September 2015

APEGBC South Central Branch Technical Talk: Steep Creek Hazard Area Prioritization and Risk Assessment

Status: Advanced registration is now closed. For more information and space availability, please contact [email protected] Thank you!
Date: Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Time: 6:00 pm - 7: 30 pm
Location: Kamloops Chamber of Commerce Boardroom, 615 Victoria St., Kamloops, BC
Presenter: Kris Holm, M.Sc, P. Geo. - Senior Geoscientist, BGC Engineering
Matthias Jakob, Ph.D., P. Geo. - Principal Geoscientist, BGC Engineering 
Credit: 1.0 Informal Professional Development Hour (PDH)
Cost: Complimentary
Please join the South Central Branch for a technical talk on Steep Creek Hazard Area Prioritization and Risk Assessment. For more details on this event please click below.

6:00 pm - Appetizers
6:30 pm - Presentation Begins
7:30 pm - Informal Social 

To help us predict our catering needs, please register by September 2, 2015.

This talk will be split into two components, the province-wide fan prioritization and the detailed studies required to assess debris flow and debris flood risk for individual fans. The authors will discuss the work completed in Alberta in light of the need to identify, prioritize and assess steep creek hazards in British Columbia and the systematic reduction in risk through a province-wide disaster mitigation strategy.

Heavy rainfall in Alberta, Canada in June 2013 led to Canada’s worst natural disaster and estimated damage costs on the order of $6 Billion. Flooding occurred on most major rivers draining the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, inundating towns including downtown Calgary. In the mountains, debris flows and debris floods caused extensive highway closures and damages to development on alluvial fans.

Following these events, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) retained BGC Engineering (BGC) to inventory all alluvial fans intersecting municipal development, major roads and highways in Alberta, and prioritize the fans for further investigation and risk management planning. Such fans may be subject to debris flow, debris flood, and/or flood hazards. The study area spanned the entire Rocky Mountain Natural Region, encompassing approximately 51,000 km2 (7% of Alberta).

BGC characterized 710 fans within the study area in terms of estimated hazard level, presence and types of elements at risk. Statistical analyses of watershed attributes were completed to predict hydrogeomorphic process types of debris flows, debris floods or flood processes on debris fans. All fans under provincial jurisdiction were assigned priority ratings based on hazard levels and the presence and value of elements at risk.  

While not a quantitative risk assessment, the prioritization is risk-based in that it considers both hazard levels and potential consequences. To facilitate information sharing and risk reduction planning, BGC presented the study results on an interactive, searchable online map. 

BGC separately completed detailed quantitative debris flow and debris flood risk assessments supporting risk reduction planning for 10 fans in the vicinity of Canmore and the Municipal District of Bighorn. Together with the regional study, these assessments represent a case example of leading-edge work that encompass the initial recognition of debris flood hazard and risk to mitigation design for multiple hazard sites in a large region.

Kris Holm is a geoscientist with over 13 years of experience in natural hazards consulting in North and South America. Mr. Holm has managed or acted as a technical lead in landslide and flood hazard and risk assessments for municipal development, mining and linear infrastructure at scales ranging from site-specific studies to broad regions. This work has included initial hazard mapping through quantitative risk analyses, evaluation of mitigation options and public consultation. The regional studies have also included development of online tools to manage hazard information for mitigation planning.  

Dr. Matthias Jakob is an internationally recognized specialist on the subject of geohazard and risk assessments. He is one of Canada’s leading experts in the hazard and risk assessment of landslides, especially debris floods and debris flows. He has completed such assessments in over 100 creeks mostly in Canada, but also in Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia and Austria. Dr. Jakob has authored some 50 publications in the fields of applied geohazard assessments and was senior editor on a book on debris flows and debris avalanches published in 2005 that won the prestigious Burwell Award in 2009.

 If you have any questions, contact the South Central Branch at [email protected] 

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