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Water 2018, 10(3), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030250

Case Study: Effects of a Partial-Debris Dam on Riverbank Erosion in the Parlung Tsangpo River, China

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, HKSAR, Hong Kong, China
2
The HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study, HKSAR, Hong Kong, China
3
Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Earth Surface Process, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
4
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract

This paper examines two successive debris flows that deposited a total of 1.4 million m3 of sediment into the Parlung Tsangpo River in China in 2010. As a result of these deposits, a partial-debris dam was formed in the river. This dam rerouted the discharge in the river along one of the riverbanks, which supported a highway. The rerouted discharge eroded the riverbank and the highway eventually collapsed. To enhance our understanding of the threat posed by partial-debris dams, a field investigation was carried out to measure the discharge in the river and to collect soil samples of the collapsed riverbank. Findings from the field investigation were then used to back-analyze fluvial erosion along the riverbank using a combined erosion framework proposed in this study. This combined framework adopts a dam-breach erosion model which can capture the progressive nature of fluvial erosion by considering the particle size distribution of the soil being eroded. The results from the back-analysis were then evaluated against unique high-resolution images obtained from satellites. This case study not only highlights the consequences of the formation of partial-debris dams on nearby infrastructure, but it also proposes the use of a combined erosion framework to provide a first-order assessment of riverbank stability. Unique high-resolution satellite images are used to assess the proposed erosion framework and key challenges in assessing erosion are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: river; debris flow; partial-debris dam; fluvial erosion; limit equilibrium analysis river; debris flow; partial-debris dam; fluvial erosion; limit equilibrium analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Choi, C.E.; Cui, Y.; Au, K.Y.K.; Liu, H.; Wang, J.; Liu, D.; Wang, H. Case Study: Effects of a Partial-Debris Dam on Riverbank Erosion in the Parlung Tsangpo River, China. Water 2018, 10, 250.

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