This work describes recent and ongoing research developed by the British Geological Survey (BGS) on debris flow modelling at national, regional and local scale. Conceptual models and approaches are outlined and discussed in light of their limitations and appropriateness for decision-support in land use planning, risk management or development action plans.

A national scale debris flow susceptibility model was developed using a GIS–based heuristic model. The model provides information on the potential for debris flow occurrence using properties and characteristics of geological materials The final susceptibility map registers scores from 0 to 110 and is classified into a five-point scale from A (i.e., debris flows are not thought to occur) to E (i.e., debris flows are highly likely to be present). The model accuracy is tested using the Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve in a representative area for debris flow occurrence, where 691 debris flows were mapped. A medium- to regional-scale debris flow susceptibility assessment was performed using an empirical 2D-model. Debris flow modelling at local-scale is of paramount importance to develop models and approaches to reasonably simulate these processes for impact and risk assessments.


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