Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 206–217 | Cite as

Inventory and Spatial Distribution of Landslides Triggered by the 8th August 2017 MW 6.5 Jiuzhaigou Earthquake, China

  • Yingying Tian
  • Chong XuEmail author
  • Siyuan Ma
  • Xiwei Xu
  • Shiyuan Wang
  • He Zhang


An accurate and detailed seismic landslide inventory is essential to better understand the landslide mechanism and susceptibility. The 8th August 2017 Mw 6.5 Jiuzhaigou Earthquake of China initiated a large number of coseismic landslides. The results of the post-seismic survey show the actual landslide number might be underestimated in previous publications. Coupled with field investigation and visual interpretation on high-resolution remote sensing images before and after the main shock, we established a detailed inventory of landslides triggered by the earthquake. Results show that this event caused at least 4 834 individual landslides with a total area of 9.64 km2. They are concentrated in an elliptical area of 434 km2, dominated by medium- and small-scale rock falls and debris slides. Statistics indicate that, except for slope aspect that seems not significantly correlated with the landsliding, these landslides are most common in the places with following features: elevation of 2 800–3 400 m, slope angle greater than 30°, slope positions of upper, middle and flat slopes, and Carboniferous limestone and dolomite. Besides, the landslide area percentage (LAP) and landslide number density (LND) values decrease with the increasing distance to river channels and roads, implying a positive correlation. Instead of centering around the epicenter, most of these coseismic landslides are distributed along the inferred seismogenic fault, which means that the seismogenic structure played a more important role than the location of the epicenter. Remarkable differences in landslide densities along the fault indicate the varied landslide susceptibility which may be attributed to other varied controls along the fault such as the rock mass strength. In sum, this study presents a more detailed inventory of the landslides triggered by the 2017 Mw 6.5 Jiuzhaigou Earthquake, describes their distribution pattern and analyzes its control factors, which would be helpful to understand the genesis of the coseismic landslides and further study their long-term impact on the environment of the affected area.

Key words

Jiuzhaigou Earthquake coseismic landslide landslide inventory influencing factors spatial distribution 


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41661144037). The final publication is available at Springer via

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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Active Tectonics and Volcano, Institute of GeologyChina Earthquake AdministrationBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Crustal DynamicsChina Earthquake AdministrationBeijingChina
  3. 3.Sichuan Earthquake AgencyChengduChina
  4. 4.Hebei Earthquake AgencyShijiazhuangChina

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