Debris flows are among the most dangerous natural hazards that threaten people and infrastructures in both mountainous and volcanic areas. The study of the initiation and dynamics of debris flows, along with the characterization of the associated erosion/deposition processes, is of paramount importance for hazard assessment, land-use planning and design of mitigation measures, including early warning systems. In addition, the impacts of climate change on debris-flow activity must be considered and carefully analysed, as the number of mountain areas prone to these events may increase in future.
A growing number of scientists with diverse backgrounds are studying debris flows and lahars. The difficulties in measuring parameters related to their initiation and propagation have progressively prompted research into a wide variety of laboratory experiments and monitoring studies. However, there is a need of improving the quality of instrumental observations that would provide knowledge for more accurate hazards maps and modeling. Nowadays, the combination of distributed sensor networks and remote sensing techniques represents a unique opportunity to gather direct observations of debris flows to better constrain their physical properties.
Scientists working in the field of debris flows are invited to present their recent advancements. In addition, contributions from practitioners and decision makers are also welcome. Topics of the session include: field studies and documentation, mechanics of debris-flow initiation and propagation, laboratory experiments, modeling, monitoring, impacts of climate change on debris-flow activity, hazard and risk assessment and mapping, early warning, and alarm systems.
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