** Progress in Earth and Planetary Science is the official journal of the Japan Geoscience Union, published in collaboration with its 50 society members.

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    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    Progress in Earth and Planetary Science

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    Human geosciences

    Point cloud technology and 2D computational flow dynamic modeling for rapid hazards and disaster risk appraisal on Yellow Creek fan, Southern Alps of New Zealand

    Gomez C, Purdie H

    Fox Valley, Debuttressing, Structure-from-motion, 2D computational fluid,dynamics, Debris flow fans, Floods, Climate change

    Glacial recession in Alpine Valleys uncorks low-altitude tributary valleys that spill trapped sediments in the sediment cascade, in turn generating sediment-related hazards and flood hazards. Within this complex, the present contribution investigates the transition zone between the tributary and the main valley at Fox Glacier, New Zealand, where glacier recession has allowed the development of large debris flow fans. As the valley is narrow and its geomorphology is rapidly evolving, 3D point cloud technologies based on aerial photogrammetry from UAV or ground and airborne laser technologies are essential to understand the geomorphology and generate boundary conditions to run hazard simulations such as debris flows. Using airborne structure from motion photogrammetry with ground control points collected by RTK-GNSS, we investigated (1) the geomorphology of the valley to understand its evolution and (2) the role of this recent evolution on the flood hazards at the Yellow Creek debris flow fan. The geomorphology of the Fox River valley is a typical U-shape valley with steep valley walls that command the valley by more than 1000 m. The valley walls are connected to the bottom of the valley by active sediment aprons and debris flow fans at the exit of the tributaries. The slopes present several topographic steps or noses on both the aprons and the debris flow fans. By comparison with the glacial recession, they can be related to past locations of the limits of the glacier. On Straight Creek fan, the ridges are perpendicular to the valley and divide the fan between an overgrown half downstream the Fox Valley and an upstream section thinner and smaller. This pattern was also created by the presence of the glacier that stopped the development of the fan on its right (upstream half) while developing the true left hand side of the fan. On the other side of the valley, the debris flow fan of Yellow Creek presents a series of deep trough that control water flows. Flood simulations show that these controls can be overcome and instead of being channeled in other sub-channels, the flow tends to spread on the true right (downstream) end of the fan as a sheet flow. In the 2014 state of the fan, the safest location was thus on the true left half of the fan towards the glacier. Such information is essential as tourists occupy the valley and walk towards the glacier the whole year.