, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 2433–2444 | Cite as

Characteristics and failure mechanism of the 2018 Yanyuan landslide in Sichuan, China

  • Lei Zhu
  • Yu Deng
  • Siming HeEmail author
Recent Landslides


This paper reports on a recent landslide event, which occurred in Yanyuan County at Xichang City, Sichuan Province, China, on 19 July 2018. Due to the continuous and heavy rainfall between 8 July 2018 and 18 July 2018, approximately 18 million m3 of soil detached from an ancient landslide and buried 65 buildings, the entire sliding process lasted for several minutes. Here, based on field investigations and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photography, we describe the characteristics and failure mechanism of this landslide. The results showed that the landslide was triggered by the continuous and heavy rainfall. Additionally, during the first post-failure stage, the motion of this landslide involved typical successive movement, and over time, the style of movement progressively turned flow-like, which can be classified as debris slide by using the 1978 Varnes classification scheme. The landslide event described here is an outstanding case for landslide studies. In particular, this landslide represents a good illustration of the transform mechanism of landslide movement from sliding to flow-like.


Landslide Yanyuan County Rainfall Characteristics Failure mechanism 


Funding information

This work was supported by the Major Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41790433), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41772312), and the NSFC-ICIMOD Collaborative Project (Grant No. 41661144041).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Surface Process, Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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