Emergency Response to the 1983 Debris Flows Along Utah's Wasatch Front

by Bruce N. Kaliser, Hauskins & Beckwith, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Soil Properties Evaluation from Centrifugal Models and Field Performance


The wet cycle experienced in Utah culminated in approximately one thousand landslide triggered debris flows caused by rapid melt of unprecedented snow accumulation in the Wasatch Mountains, Wasatch Plateau and other ranges of northern and central Utah. A small percentage of debris flows reached alluvial fans at the canyon mouths and caused damage. Emergency response by government scientists and engineers proved efficacious at reducing losses to both public and private sectors. No loss of life resulted from debris flows in 1983. Results of technical, emergency response work performed in 1983 assisted considerably with the preparation undertaken to address a like situation that again emerged along the Wasatch Front in 1984.

Subject Headings: Snowmelt | Emergency management | Debris | Solids flow | Landslides | Sediment transport | Alluvial channels | Utah | United States

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