Outburst risk of barrier lakes in Sichuan, China
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34 barrier lakes induced by earthquake have been formed by wedged debris on the river channels after a massive earthquake happening on May 12 in Sichuan, China. Among them, the Tangjiashan Barrier Lake is the largest one. It faces very urgent risk of dam breaking when water level reaches the top and begins overflow in case of storm rainfalls and continually aftershocks, threatening already devastated cities and villages with about 1.5 million people downstream. The outburst of a similar barrier lake occurred in the Minjiang River in 1933, causing a catastrophic flood. Risk analysis indicates that not all barrier lakes are highly dangerous. Only those lakes with very high dams and water to be filled up in short period need to be dealt with immediately.
KeywordsEarthquake Barrier Lake risk estimation aftershock Sichuan China
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