A debris flow is a moving mass of loose mud, sand, soil, rock, water and air that travels down a slope under the influence of gravity.
The source area of a debris flow must have: 1) a very steep slope, 2) an abundant supply of loose debris, 3) a source of abundant moisture, and 4) sparce vegetation.
This sudden rush of water can pick up ash and pyroclastic debris as it flows down the steep volcano and carry them rapidly downstream for great distances. YouTube video of a debris flow that occurred in Clear Creek County, Colorado during the spring of 2003. Debris Flow Dynamics (Part 1): A United States Geological Survey archival film that explains debris flows. Debris Flow Dynamics (Part 2): A United States Geological Survey archival film that explains debris flows.


Debris Flow Dynamics (Part 3): A United States Geological Survey archival film that explains debris flows.
Material deposited by a prehistoric debris flow in northern Venezuela and exposed for view by stream erosion. Although alluvial fans may appear to be attractive building sites, it is prudent to remember that another debris flow may follow the same course that created this area.
Mudslides are debris flows or mudflows that are often triggered by storms in the mountains. Over the past 15,000 years hundreds of lahars and debris flows have swept down valleys around the mountain, filling them with thick deposits.
The person is standing on debris flow deposits and the height of damage to the tree is over 9 feet (three meters) higher than the deposit surface.


This deposit formed on a single day in July 1982, when the Lawn Lake Dam burst, sending a huge surge of water and debris down the Roaring River Valley. Debris flows (mudslides) are shallow landslides, saturated with water, that travel rapidly downslope as muddy slurries.



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