SP-46 Geology of the 1994 South Canyon Fire Area, and a Geomorphic Analysis of the September 1, 1994 Debris Flows, South Flank of Storm King Mountain, Glenwood Springs, Colorado


A description of the July 1994 wildfire on Storm King Mountain and the subsequent debris flow. Contains a description of the geology and surficial deposits as well as an analysis of the potential for future debris flows, by drainage basin, and a 1:5,000-scale map. 39 pages. 1 appendix. 15 figures. 10 tables. 1 color plate. Digital PDF download. SP-46D

From the abstract:

Debris flows that formed in response to a heavy rainstorm late in the evening on September 1, 1994 traveled down several channels on the south flank of Storm King Mountain west of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and spilled onto or next to Interstate Highway I-70. The debris trapped thirty cars on the highway, and at least two people were swept into the river. Smaller debris flows occurred in this same area during 1995, causing additional delays on the highway. Materials carried by the debris flows were largely eroded from hillslopes and channels that had burned during the July 1994 South Canyon fire.

Immediately following the 1994 storm the CGS and U.S. Geological Survey initiated a cooperative investigation to evaluate the geologic and geomorphic characteristics of the debris flows, investigate the stability of a large landslide complex within the burned area, and assess the potential for future debris-flow activity.