Abstract

The National Weather Service flood routing model DAMBRK is able to closely replicate field-documented stages of historic and prehistoric lahars from Mt. Rainier, Washington, and Mt. Hood, Oregon. Modeled time-of-travel of flow waves are generally consistent with documented lahar travel-times from other volcanoes around the world. The model adequately replicates a range of lahars and debris flows, including the 230 million km3 Electron lahar from Mt. Rainier, as well as a 10 m3 debris flow generated in a large outdoor experimental flume. The model is used to simulate a hypothetical lahar with a volume of 50 million m3 down the East Fork Hood River from Mt. Hood, Oregon. Although a flow such as this is thought to be possible in the Hood River valley, no field evidence exists on which to base a hazards assessment. DAMBRK seems likely to be usable in many volcanic settings to estimate discharge, velocity, and inundation areas of lahars when input hydrographs and energy-loss coefficients can be reasonably estimated.

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