Analysis of the geo-hazards triggered by the 12 May 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake, China

  • R. Q. Huang
  • W. L. Li
Original Paper


The Wenchuan Earthquake on 12 May 2008 triggered a large number of geo-hazards including landslides, slope collapses and debris flows. Field investigations and remote-sensing interpretation identified 11,308 geo-hazards in 16 seriously damaged counties in Sichuan Province, south west China. The paper reports an analysis of the distribution of these geo-hazards, particularly the earthquake-triggered landslides. Not surprisingly, the most significant geo-hazards were related to the main fault and on the hanging-wall side, although some occurred in deeply incised river gorges further away from the main rupture zone. Due to the high seismic intensity of the earthquake, most of the large landslides moved at high speed and for considerable distances.


2008 Wenchuan Earthquake Earthquake-triggered geo-hazards Distribution rule Hanging-wall effect Mobility GIS analysis 



This study is financially supported by the National Basic Research Program “973” Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (2008CB425801), and the National Foundation for Natural Science of China (40772206). The authors would like to thank Prof. Niek Rengers for revising the article and his many helpful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment ProtectionChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina

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