John K. Nakata

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A severe rain storm on August 11 and 18, 1979, caused major flood damage in urban areas of east Ogden, Utah. At least 3.85 cm of rain fell in a 7 hour-period. The severity of damage was dramatically increased by water diverted from the Brigham-Ogden Canal, when it was clogged by a debris flow in the vicinity or Third, Taylor, and Polk Streets (Fig. 1). The purpose or this investigation is to ascertain the sequence of events that followed the storm, and to quantify the processes insofar as possible. An inspection of the area on September 21-25, 1979 , and the subsequent study, indicated that the principal cause or damage was a combination of two factors: (1) channelization or runoff and erosion of off-road vehicle (ORV) trails clogged the Brigham-Ogden Canal, and (2) the diverted canal water eroded a notch in the alluvial fan and terrace deposits below, which then combined with the debris eroding from the ORV trails to bury downslope structures.


Open-File Report 81-258

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