires in many parts of the world and an expected increase of extreme rainfall following wildfires, which have further complicated our ability to predict debris flow occurrence and heightened the need for scientists and engineers to rapidly advance our understanding of post-wildfire debris flow initiation, runout, and inundation.

Here, a combination of rainfall intensity thresholds and debris flow modeling: (1) provides new insights into the likelihood of debris flows and (2) advance our understanding of debris flow volume estimates. Probabilistic runout and inundation models help advance analyses beyond the empirically derived watershed approaches used in debris flow hazard assessment and volume measurement tools used in the United States.

  • 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
  • Thad Wasklewicz

    Thad is a principal and team leader for Stantec’s geohazard and geomorphology services. He applies high-resolution topography and 2D modeling to manage environmental hazards, and he’s an accomplished technical author in geomatics.

    Contact Thad
  • Graham Knibbs

    As a geoscientist, Graham is a geohazard specialist who focuses his expertise on landslides. He identifies, assesses, analyzes, and reports terrain and geohazard information in support of capital projects, emergency management, and research.

    Contact Graham
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