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Debris-flow hazards in the blue ridge of Central Virginia

Environmental and Engineering Geoscience

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Abstract

The June 27, 1995, storm in Madison County, Virginia produced debris flows and floods that devastated a small (130 km2) area of the Blue Ridge in the eastern United States. Although similar debris-flow inducing storm events may return only approximately once every two thousand years to the same given locale, these events affecting a similar small-sized area occur about every three years somewhere in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains. From physical examinations and mapping of debris-flow sources, paths, and deposits in Madison County, we develop methods for identifying areas subject to debris flows using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. We examined the rainfall intensity and duration characteristics of the June 27, 1995, and other storms, in the Blue Ridge of central Virginia, and have defined a minimum threshold necessary to trigger debris flows in granitic rocks. In comparison with thresholds elsewhere, longer and more intense rainfall is necessary to trigger debris flows in the Blue Ridge.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Debris-flow hazards in the blue ridge of Central Virginia
Series title:
Environmental and Engineering Geoscience
Volume
6
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental and Engineering Geoscience
First page:
3
Last page:
23
Number of Pages:
21