Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 82–99 | Cite as

Earthquake dynamic response behavior of Xiangchong valley type tailings impoundment in Yunnan, China

  • Zhe Ren
  • Kun Wang
  • Qi-shu Zhang
  • Ze-min Xu
  • Zheng-guang Tang
  • Ji-pu Chen
  • Ji-qing Yang
  • Zong-heng Xu


Tailings impoundments can potentially collapse due to damage caused by earthquakes, which has frequently occurred around the world. This study takes the proposed valley type tailings impoundment in Yunnan as the research object to analyze the dynamic response behavior under earthquake action with both numerical simulation and physical model test (1:300). The results of both tests show that the dynamic response of the valley type tailings impoundment is characterized by “medium stiffness effect”, in other words, in a certain range, the “softer” the unsaturated tailings sand is, the more energy it can dissipate, which leads the decrease of the value of the acceleration amplification factor. In addition, the peak acceleration of the monitoring points increases with the vertical elevation, which indicates that the “elevation amplification effect” exists in the tailings impoundment dynamic response. The middle part of the outer side of the raised embankment reacts more sensitive than the crest, which is similar to the slope dynamic response. The starter dam reacts sensitively under the earthquake excitation, which should be given more attention during the seismic design. The dynamic response rules reflected by the numerical simulation are consistent with the results monitored on the physical model test, although there are some differences between their values. The dynamic response rules of the valley type tailings impoundment can provide basis for the design of the similar projects in this region.


Tailings impoundment Dynamic response Shaking table test Medium stiffness effect 


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This study was financially supported by project (Grant NO. U1502232, U1033601)—National Science Foundation of China-Yunnan Joint Fund, project (Grant NO. 20135314110005)—Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China. We acknowledge the editors and the anonymous reviewers for their insightful suggestions on this work.


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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.Faculty of Civil Engineering and MechanicsKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  2. 2.College of Architectural EngineeringYunnan Agricultural UniversityKunmingChina
  3. 3.School of Tourism and Geographical ScienceYunnan Normal UniversityKunmingChina

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