Velocity and runout simulation of destructive debris flows and debris avalanches in pyroclastic deposits, Campania region, Italy

The Campanian Apennines are characterized by the presence of monocline ridges, mainly formed by limestone. During the periods of volcanic activity of the Somma-Vesuvius and Phlegrean Fields, the ridges were mantled with pyroclastic materials in varying thickness. The pyroclastics have been involved in destructive landslides both in historical time and in the recent past (1997, 1998, 1999). The landslides occur following intense and prolonged rainfalls. In some cases, landslides extended up to 4 km into the surrounding lowlands and reached towns, causing severe destruction and over 200 deaths. Generally, the landslides begin as small debris slides that develop into large, shallow debris avalanches or debris flows involving pyroclastic horizons and colluvial soils (0.5-2 m thick) on steep and vegetated slopes, often at the heads of gullies. During motion, the landslide materials eroded vegetation and soils from the slope, so that the moving material volume tended to increase. Then, proceeding towards and beyond the base of the slopes, the phenomena evolved into hyperconcentrated streamflow due to dilution by incorporating water. The results of motion analyses are described. An empirical rheological relationship was used including two principal terms that depend on the total normal stress and on the flow velocity. On this basis, the model has simulated the velocity and duration of debris avalanches and the distribution of the deposits. The selected areas were those of Sarno/ Quindici and Cervinara, where a large amount of data is available both on the material properties and geomorphological setting. It was found that the majority of the cases at the two sites can be simulated successfully with only one specific pair of rheologic parameters. This provides the possibility for first-order predictions to be made of the motion of future landslides. Such predictions will be a valuable tool for outlining potential hazard areas and designing remedial measures.

Accès au document

Métadonnées du document