This study analyzed the variability in the number of rainfall events related to debris-flow occurrence in the Chenyulan stream watershed located in central Taiwan. Rainfall data between 1970 and 2009 measured at three meteorological stations nearby/in the watershed were collected and used to determine the corresponding regional average rainfall for the watershed. Data on debris-flow events between 1985 and 2009 were collected and used to study their dependence on regional average rainfall. The maximum 24-h regional rainfall R d was used to analyze the number of rainfall events N r, the number of rainfall events that triggered debris flows N d, and the probability of debris-flows occurrences P. The variation trends in N r, N d and P over recent decades under three rainfall conditions (R d > 20, 230, and 580 mm) related to debris-flow occurrence were analyzed. In addition, the influences of the Chi-Chi earthquake on N d and P were presented. The results showed that the rainfall events with R d > 20 mm during the earthquake-affected period (2000-2004) strongly responded to the increases in the average number of rainfall events that triggered debris flows and the average probability of debris-flows occurrences. The number of rainfall events with R d > 230 mm (the lower boundary for the rainfall ever triggering debris flow before the Chi-Chi earthquake), and R d > 580 mm (the lower boundary for extreme rainfall ever triggering numerous debris flows) in the Chenyulan stream watershed increased after 2000. The increase in the number of extreme rainfall events with R d > 580 mm augmented the number of rainfall events ever triggering numerous debris flows in the last decade. The increase in both the number of rainfall events that ever triggered debris flows and the probability of debris-flow occurrences was greater in the last decade (2000-2009) than in 1990-1999.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)