Typical characteristics of large-scale landslides in the transition belt between the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Loess Plateau

  • Bo Zhao
  • Yunsheng WangEmail author
  • Ming Chen
  • Yonghong Luo
  • Ruifeng Liang
  • Jia Li
Technical Note


The transition belt between the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Loess Plateau is an area where geohazards occur frequently. To develop a basic understanding of the geohazards in this region, a detailed field investigation of large-scale landslides (i.e., > 106 m3 in volume) has been performed. The results show that 259 large-scale landslides have occurred in this region, of which 254 landslides are rock landslides and the others are soil landslides. These landslides have an average volume of 20.6 Mm3, are mainly concentrated along rivers, and have a linear density that reaches 0.45 landslides/km. Furthermore, more than 90% of the landslides are located within 5.0 km of a fault and more than 80% of the landslides are located at elevations of 1000–2600 m. With increasing landslide volume, the mobility increases, and approximately 45% of the landslides are sturzstrom-type landslides. Large-scale landslides are mainly concentrated along faults, especially around fault intersections. The typical failure mechanisms of the studied landslides are clearly influenced by the regional structure, earthquakes, and river incision.


Large-scale landslide Transition belt between Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Loess Plateau Typical characteristics 


Funding information

This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFC1501000), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41877235), and the National Science Funds for Creative Research Groups of China (Grant No. 41521002). The authors express their gratitude for this financial assistance.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bo Zhao
    • 1
  • Yunsheng Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ming Chen
    • 2
  • Yonghong Luo
    • 1
  • Ruifeng Liang
    • 3
  • Jia Li
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment ProtectionChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  2. 2.Xinjiang Water Resources and Hydroelectric Investigation and Design InstituteUrumqiChina
  3. 3.Powerchina Kunming Engineering Corporation LimitedKunmingChina

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