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Potential postwildfire debris-flow hazards - a prewildfire evaluation for the Sandia and Manzano Mountains and surrounding areas, central New Mexico

Posted date: March 03, 2015
Publication Year: 
2014
Authors: Tillery, Anne C.; Haas, Jessica R.; Miller, Lara W.; Scott, Joe H.; Thompson, Matthew P.
Publication Series: 
Miscellaneous
Source: Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5161. Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey. 24 p.

Abstract

Wildfire can drastically increase the probability of debris flows, a potentially hazardous and destructive form of mass wasting, in landscapes that have otherwise been stable throughout recent history. Although there is no way to know the exact location, extent, and severity of wildfire, or the subsequent rainfall intensity and duration before it happens, probabilities of fire and debris-flow occurrence for different locations can be estimated with geospatial analysis and modeling efforts. The purpose of this report is to provide information on which watersheds might constitute the most serious, potential, debris-flow hazards in the event of a large-scale wildfire and subsequent rainfall in the Sandia and Manzano Mountains. Potential probabilities and estimated volumes of postwildfire debris flows in the unburned Sandia and Manzano Mountains and surrounding areas were estimated using empirical debris-flow models developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in combination with fire behavior and burn probability models developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Citation

Tillery, Anne C.; Haas, Jessica R.; Miller, Lara W.; Scott, Joe H.; Thompson, Matthew P. 2014. Potential postwildfire debris-flow hazards - a prewildfire evaluation for the Sandia and Manzano Mountains and surrounding areas, central New Mexico. Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5161. Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey. 24 p.