UBC Undergraduate Research

Sensitivity Analysis of UBCDFLOW and Debris Flow Travel Distance in Mountainous Forested Terrain around the Kootenay, British Columbia Region Kurylo, John Bohdan


Two current approaches for the analysis of debris flows exist; semiempirical and empirical approaches. Fannin and Wise (2001) have proposed and developed an empirical–statistical model for predicting debris flow travel distance. This empiricalstatistical model is known as UBCDFLOW. Application of the UBCDFLOW model was completed for five sites within British Columbia. Forensically informed UBCDFLOW simulations, where the governing mode of flow in a reach was know beforehand, were compared against path informed simulations, where the benefits of knowing the mode of flow were not realized. It was observed that, due to the variances in entrainment and deposition widths, minor fluctuations in cumulative volume resulted. However, no significant variance in travel distance was observed. It was found that UBCDFLOW cumulative flow and travel distance was insensitive to variations in initial volume. Further, it was confirmed that the flow volumes generated by UBCDFLOW are moderately sensitive to a change in the event width while the predicted travel distance appears insensitive.

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