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Evaluation of the Titan2D two-phase flow model using an actual event: case study of the 2005 Vazcún Valley Lahar

Williams, R.; Stinton, A. J.; Sheridan, M. F.


A. J. Stinton

M. F. Sheridan


Titan2D is a depth-averaged, thin-layer computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code, suitable for simulating a variety of geophysical mass flows. Titan2D output data include flow thickness and flow momentum at each time step for all cells traversed by the flow during the simulation. From this information the flow limit, run-out path, flow velocity, deposit thickness, and travel time can be calculated. Results can be visualized in the open-source GRASS GIS software or with the built-in Titan2D viewer. A new two-phase Titan2D version allows simulation of flows containing various mixtures of water and solids. The purpose of this study is to compare simulations by the two-phase flow version of Titan2D with an actual event. The chosen natural flow is a small ash-rich lahar (volume 50,000m3-70,000m3) that occurred on 12 February 2005 in the Vazcún Valley, located on the north-east flank of Volcán Tungurahua, Ecuador. Lahars and pyroclastic flows along this valley could potentially threaten the 20,000 inhabitants living in and near the city of Baños. A variety of data sources exist for this lahar, including: post-event meter-scale topography, and photographic, video, seismic and acoustic flow monitoring (AFM) records from during the event. These data permit detailed comparisons between the dynamics of the actual lahar and those of the Titan2D simulated flow. In particular, detailed comparisons are made between run-up heights, flow velocity, inundation area, and flow thickness. Simulations utilize a variety of data derived from field observations such as lahar volume, solid to pore-fluid ratio and pre-event topography. Titan2D is important in modeling lahars because it allows assessment of the impact of the flows on buildings and infrastructure lifelines located near drainages that descend from volcanoes.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 20, 2008
Journal Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Print ISSN 0377-0273
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 177
Issue 4
Pages 760-766
Keywords Lahar; Modelling; Mudflow; Titan2D; Tungurahua
Publisher URL