Real-time Data

The instrumentation was installed in the summer of 2008 and includes a series of three monitoring stations located along the main channel. Data from one of these stations (Station 1) is transmitted from the site and displayed here.

Data from the sensors are sampled at high rates (2 seconds to 100 hertz) during rain events and every 2 minutes otherwise. Two-minute data are transmitted by cell phone modem from the site to a USGS computer every 5 minutes.

Chalk Cliffs, located 8 miles southwest of Buena Vista, CO, is one of the most active debris-flow areas in the state. Typically one or more debris flows occur each year after intense or prolonged rainfall. The debris flows are triggered by surface-water runoff over loose material stored in channels.

The USGS and its cooperators have installed debris-flow monitoring equipment in the largest drainage basin at Chalk Cliffs. Data collection at this site supports research on the hydrologic factors that control debris-flow initiation, entrainment, and flow dynamics.

For more information

Monitoring Status


Location Map



  • University of Colorado (National Science Foundation award EAR-06-43353 to G.E. Tucker)
  • East Carolina University (National Science Foundation award BCS-0934131 to T.A. Wasklewicz).

View of monitoring basin from the debris-flow fan near Chaffee County Road 162.
Installing the forceplate.
Side view of the forceplate.
Station 1 (view up-channel).
Station 2 (view down-channel).
Station 3 (view down-channel).
Map of the study basin.
Video Camera.
View from video camera towards Station 1.