Improving debris flow monitoring in Taiwan by using high-resolution rainfall products from QPESUMS

Chien Yuan Chen*, Lee Yao Lin, Fan Chieh Yu, Ching Sheng Lee, Chun Chieh Tseng, An Hsiang Wang, Kei Wai Cheung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Debris flow is commonly initiated by torrential rain and its triggering is correlated to the hydrological, geological, and geomorphic conditions on site. In spite of the important effects of geology and topography, rainfall characteristic is the main external triggering factor to debris flow and is a predominant parameter for real-time monitoring. Due to the scarcity of sufficient spatial ground-based rainfall data in hill areas, quantitative precipitation estimation using remote-sensing techniques such as radar and satellite is needed for debris flow pre-warning. The QPESUMS (Quantitative Precipitation Estimation and Segregation Using Multiple Sensors) system was acquired to retrieve spatial rainfall data during the rainfall period from June 30 to July 6 in 2004 when Typhoon Mindulle and southwesterly flow struck Taiwan. The retrieved data were used for setting up the debris flow monitoring algorithm. With the aid of multiple platforms of meteorological observations, a rainfall threshold isohyet in a pilot area was mapped for debris flow monitoring. The rainfall monitoring algorithm based on QPESUMS provides more detailed information than the limited number of ground-based rainfall stations for interpreting the spatial distributions of rainfall events, and therefore is more suitable for debris-flow monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-461
Number of pages15
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


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