Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 364–379 | Cite as

Long-term kinematics and mechanism of a deep-seated slow-moving debris slide near Wudongde hydropower station in Southwest China

  • Shu Jiang
  • Yi-feng Wang
  • Chuan Tang
  • Ke Liu


Long-term kinematic research of slowmoving debris slide is rare despite of the widespread global distribution of this kind. This paper presents a study of the kinematics and mechanism of the Jinpingzi debris slide located on the Jinsha river bank in southwest China. This debris slide is known to have a volume of 27×106 m3 in active state for at least one century. Field survey and geotechnical investigation were carried out to define the structure of the landslide. The physical and mechanical properties of the landslide materials were obtained by in-situ and laboratory tests. Additionally, surface and subsurface displacements, as well as groundwater level fluctuations, were monitored since 2005. Movement features, especially the response of the landslide movement to rainfall, were analysed. Relationships between resisting forces and driving forces were analysed by using the limit equilibrium method assuming rigid-plastic frictional slip. The results confirmed a viscous component in the long-term continuous movement resulting in the quasioverconsolidated state of the slip zone with higher strength parameters than some other types of slowmoving landslides. Both surface and subsurface displacements showed an advancing pattern by the straight outwardly inclined (rather than gently or reversely inclined) slip zone, which resulted in low resistance to the entire sliding mass. The average surface displacement rate from 2005 to 2016 was estimated to be 0.19~0.87 mm/d. Basal sliding on the silty clay seam accounted for most of the deformation with different degrees of internal deformation in different parts. Rainfall was the predominant factor affecting the kinematics of Jinpingzi landslide while the role of groundwater level, though positive, was not significant. The response of the groundwater level to rainfall infiltration was not apparent. Unlike some shallow slow-moving earth flows or mudslides, whose behaviors are directly related to the phreatic groundwater level, the mechanism for Jinpingzi landslide kinematics is more likely related to the changing weight of the sliding mass and the downslope seepage pressure in the shallow soil mass resulting from rainfall events.


Kinematics Slow-moving debris slide Shear strength Rainfall infiltration Viscous component 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Postdoctoral Research StationChina Three Gorges CorporationBeijingChina
  2. 2.Wudongde Project Construction DepartmentChina Three Gorges Projects Development Co., LtdLuquanChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment ProtectionChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina

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