, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 275–283 | Cite as

Run-out analysis of flow-like landslides triggered by the Ms 8.0 2008 Wenchuan earthquake using smoothed particle hydrodynamics

  • Yu Huang
  • Weijie Zhang
  • Qiang Xu
  • Pan Xie
  • Liang Hao
Technical Note


Flow-like landslides have caused significant damage and casualties worldwide. However, studying such phenomena with traditional simulation methods is made difficult by their complex fluidization characteristics. In this paper, we use smoothed-particle hydrodynamics (SPH) for the run-out analysis of flow-like landslides. Compared with conventional methods, the proposed SPH modeling technique is the combination of a Bingham flow model and Navier–Stokes equations in the framework of computational fluid dynamics. At first, two benchmark problems of dam break and granular flow are simulated and verified to evaluate the accuracy of the SPH model. Then, run-out analyses are performed for flow-like landslides triggered by the Ms 8.0 Wenchuan earthquake that occurred on 12 May 2008 in Sichuan Province, China. Run-out analyses of the Tangjiashan, Wangjiayan, and Donghekou landslides are conducted by the application of SPH models to real flow-like landslides. All simulations show good agreement with characteristics of flow-like landslides observed in the field. We have found that numerical modeling can capture the fundamental dynamic behavior of these flow-like landslides and produce preliminary results for hazard assessment and site selection for reconstruction in earthquake-prone areas.


Run-out analysis Flow-like landslides Smoothed-particle hydrodynamics Hazard assessment Wenchuan earthquake 



This work was supported by the State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geo-environment Protection (no. DZKJ-0808), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant nos. 41072202, 40802070, and 40841014), the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and Shanghai Education Development Foundation (Shu Guang Project No. 08SG22), the Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project (no. B308), and the Kwang-Hua Fund for the College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University.


  1. Bui HH, Fukagawa R, Sako K, Ohno S (2008) Lagrangian meshfree particles method (SPH) for large deformation and failure flows of geomaterial using elastic–plastic soil constitutive model. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 32(12):1527–1570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cui P, Zhu YY, Han YS, Chen XQ, Zhuang JQ (2009) The 12 May Wenchuan earthquake-induced landslide lakes: distribution and preliminary risk evaluation. Landslides 6(3):209–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Devoli G, Blasio FV, Elverhøi A, Høeg K (2008) Statistical analysis of landslide events in Central America and their run-out distance. Geotech Geol Eng 27(1):23–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Duncan MJ (1996) State of the art: limit equilibrium and finite-element analysis of slopes. J Geotech Eng, ASCE 122(7):577–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hadush S, Yashima A, Uzuoka R (2000) Importance of viscous fluid characteristics in liquefaction induced lateral spreading analysis. Comput Geotech 27(3):199–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hu XW, Huang RQ, Shi YB, Lv XP, Zhu HY, Wang XR (2009) Analysis of blocking river mechanism of Tangjiashan landslide and dam-breaking mode of its barrier dam. Chin J Rock Mech Eng 28(1):181–189 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  7. Huang RQ, Li WL (2009) Analysis of the geo-hazards triggered by the 12 May 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake, China. Bull Eng Geol Environ 68(3):363–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hungr O, Evans SG, Bovis MJ, Hutchinson JN (2001) A review of the classification of landslides of the flow type. Environ Eng Geosci 7(3):221–238Google Scholar
  9. Liu GR, Liu MB (2003) Smoothed particle hydrodynamics: a mesh-free particle method. World Scientific Press, SingaporeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lucy LB (1977) A numerical approach to the testing of the fission hypothesis. Astron J 82(12):1013–1024CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Martin JC, Moyce WJ (1952) An experimental study of the collapse of liquid columns on a rigid horizontal plane. Philos Trans R Soc Lond A244:312–324Google Scholar
  12. McDougall S, Hungr O (2004) A model for the analysis of rapid landslide motion across three-dimensional terrain. Can Geotech J 41(6):1084–1097CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Moriguchi S, Borja I, Yashima A, Sawada K (2009) Estimating the impact force generated by granular flow on a rigid obstruction. Acta Geotech 4(1):57–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Moriguchi S, Yashima A, Sawada K et al (2005) Numerical simulation of fluid failure of geomaterials based on fluid dynamics. Soils Found 45(2):155–165Google Scholar
  15. Pastor M, Haddad B, Sorbino G, Cuomo S, Drempetic V (2008) A depth-integrated, coupled SPH model for flow-like landslides and related phenomena. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 33(2):143–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Sawada K, Moriguchi S, Yashima A, Zhang F, Uzuoka R (2004) Large deformation analysis in geomechanics using CIP method. JSME Int J Ser B: Fluids Therm Eng 47(4):735–743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sun P, Zhang YS, Shi JS (2009) Analysis on the dynamical process of Donghekou rapid long runout landslide-debris flow triggered by great Wenchuan earthquake. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium and the 7th Asian Regional Conference of IAEG, Chengdu, China, 9–11 September 2009, pp 902–909Google Scholar
  18. Uzuoka R, Yashima A, Kawakami T, Konrod JM (1998) Fluid dynamics based prediction of liquefaction induced lateral spreading. Comput Geotech 22(3/4):234–282Google Scholar
  19. Wang FW, Cheng QG, Highland L, Miyajima M, Wang HB, Yan CG (2009) Preliminary investigation of some large landslides triggered by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, Sichuan Province, China. Landslide 6(1):47–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Yin YP, Wang FW, Sun P (2009) Landslide hazards triggered by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, Sichuan, China. Landslide 6(2):139–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu Huang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Weijie Zhang
    • 2
  • Qiang Xu
    • 3
  • Pan Xie
    • 2
  • Liang Hao
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Geotechnical and Underground Engineering of the Ministry of EducationTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Geotechnical EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment ProtectionChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina

Personalised recommendations