07 Apr 2022
07 Apr 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESurf.

A control volume finite element model for predicting the morphology of cohesive-frictional debris flow deposits

Tzu-Yin Chen1, Ying-Chen Wu1, Chi-Yao Hung2, Hervé Capart1, and Vaughan R. Voller3 Tzu-Yin Chen et al.
  • 1Dept of Civil Engineering and Hydrotech Research Institute, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
  • 2Dept of Soil and Water Conservation, National Chung-Hsing University, Taiwan
  • 3Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering, University of Minnesota, USA

Abstract. To predict the morphology of debris flow deposits, a control volume finite element model (CVFEM) is proposed, balancing material fluxes over irregular control volumes. Locally, the magnitude of these fluxes is taken proportional to the difference between the surface slope and a critical slope, dependent on the thickness of the flow layer. For the critical slope, a Mohr–Coulomb (cohesive-frictional) constitutive relation is assumed, combining a yield stress with a friction angle. To verify the proposed framework, the CVFEM numerical algorithm is first applied to idealized geometries, for which analytical solutions are available. The Mohr–Coulomb constitutive relation is then checked against debris flow deposit profiles measured in the field. Finally, CVFEM simulations are compared with laboratory experiments for various complex geometries, including canyon-plain and canyon-valley transitions. The results demonstrate the capability of the proposed model and clarify the influence of friction angle and yield stress on deposit morphology. Features shared by the field, laboratory, and simulation results include the formation of steep snouts along lobe margins.

Tzu-Yin Chen et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esurf-2022-11', Chris Johnson, 05 Sep 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply to Dr. Chris Johnson', Tzu-Yin Kasha Chen, 12 Nov 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on esurf-2022-11', Stefan Hergarten, 25 Sep 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply to Professor Stefan Hergarten', Tzu-Yin Kasha Chen, 12 Nov 2022

Tzu-Yin Chen et al.

Data sets

Model codes and data for "A control volume finite element model for predicting the morphology of cohesive-frictional debris flow deposits" Tzu-Yin Kasha Chen; Ying-Chen Wu; Chi-Yao Hung; Herve Capart; Vaughan R. Voller

Tzu-Yin Chen et al.


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Short summary
Predicting the extent and thickness of debris flow deposits is important for assessing and mitigating hazards. We propose a simplified mass balance model for predicting the morphology of a terminated debris flow depositing over complex topography. A key element in this model is that the termination of flow of the deposit is determined by prescribed values of yield stress and friction angle. The model results are consistent with available analytical solutions, field and laboratory observations.