Sensitivity and identifiability of rheological parameters in debris flow modeling

Zegers, Gerardo; Mendoza, Pablo A.; Garces, Alex; Montserrat, Santiago

Keywords: debris flow, viscosity, identifiability, geology, equifinality, Maximum flow problem, Soil science


Over the past decades, several numerical models have been developed to understand, simulate and predict debris flow events. Typically, these models simplify the complex interactions between water and solids using a single-phase approach and different rheological models to represent flow resistance. In this study, we perform a sensitivity analysis on the parameters of a debris flow numerical model (FLO-2D) for a suite of relevant variables (i.e., maximum flood area, maximum flow velocity, maximum height and deposit volume). Our aims are to (i) examine the degree of model overparameterization and (ii) assess the effectiveness of observational constraints to improve parameter identifiability. We use the Distributed Evaluation of Local Sensitivity Analysis (DELSA) method, which is a hybrid local–global technique. Specifically, we analyze two creeks in northern Chile (∼29∘ S, 70∘ W) that were affected by debris flows on 25 March 2015. Our results show that SD (surface detention) and β1 (a parameter related to viscosity) provide the largest sensitivities. Further, our results demonstrate that equifinality is present in FLO-2D and that the final deposited volume and maximum flood area contain considerable information to identify model parameters.

Más información

Título de la Revista: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Volumen: 20
Número: 7
Fecha de publicación: 2020
Página de inicio: 1919
Página final: 1930
Idioma: English
Financiamiento/Sponsor: Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences of the Universidad de Chile through the Advanced Mining Technology Center (AMTC)