Characterisation of Recent Debris Flow Activity at the Rest and Be Thankful, Scotland

Bradley Sparkes*, Stuart Dunning, Michael Lim, Mike G. Winter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Rest and be Thankful (A83) in Scotland has been subject to frequent landslide activity in recent years and the trunk road has gained a reputation as one of the most active landslide sites in the UK. An average of two road closures per annum has been recorded over the last five years. This paper compares the site with other locations in Scotland that are prone to debris flows and explores a range of geomorphological factors using high resolution Terrestrial Laser Scanning data. The site is found to be relatively active, although normalization for mean annual rainfall makes activity at the site comparable to the likes of the Drumochter Pass. Macro-scale slope morphology is found to correspond strongly with the spatial distribution of recent activity. Channelisation is considered to be a significant factor in the overall debris flow hazard by confining flow and enabling entrainment. This was demonstrated during two recent events that mobilized at high elevations and entrained significant volumes of material along long runout paths.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvancing Culture of Living with Landslides
Subtitle of host publicationLandslides in Different Environments
EditorsMatjaž Mikoš, Vít Vilímek, Yueping Yin, Kyoji Sassa
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783319534831
ISBN (Print)9783319534824
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2017


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