Debris flows and shallow landslides are highly mobile liquefied landslides containing a variety of material from fine particles to large boulders and tree branches. They are caused by excessive water on and within slopes, caused by rainfall, glaciers melting or similar. The likelihood of debris flows is increased when vegetation and other surface protection has been removed from vulnerable slopes, perhaps by wildfire or clearing. Debris flow fences act to catch this landslide material to protect infrastructure below.


Our Debris Flow Fences are similar to our rockfall barriers (catch fences) but incorporate additional energy absorption elements and variable geometries. In addition, combinations of different diameter ring nets are often used as the containment mesh. Ring nets are ideal in these structures as they have inherent energy absorption capacity, before loads are transferred to the compression brakes. Larger diameter ring nets are placed along the bottom of the structure to enable water and small material flow to continue through the barrier. Our smaller diameter ring nets are used at the top of the debris flow structures.


  • The barriers are normally designed to be in place until vegetation is re-established on the vulnerable slopes above
  • The barrier can then be removed leaving the foundation intact
  • They can be reinstalled if risks from debris flows increase in the future


Depending on the site topography, these fences are often custom designed made to suit design and site conditions. To prepare a preliminary assessment and design suggestion our team requires the following information:

  • Density of mass
  • Constant height of debris
  • Impact velocity
  • Up slope gradient

To help determine if a debris fence is the right solution for your situation get in touch with our team.