Landslide-generated tsunami and particle transport in mountain lakes and reservoirs

  • Kafle J
  • Pokhrel P
  • Khattri K
  • et al.
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Gravitational mass flows may generate tsunamis as they hit water bodies such as oceans, reservoirs or mountain lakes. Upon impact, they can generate tremendous particle-laden or debris flows and floods. Rapidly cascading waves down mountain slopes can trigger debris flows or floods, potentially causing huge damage to civil structures and endangering life. Here we apply a general two-phase mass flow model (Pudasaini, 2012), and present three-dimensional (3-D), high-resolution simulations for a real two-phase debris impacting a fluid reservoir. An innovative formulation provides an opportunity, within a single framework, to simulate simultaneously the sliding two-phase debris/landslide, reservoir, debris impact at reservoir, water-wave generation, propagation and mixing, and separation between solid and fluid phases. The results demonstrate formation and propagation of very special solid and fluid structures in the reservoir, propagation of submarine debris, turbidity currents, and complex interactions between the subaerial debris, surface tsunami and submarine debris waves. Our results reveal that the submerge timescaling for a deformable two-phase debris deviates substantially from the same for a non-deformable solid. These results substantially increase our understanding of 3-D complex multiphase systems/flows. This allows for the proper modeling of landslide/debris-induced mountain tsunami, dynamics of turbidity currents and highly concentrated sediment transports in Himalayan and Alpine slopes and channels, with associated applications to engineering, environmental and hazard-mitigation plans.




Kafle, J., Pokhrel, P. R., Khattri, K. B., Kattel, P., Tuladhar, B. M., & Pudasaini, S. P. (2016). Landslide-generated tsunami and particle transport in mountain lakes and reservoirs. Annals of Glaciology, 57(71), 232–244.

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