Abstract

A very large debris flow of unusual origin occurred in the basin of Klattasine Creek (southern Coast Mountains, British Columbia) between June 1971 and September 1973. The flow was triggered by the sudden release of up to 1.7 × 106 m3 of water from a moraine-dammed lake at the head of a tributary of Klattasine Creek. Water escaping from the lake mobilized large quantities of unconsolidated sediment in the valley below and thus produced a debris flow that travelled in one or, more likely, several surges 8 km downvalley on an average gradient of 10° to the mouth of the stream. Here, the flow deposited a sheet of coarse bouldery debris up to about 20 m thick, which temporarily blocked Homathko River. Slumps, slides, and debris avalanches occurred on the walls of the valley both during and in years following the debris flow. Several secondary debris flows of relatively small size have swept down Klattasine Creek in the 12–14 years since Klattasine Lake drained.

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