Debris flow modelling and hazard assessment for a glacier area: a case study in Barsem, Tajikistan

Yilmaz K., Dincer A. E., Kalpakci V., Ozturk S.

NATURAL HAZARDS, vol.115, no.3, pp.2577-2601, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 115 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11069-022-05654-8
  • Journal Name: NATURAL HAZARDS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Environment Index, Geobase, INSPEC, Metadex, PAIS International, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.2577-2601
  • Keywords: Debris flow, Soil gradation, Hazard assessment, Non-Newtonian flow, Rheological model, HEC-RAS
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: Yes


This study analyses a previous debris flow hazard as a consequence of emerging risks related to climate and regional physical changes. In addition to the increasing flood frequencies, there is an increasing risk of mud or debris flow due to increasing temperature and heavy precipitation resulting in glacier melting. One of the most recent dramatic examples of the debris flow incident took place in Barsem, Tajikistan, in 2015. As a result of heavy precipitation and excess temperature, the melting of glaciers caused debris flow which ended up with a catastrophic damage at Barsem Town. In this study, a methodology for modelling debris flow and related hazard is developed by examining the 2015 incident in detail with a commercially available software, Hydrological Engineering Centre-River Analysis System (HEC-RAS). Simulations and hazard assessment of the incident suggest that assessment of debris flow hazard can be implemented similar to flood hazard. Moreover, it is seen that debris flow inundation area can be predicted accurately by low-resolution free-source digital elevation models (DEMs), while in the present work they could not predict the debris flow hazard assessment accurately. Sensitivity results also reveal that free-source DEMs with higher resolutions do not necessarily give better predictions than free-source DEMs with lower resolutions.