Debris Flow Potential and Sediment Yield Analysis Following Wild Fire Events in Mountainous Terrain

by Craig V. Nelson, Salt Lake County Public Works, Salt Lake City, United States,
Robert C. Rasely, Salt Lake County Public Works, Salt Lake City, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands (H²AL)


The Pacific Southwest Inter-Agency Committee (PSIAC) 1968 Sediment Yield Rating Model provides a method to rapidly assess any increase in potential sediment yields following a wild fire event. Increased rates of erosion after a fire in mountainous areas significantly elevate the potential for debris flow/flood events. The PSIAC method provides decision makers with information needed to determine if erosion control mitigation measures are warranted. PSIAC input requires assigning values to nine parameters affecting the sediment yield: geology, soils, climate, runoff, topography, ground cover, land use, upland erosion, and channel erosion and transport. These values are then converted into the potential sediment yield in acre-feet per square mile of drainage area per year (m3km2/yr).

Subject Headings: Debris | Solids flow | Potential flow | Sediment | Wild fires | Mountains | Terrain | River flow | Utah | United States

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