Articles | Volume 22, issue 6
Research article
28 Jun 2018
Research article |  | 28 Jun 2018

The temporally varying roles of rainfall, snowmelt and soil moisture for debris flow initiation in a snow-dominated system

Karin Mostbauer, Roland Kaitna, David Prenner, and Markus Hrachowitz

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Cited articles

Aleotti, P.: A warning system for rainfall-induced shallow failures, Eng. Geol., 73, 247–265,, 2004. 
Anagnostopoulos, G. G., Fatichi, S., and Burlando, P.: An advanced process-based distributed model for the investigation of rainfall-induced landslides: The effect of process representation and boundary conditions, Water Resour. Res., 51, 7501–7523,, 2015. 
Austrian Glacier Inventory: Institute of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, University of Innsbruck, available at:, last access: 2 February 2016. 
Baum, R. L. and Godt, J. W.: Early warning of rainfall-induced shallow landslides and debris flows in the USA, Landslides, 7, 259–272,, 2010. 
Short summary
Debris flows represent a severe hazard in mountain regions and so far remain difficult to predict. We applied a hydrological model to link not only precipitation, but also snowmelt, antecedent soil moisture, etc. with debris flow initiation in an Alpine watershed in Austria. Our results highlight the value of this more holistic perspective for developing a better understanding of debris flow initiation.