In recent years, the damage caused to human settlements in Japan by large woody debris (LWD) has been increasing. For example, the 2013 Izu Oshima typhoon resulted in a large number of fatalities and missing persons, and the Kagoshima Typhoon Disaster and Northern Kyusyu torrential downpour caused vast infrastructure damage due to the associated LWD. Current countermeasures for preventing LWD are insufficient to maintain the safety of residential areas. One type of protective barrier, the open sabo dam, has been constructed in Japan during the past 30 years. The primary function of open sabo dams is to block the flow of boulders, thereby also reducing sediment flow by reducing the gap size. However, because Japanese open sabo dams are designed specifically for boulder-trapping, the ability of these dams to trap LWD remains uncertain. In particular, many problems have been reported with respect to sediment trapping by driftwood with roots in an open sabo dam setting. The objective of this study was to examine the trapping efficiency of open sabo dams for LWD and sediment. The experimental approach clarified the influence of driftwood, without and with roots, on sediment trapping for a straight-channel flume. The flexible roots of the driftwood were shown to have a significant effect on the sediment trapping efficiency of the dam.
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