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    Author(s): R. M. Wooten; K. A. Gillon; A. C. Witt; R. S. Latham; T. J. Douglas; J. B. Bauer; S. J. Fuemmeler; L. G. Lee
    Date: 2008
    Source: Landslides
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    In September 2004, rain from the remnants of Hurricanes Frances and Ivan triggered at least 155 landslides in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. At least 33 debris flows occurred in Macon County, causing 5 deaths, destroying 16 homes, and damaging infrastructure. We mapped debris flows and debris deposits using a light-detecting and ranging digital elevation model, remote imagery and field studies integrated in a geographic information system. Evidence of past debris flows was found at all recent debris flow sites. Orographic rainfall enhancement along topographic escarpments influenced debris flow frequency at higher elevations. A possible trigger for the Wayah and fatal Peeks Creek debris flows was a spiral rain band within Ivan that moved across the area with short duration rainfall rates of 150–230 mm/h. Intersecting bedrock structures in polydeformed metamorphic rock influence the formation of catchments within structural–geomorphic domains where debris flows originate.

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    Wooten, R. M.; Gillon, K. A.; Witt, A. C.; Latham, R. S.; Douglas, T. J.; Bauer, J. B.; Fuemmeler, S. J.; Lee, L. G. 2008.Geologic, geomorphic, and meteorological aspects of debris flows triggered by Hurricanes Frances and Ivan during September 2004 in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Macon County, North Carolina (southeastern USA). Landslides. 5(1): 31-44. 14 p.


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    Debris flows, hurricanes, GIS, LiDAR, North Carolina

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