Laxiwa Hydropower Station is the largest among those hydropower stations in the upper reaches of the Yellow River. The construction started in October 2001, diversion tunnel was finished in January 2004, and impoundment started in March 2009. However, from May 2009, the right-bank slope of the reservoir about 700 m high and 1,000 m wide located 500 m far from the dam was found to be deforming greatly and continuously. Although this slope had been identified as an old landslide, the survey before the construction of the dam concluded that this slope being composed of granite is stable and would be stable even after the impoundment, and thus no detailed monitoring of the slope deformation had been performed before the visible deformation occurred after the impoundment. To indentify the relationship between the deformation of the slope and impoundment, we utilized differential synthetic aperture radar interferometry and Advanced Land Observing Satellite Prism data to analyze the slope deformation before and after impoundment. We found that no identifiable deformation took place before the impoundment, while during the period of 3 April 2009 to 22 May 2010, after impoundment, maximum horizontal displacement reached approximately 7.5 m. This slope is still deforming even after a total horizontal displacement of several tens of meters being reached, showing high risk of catastrophic failure.
Remote sensing D-InSAR ALOS Prism Hydropower station Slope deformation Impoundment
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The research work described herein was funded by the National Nature Science Foundation of China under grant no. 40772187. The financial supports are gratefully acknowledged. The valuable comments by Dr. Alexander Strom (Hydroproject Institute, Moscow), Dr. Hans-Balder Havenith (University of Liege), and Dr. Yuepin Yin (China Geological Environment Information Site) are greatly appreciated.
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