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Book Chapter

Debris flows in the southern and eastern Sierra Nevada region, California

By
David L. Wagner
David L. Wagner
California Geological Survey, 801 K Street, MS 12-32, Sacramento, California 95814, USA,
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Jerome V. De Graff
Jerome V. De Graff
Sierra National Forest, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, 1600 Tollhouse Road, Clovis, California 93611, USA,
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Jeremy T. Lancaster
Jeremy T. Lancaster
California Geological Survey, 801 K Street, MS 12-32, Sacramento, California 95814, USA,
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Published:
January 01, 2013

Abstract

Research in recently burned mountainous watersheds in California, Colorado, and Utah shows that most postfire debris flows are initiated by runoff and erosion and grow in size through erosion and scour in channels. Most commonly, postfire debris flows occur within two years after a fire. This paper describes a field trip to three such occurrences in the southeastern Sierra Nevada as well as debris flows in the arid Inyo Mountains. On 12 July 2008, tropical moisture moved across the American Southwest and stalled against the eastern Sierra. Local convective cells simultaneously produced brief periods of intense rainfall on steep-sloped, burned watersheds near the towns of Lake Isabella and Independence, about 155 km to the north. Both communities sustained significant damage and infrastructure disruption. On 10 August 2010, intense rain fell on the Haiwee Creek drainage that was burned in 2008, producing a debris flow that swept a semi tractor trailer off of Highway 395, caused overnight traffic delays, and damaged infrastructure.

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Contents

GSA Field Guide

Geologic Excursions from Fresno, California, and the Central Valley

Keith Putirka
Keith Putirka
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences California State University, Fresno 2576 E. San Ramon Ave. M/S ST24 Fresno, California 93740 USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
32
ISBN electronic:
9780813756325
Publication date:
January 01, 2013

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