Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 793–807 | Cite as

Seismogenic fault and topography control on the spatial patterns of landslides triggered by the 2017 Jiuzhaigou earthquake

  • Chun-hao Wu
  • Peng Cui
  • Yu-sheng Li
  • Irasema Alcántara Ayala
  • Chao Huang
  • Shu-jian Yi


Jiuzhaigou National Park, located in northwest plateau of Sichuan Province, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most popular scenic areas in China. On August 8, 2017, a Mw 6.5 earthquake occurred 5 km to the west of a major scenic area, causing 25 deaths and injuring 525, and the Park was seriously affected. The objective of this study was to explore the controls of seismogenic fault and topographic factors on the spatial patterns of these landslides. Immediately after the main shock, field survey, remote-sensing investigations, and statistical and spatial analysis were undertaken. At least 2212 earthquake-triggered landslides were identified, covering a total area of 11.8 km2. These were mainly shallow landslides and rock falls. Results demonstrated that landslides exhibited a close spatial correlation with seismogenic faults. More than 85% of the landslides occurred at 2200 to 3700 m elevations. The largest quantity of landslides was recorded in places with local topographic reliefs ranging from 200 to 500 m. Slopes in the range of ~20°-50° are the most susceptible to failure. Landslides occurred mostly on slopes facing east-northeast (ENE), east (E), east-southeast (ESE), and southeast (SE), which were nearly vertical to the orientation of the seismogenic fault slip. The back-slope direction and thin ridge amplification effects were documented. These results provide insights on the control of the spatial pattern of earthquake-triggered landslides modified by the synergetic effect of seismogenic faults and topography.


2017 Jiuzhaigou earthquake Landslide Seismogenic fault Topography Spatial pattern 



research was supported by the Key Laboratory Program for Mountain Hazards and Earth Surface Process, CAS (Grant No. KLMHESP-17-06), International Science Program-Silk Road Disaster Risk Reduction (Grant No. 131551KYSB20160002), Major International (Regional) Joint Research Project (Grant No.41520104002), Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, CAS (Grant No. QYZDY-SSWDQC006), and 135 Strategic Program of the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS, NO. SDS-135-1701. We are grateful to FAN Xuanmei and XU Qiang from State key laboratory of Geohazard prevention and Geoenvironment Prevention for generously providing the interpretation landslide data. Deep appreciation goes to WANG Meimei and WU Shengnan for their helpful comments. We thank anonymous referees and editors for their constructive comments on an earlier version of this paper.


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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.Key Laboratory of Mountain Surface Process and Hazards, Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of ScienceChengduChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of ScienceBeijingChina
  3. 3.Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment ProtectionChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  5. 5.Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geografía Circuito Exterior s/n, Ciudad UniversitariaMéxico, D.F., Distrito FederalMéxicoMéxico

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