Dense urban development on a hilly terrain coupled with intense seasonal rainfall and heterogeneous weathering profiles give rise to acute debris-flow problems in Hong Kong. The Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Hong Kong SAR Government has launched a holistic research and development (R&D) programme and collaborated with various tertiary institutes and professional bodies to support the development of a comprehensive technical framework for managing landslide risk and designing debris-flow mitigation measures. The scope of the technical development work includes compilation of landslide inventories, field studies of debris flows, development and calibration of tools for landslide run-out modelling, back analysis of notable debris flows, physical and numerical modelling of the interaction between debris flows and mitigation measures, formulation of a technical framework for evaluating debris-flow hazards, and development of pragmatic mitigation strategies and design methodologies for debris-flow countermeasures. The work has advanced the technical understanding of debris-flow hazards and transformed the natural terrain landslide risk management practice in Hong Kong. New analytical tools and improved design methodologies are being applied in routine geotechnical engineering practice.

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