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versión On-line ISSN 1852-7744


SANTOS, Jorge Rubén et al. Precipitation events prediction that causes debris flow and landslides over mountainous area on norwest region of Mendoza province, Argentina. Geoacta [online]. 2015, vol.40, n.1, pp.65-75. ISSN 1852-7744.

Precipitation prediction on complex terrain, especially where the soil is vulnerable for landslides occurrence, is an important tool to prevent accidents. Severe storms along the 7 International Route that connects Argentina with Pacific Ocean (Chile) causes debris flow and landslides interrupting the international traffic. Sometimes, if the episode is severe, the blocking is large generating commercial problems and danger for the people. The principal aim of this paper is to analyze the relevant synoptic conditions that favour the occurrence of landslides and a secondary objective is to evaluate the ability of regional models such as the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) and Eta/MRP (Meteorological Regional Program) to predict precipitation events in a complex terrain area with a meteorological network of low density. Four events that ocasioned landslides were analyzed, namely March 27th 2007, January 13th 2013, February 7th and 8th 2013 and February 25th 2014. Negative anomaly of zonal wind between 850 hPa and 400 hPa level is one of the common synoptic characteristics for these episodes analyzed. Forecast validation was carried out by using surface data from a meteorological network of National Weather Service of Argentina, Irrigation Bureau of Mendoza province and the precipitation estimation by the CMORPH method (Joyce et al., 2004). It was observed that numerical models can predict these heavy precipitating events however with an overestimation. It worth noting that CMORPH is a good tool to estimate precipitation in mountainous terrain.

Palabras clave : Landslides; Precipitation; Topography; Models; Prediction.

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