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Failure mechanism and dynamic processes of rock avalanche occurrence in Chengkun railway, China, on August 14, 2019

  • Lei Zhu
  • Heng LiangEmail author
  • Siming HeEmail author
  • Wei Liu
  • Qingyun Zhang
  • Gang Li
Recent Landslides


Rock avalanches are unpredictable due to their complex geological conditions and dynamics and such features have been regarded as important reasons for property damage and fatalities. The Ganluo rock avalanche of August 14, 2019 in China provides an outstanding case to evaluate the failure mechanism and dynamic process of long-runout rock avalanches. To understand the failure mechanism and dynamics of such events, a combination of in situ investigation, remote sensing data study, and simulation is performed. The result shows that the Ganluo rock avalanche released a rock mass volume of approximately 5.20 × 104 m3 that detached from the slope, and 1.52 × 104 m3 of unstable rock mass is still in the source zone. The analysis indicated that the prerequisite for the rock avalanche was continuous heavy rainfall, which occurred in the preceding months. The simulation shows the maximum sliding velocity is approximately 22 m/s. Additionally, the potential destructive zone of the unstable rock mass is evaluated, which can provide a reference for secondary disaster prediction.


Ganluo rock avalanches Failure mechanisms SPH method Dynamic simulation 



This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Project No. 2017YFC1501003, 2018YFC1505003); the Major Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41790433); the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41772312), and the Key Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. KFZD-SW-424).

Supplementary material

10346_2019_1343_MOESM1_ESM.avi (5.8 mb)
ESM 1 (AVI 5892 kb)
10346_2019_1343_MOESM2_ESM.avi (6.4 mb)
ESM 2 (AVI 6509 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Surface ProcessInstitute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.403 Geological Team of Sichuan Geological and Mineral Exploration BureauMeishanChina
  5. 5.China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co. LtdChengduChina

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