Understanding the Risk

"The Partnership provides great value to the community with their resources, broad thinking, thorough analysis, and willingness to support practical actions as well as scientific understanding of the long-term hazardous situation".

– Thomas Dunne
Professor of Hydrology & Geomorphology
UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

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KANE Geohazard Assessment

In partnership with Santa Barbara County Public Works Department, we consulted with infrastructure builders and geologists working around the world on a variety of cutting edge solutions including mapping, monitoring, and mitigation. As a result, we funded a world-class Geohazard company KANE GeoTech to help develop a “roadmap” of solutions. KANE conducted site investigations and engineering assessments and will work with the County to make recommendations for decision makers to consider for reducing future risk. Following approval to move forward, KANE can provide engineering and implementation plans as well as quality control and assurance during implementation.

LIDAR Research

LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. Thomas Dunne, Professor of Hydrology & Geomorphology at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, is using comparative LIDAR images from 2015 and 2018 to inform decision makers about the debris flow and mitigation efforts. Data will be used to: map and measure the volume of landslide and gully debris sources in the canyons; calculate the potential speed, discharge and force from flow depths and mudline elevations; and measure the volume of boulders scoured from the canyons. This information is critical to designing adequate mitigation measures.

Debris Flow Site Reconnaissance

BGC Engineering in Golden, Colorado is the gold standard for geologic risk assessment. BGC completed a reconnaissance-level site visit to Montecito and adjacent watersheds in July 2018 and is helping us determine how much material could still come down and how these numbers will be reduced by our mitigations. Dr. Matthias Jakob of BGC wrote the worldwide bible of debris flow, “Debris Flow Hazards and Related Phenomena.” And Dr. Joseph Gartner of BGC , whom we are also working with, spent 12 years at the U.S. Geological Survey where he developed models for post fire debris flow probability and volume, and rainfall intensity-duration thresholds for post fire debris flow initiation.