The expansion of urban populations and infrastructure in Southern California adjacent to wildlands, as well as increased risk of wildfire, means that large populations are at a higher risk of exposure to the hazards of debris flows - fast moving mixtures of sediment and water. Beyond physical impacts, debris flows also affect the quality of water in various locations throughout the watershed due to sediment transport.
Over the past four years we have been studying the hydro-sedimentological response of steep headwater catchments to rainfall events in the months to years following wildfire. We use a combination of hydro-meteorological monitoring techniques, ultra-high resolution repeat topographic surveying with terrestrial laser scanning and UAV-based photogrammetry, and fallout radionuclide tracers to better understand the processes driving the evolution of sediment transfer on a storm-to-storm basis.
Students: Jimmy Guilinger, Robert Leeper, Nathan Jumps, Brandon Fong
Funding: This work has been supported in part by UC ANR CIWR grant SA15-2997-CA364B, USDA NIFA Hatch project number CA-R-ENS-5120-H, USDA Multi-State Project W4188, and the UCR AES Mission Funding program.
Partners: Nic Barth (UCR)
Guilinger J, Gray A, Barth N, Fong F. 2020. The evolution of sediment sources over a sequence of post-fire sediment-laden flows revealed through repeat high-resolution change detection. JGR – Earth Surface. DOI: 10.1029/2020JF005527. in press.