Responsibility/Liability Related to Mudflows/Debris Flows

by J. E. Slosson, Slosson & Associates, Van Nuys, CA, USA,
G. Shuirman, Slosson & Associates, Van Nuys, CA, USA,
D. Yoakum, Slosson & Associates, Van Nuys, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Forum '86: World Water Issues in Evolution


The combined experiences of the authors during the past few decades indicate that many of the problems and losses related to damage from floods, landslides, mud/debris flows, and water-related subsidence are directly or indirectly attributable to the inability and/or failure of government (local, state, and sometimes federal) to adequately enforce existing policies, codes, or regulations. The construction of housing and public facilities in portions of the foothill areas of the western states have revealed and created hazardous conditions related to mudflows and debris flows. Investigations conducted following many of these disastrous events strongly suggest that sites of mudflows and debris flows can be recognized prior to the event. In reviewing the history of recent catastrophies, it is evident that timing of predictable catastrophic events is predicated upon saturation of soil, alluvium, colluvium, and slopewash and the resultant conversion of dry, loose, porous, solid mass into a fluid mass capable of rapid downslope motion.

Subject Headings: Public health and safety | Public buildings | Solids flow | Site investigation | Saturated soils | Slopes | Floods | Water policy

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