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BGC ENGINEERING INC.
Mountain Creek Hazards
and Risks in the
Canmore Area
Dr. Matthias Jakob, PGeo. (BC), P.Geol. (AB)
April 28, 2014
Outline
• The Storm of June 19-21, 2013
• Notes on the hydroclimate
• Debris flows and debris floods
• Cougar Creek debris flood
• Hazard and Risk Assessment
• Outlook for Alberta standards
2
The evolution of an ugly storm
3
Low 1
(Cerberus)
Low 2
(Hades)
Low 3
(Poseidon)
Und then came the rain…
4
325 mm
200 mm
50 mm
Canmore
Pictures of a catastrophe
5
Kananaskis Station Rainfall
6
Changes in Heavy
Precipitation
YEARS
ReturnPeriod(years)
TotalPrecipitationperEvent(mm)
200 mm
100 mm
1990 2000 201019901970 198020101950
3 years
4 years
5 years
6 years
Source: Stull et al. 2014
Heavy precipitation has become more frequent
during the past 15 years
The return period of heavy precipitation has
decreased (now: 1 in 3 chance)
 = Banff
X = Bow Valley
= Kananaskis
Bow River Flows (1909-2011)
8
Bow River Flows (1879-2013)
9
transportation
zone
deposition zone
Elements at risk
The Debris Flow
System
Artwork: BGC Engineering
The Classic FanThe Classic Fan
DEBRIS FLOODS
Problems: debris aggradation, avulsion & bank erosion
Cougar Creek Fan
13
Cougar Creek Fan
probably one of Canada’s most densely developed fans
14
Floodplain
Canmore
Towards a systematic hazardTowards a systematic hazard
and risk assessmentand risk assessment
Hazard Recognition
Frequency-Magnitude Analysis
Hazard Intensity Mapping
Consequence Determination
Risk Calculations
Risk Evaluation
Development Decision
Risk Reduction
Numerical Runout Modeling
Historical Air Photographs
16
Evidence of Previous Events
17
Test Trenching Program
18
Test Trenching
19
Bridge River Tephra (~2500 yrs)
Paleosols (old soils)
Deciphering the “deep past”
Dendrochronolgy
Frequency-Volume Analysis
(How often, how big?)
21
Return Period (Years)
DebrisFloodVolume(m3
)
Debris Flood Modeling: Scenario
Analysis
14
ID
T
(Jahre)
Volumen
(m3
)
2 1:30 to 1:100 40,000
3a
3b
1:100 to 1:300 60,000
4 1:300 to 1:1000 160,000
5
1:1000 to
1:3000
260,000
6
1:400
(June 2013
Simulation)
90,000
2 3a 3b
4 5 6
2 3A 3B
4 5 6
Combined Hazard Map
• Hazard is expressed
as intensities (flow
depth times velocity square)
• The problem: neither
the exact probability
nor the risk is known
for specific lots.
• Risk maps are more
intuitive in that they
show the real risk
23
Note that this hazard map is from a study in the US and shows debris-flow hazards for a
500-year return period
Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA)
)
24
“…estimation of the likelihood that a debris flood scenario will occur,
impact something, and lead to undesirable consequences.”
Risk Map (example)
25
• PDI >1:10,000 (Red)
• PDI of 1:10,000
to1:100,000 (Orange)
• Yellow means that the risk
is < 1:100,000.
PDI: Probability of Death of
an Individual
Note that this map is not an actual risk map but serves as an example of how risk maps could look like
Group Risk (example)
26
• Group risk is
unacceptable
• Needs to be
lowered to the
ALARP zone
• Goal of
mitigation is to
bring group risk
into the ALARP
zone
As low as
reasonably
possible
Unacceptable Risk
Acceptable
Risk
Potential Fatalities
AnnualProbabilityofCumulativeFatalities
Uncertainty Range
Building Damage, Safety Risk
27
Vulnerability
Criteria
(Buildings)
Assessed
Building Values
Model Results Building Damage Level
Building Damage Cost Probability of Life Loss
Elements at Risk
+
Vulnerability Criteria (Safety)
Building Loss Potential
28
5
• $600 k annualized direct building damage costs on fan
• Total costs likely more than a factor of 2 higher
Conclusions
29
• Cougar Creek and many other creeks in the Alberta Rocky
Mountains are very hazardous landforms with high risk potential
• Climate observations, theory and modeling all point towards a high
likelihood that extreme precipitation events will increase in
frequency and magnitude. This emerging trend should be reconciled
with landuse planning and structural mitigations
• Given that many fans are heavily developed, risk exists that must be
quantified systematically and transparently
• Risk should be expressed as in loss of life risk and economic risk
• The new Alberta Guidelines will aim to attain those goals
• Mitigation measures should strive to reduce risk to tolerable levels
and optimize costs and benefits.
