Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FII Project R02-12

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Enhanced tools for including landslide risk in timber supply analysis

Author(s): Fannin, Jonathan (University of British Columbia)
Subject: Forestry, Landscape ecology
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program


One of the challenges in forest development planning is predicting landslide-induced stream sedimentation. Professional accountability relies on decision-support tools that are conservative, but no overly conservative, and which can be used with confidence.
Application of a decision-support tool (UBCDFLOW), an empirical-statistical model developed for prediction of debris flow travel distance, is reported for debris flow events in the Kootenay-Columbia (K-C), British Columbia. Prediction of the travel distance of a potential debris flow event prior to clearcut harvesting is important to accurately assess the risk to downslope environmental resources. Forensic data from 26 debris flow events in the K-C region are used to characterize debris flow events. From these data, a subset of 22 events are used to calculate entrainment and deposition volume along distinct reaches of a debris flow event path. The model showed reasonable agreement with the peak cumulative flow volume, and the travel distance, of debris flow events reported from the observations and surveys in the field. Importantly, UBCDFLOW is shown to be conservative, and to have significant potential as a decision-support tool.

For further information, please contact Jonathan Fannin, University of British Columbia

Updated September 08, 2005 

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