Natural Hazards

, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 797–810 | Cite as

Urbanization process and induced environmental geological hazards in China

  • N. Q. Zhou
  • S. Zhao
Original Paper


Urbanization is a common development trend of countries all over the world, which is a mark of civilization and progress of human beings. The number of urbanization-induced environmental geological hazards has grown steadily in recent years and is receiving increased attention throughout the world. The purpose of this paper is to generalize China’s urbanization process and induced environmental geological hazards. Driving forces and characteristics of urbanization are briefly introduced in this study; specifically, the distribution of urban agglomerations is principally related to water resources, transportation and energy. Common geological hazards and particular ones in mountain city, mining city and coastal city are also summarized. The type and severity of hazards are different due to the differences of natural conditions and various urban functions. Main environmental geological hazards in cities are land subsidence, landslide and seawater intrusion, etc. Accordingly, reasons for these urbanization-induced geological hazards in different type of cities are analyzed and discussed. The research results may provide a clear perspective for urban geological hazard prevention, and suggestions for urban geological hazard control are pointed out.


Urbanization process Driving forces Environmental geological hazards Land subsidence Hazard prevention 



This study is supported by the National Science Fund of China (No.41272249) and the Kwang-Hua Fund for College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hydraulic EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Yangtze River Water EnvironmentMinistry of EducationShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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