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Holocene debris flows do not occur uniformly on the Colorado Plateau province of North America. Debris flows occur in specific areas of the plateau, resulting in general from the combination of steep topography, intense convective precipitation, abundant poorly sorted material not stabilized by vegetation, and the exposure of certain fine-grained bedrock units in cliffs or in colluvium beneath those cliffs. In Grand and Cataract Canyons, fine-grained bedrock that produces debris flows contains primarily single-layer clays—notably illite and kaolinite—and has low multilayer clay content. This clay-mineral suite also occurs in the colluvium that produces debris flows as well as in debris-flow deposits, although unconsolidated...