30
Thank you!

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Mountain Creek Hazards and Risks in the Canmore Area

  • 1. BGC ENGINEERING INC. Mountain Creek Hazards and Risks in the Canmore Area Dr. Matthias Jakob, PGeo. (BC), P.Geol. (AB) April 28, 2014
  • 2. Outline • The Storm of June 19-21, 2013 • Notes on the hydroclimate • Debris flows and debris floods • Cougar Creek debris flood • Hazard and Risk Assessment • Outlook for Alberta standards 2
  • 3. The evolution of an ugly storm 3 Low 1 (Cerberus) Low 2 (Hades) Low 3 (Poseidon)
  • 4. Und then came the rain… 4 325 mm 200 mm 50 mm Canmore
  • 5. Pictures of a catastrophe 5
  • 7. Changes in Heavy Precipitation YEARS ReturnPeriod(years) TotalPrecipitationperEvent(mm) 200 mm 100 mm 1990 2000 201019901970 198020101950 3 years 4 years 5 years 6 years Source: Stull et al. 2014 Heavy precipitation has become more frequent during the past 15 years The return period of heavy precipitation has decreased (now: 1 in 3 chance)  = Banff X = Bow Valley = Kananaskis
  • 8. Bow River Flows (1909-2011) 8
  • 9. Bow River Flows (1879-2013) 9
  • 10. transportation zone deposition zone Elements at risk The Debris Flow System Artwork: BGC Engineering
  • 11. The Classic FanThe Classic Fan
  • 12. DEBRIS FLOODS Problems: debris aggradation, avulsion & bank erosion
  • 14. Cougar Creek Fan probably one of Canada’s most densely developed fans 14 Floodplain Canmore
  • 15. Towards a systematic hazardTowards a systematic hazard and risk assessmentand risk assessment Hazard Recognition Frequency-Magnitude Analysis Hazard Intensity Mapping Consequence Determination Risk Calculations Risk Evaluation Development Decision Risk Reduction Numerical Runout Modeling
  • 17. Evidence of Previous Events 17
  • 19. Test Trenching 19 Bridge River Tephra (~2500 yrs) Paleosols (old soils) Deciphering the “deep past”
  • 21. Frequency-Volume Analysis (How often, how big?) 21 Return Period (Years) DebrisFloodVolume(m3 )
  • 22. Debris Flood Modeling: Scenario Analysis 14 ID T (Jahre) Volumen (m3 ) 2 1:30 to 1:100 40,000 3a 3b 1:100 to 1:300 60,000 4 1:300 to 1:1000 160,000 5 1:1000 to 1:3000 260,000 6 1:400 (June 2013 Simulation) 90,000 2 3a 3b 4 5 6 2 3A 3B 4 5 6
  • 23. Combined Hazard Map • Hazard is expressed as intensities (flow depth times velocity square) • The problem: neither the exact probability nor the risk is known for specific lots. • Risk maps are more intuitive in that they show the real risk 23 Note that this hazard map is from a study in the US and shows debris-flow hazards for a 500-year return period
  • 24. Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA) ) 24 “…estimation of the likelihood that a debris flood scenario will occur, impact something, and lead to undesirable consequences.”
  • 25. Risk Map (example) 25 • PDI >1:10,000 (Red) • PDI of 1:10,000 to1:100,000 (Orange) • Yellow means that the risk is < 1:100,000. PDI: Probability of Death of an Individual Note that this map is not an actual risk map but serves as an example of how risk maps could look like
  • 26. Group Risk (example) 26 • Group risk is unacceptable • Needs to be lowered to the ALARP zone • Goal of mitigation is to bring group risk into the ALARP zone As low as reasonably possible Unacceptable Risk Acceptable Risk Potential Fatalities AnnualProbabilityofCumulativeFatalities Uncertainty Range
  • 27. Building Damage, Safety Risk 27 Vulnerability Criteria (Buildings) Assessed Building Values Model Results Building Damage Level Building Damage Cost Probability of Life Loss Elements at Risk + Vulnerability Criteria (Safety)
  • 28. Building Loss Potential 28 5 • $600 k annualized direct building damage costs on fan • Total costs likely more than a factor of 2 higher
  • 29. Conclusions 29 • Cougar Creek and many other creeks in the Alberta Rocky Mountains are very hazardous landforms with high risk potential • Climate observations, theory and modeling all point towards a high likelihood that extreme precipitation events will increase in frequency and magnitude. This emerging trend should be reconciled with landuse planning and structural mitigations • Given that many fans are heavily developed, risk exists that must be quantified systematically and transparently • Risk should be expressed as in loss of life risk and economic risk • The new Alberta Guidelines will aim to attain those goals • Mitigation measures should strive to reduce risk to tolerable levels and optimize costs and benefits.