Dynamic analysis of a long-runout, flow-like landslide at Areletuobie, Yili River valley, northwestern China

  • Wenpei Wang
  • Yueping YinEmail author
  • Sainan Zhu
  • Yunjie Wei
  • Nan Zhang
  • Jinkai Yan
Original Paper


In the analysis reported here, the catastrophic landslide at Areletuobie town in Xinyuan county is used as an example to investigate the formation mechanism and dynamics of a flow-like landslide in Yili River valley. At 0:30 a.m. on July 31, 2012, a catastrophic landslide occurred in Xinyuan, Xinjiang, northwestern China, resulting in the deaths of 28 people when the temporary sheds in the downstream adit mining area were destroyed and buried directly in the path of the landslide. The runout distance of the landslide was about 1800 m, and the accumulative volume was about 600,000 m3. The landslide can be categorized into three regions: the sliding source, impact-shoveling, and flow-accumulative regions. The stability of the landfill slope in the sliding source region was analyzed at two seepage stages of a long period of rain and a sudden heavy rainfall. To improve the accuracy of further hazard assessments of similar types of potential landslides in the same area, we simulated the kinematic and dynamic processes of the impact-shoveling region and the debris flow using the numerical model DAN-W and a combination of the frictional model and Voellmy model. The landslide moved for approximately 139 s downward along the valley, with a maximum velocity of 30 m s−1. This is a typical long-runout flow-like landslide. Finally, we conclude that the identification of the potential geological hazards at Yili River valley area is crucial to prevent any catastrophic flow-like landslide triggered by heavy rainfall. The identified indicators should be properly used as a scientific basis for classifying hazard areas of flow-like landslides as well as for monitoring and early recognition.


Flow-like landslide Heavy rainfall Yili River valley Loess 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41502305) and geological disaster detailed investigation project of China Geological Survey (No.DD2017 9609). The authors express their gratitude to Dr. Yao Jiang, Dr. Maoguo Zhuang, Dr. Hai Shao, Dr. Zhe Huang, and Professor Aiguo Xing, as well as to He Zhu for their kind support and help. We are grateful to Prof. O. Hungr for supplying a copy of the DAN-W software. We are also very grateful to the Editor in Chief of Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment, Martin Gordon Culshaw, for supporting the possible publication of our study. Finally, the authors’ special appreciation goes to the reviewers of this manuscript for their useful comments.


  1. Davies TR, McSaveney MJ (1999) Runout of dry granular avalanches. Can Geotech J 36:313–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fan XM, Xu Q, Scaringi G et al (2017) Failure mechanism and kinematics of the deadly June 24th 2017 Xinmo landslide, Maoxian, Sichuan, China. Landslides 14:2129–2146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gong XP et al (2017) Cause and evaluation of geological disasters in Yili Valley, Xinjiang. Xinjiang University, ChinaGoogle Scholar
  4. Havenith HB, Torgoev A, Schlögel R, Braun A, Torgoev I, Ischuk A (2015) Tien Shan Geohazards database: landslide susceptibility analysis. Geomorphology 249:32–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Huang RQ (2007) Large-scale landslides and their sliding mechanisms in China since the 20th century. Chin J Rock Mech Eng 26(3):433–454Google Scholar
  6. Huang Y, Zhang WJ, Qi X et al (2012) Run-out analysis of flow-like landslides triggered by the Ms 8.0 2008 Wenchuan earthquake using smoothed particle hydrodynamics. Landslides 9(2):275–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hungr O (1995) A model for the runout analysis of rapid flow slides, debris flows, and avalanches. Can Geotech J 32:610–623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hungr O (2008) Simplified models of spreading flow of dry granular material. Can Geotech J 45(8):1156–1168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hungr O, Evans SG (2004) Entrainment of debris in rock avalanches: an analysis of a long–runout mechanism. Geol Soc Am Bull 116:1240–1252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 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):221–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ishihara K, Okusa S, Oyagi N, Ischuk A (1990) Liquefaction-induced flow slide in the collapsible loess deposit in Soviet Tajik. Soils Found 30:73–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Koerner RM, Soong TY (2000) Leachate in landfills: the stability issues. Geotext Geomembr 18(5):293–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ouyang CJ, Zhou KQ, Xu Q et al (2017) Dynamic analysis and numerical modeling of the 2015 catastrophic landslide of the construction waste landfill at Guangming, Shenzhen, China. Landslides 14:705–718CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Peng JB, Fan ZJ, Wu D et al (2015) Heavy rainfall triggered loess-mudstone landslide and subsequent debris flow in Tianshui, China. Eng Geol 186:79–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Picarelli L (2010) Discussion on “a rapid loess flowslide triggered by irrigation in China” by Zhang, D., Wang, G., Luo, C., Chen, J. and Zhou, Y. Landslides 7(2):203–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Qi C, Xing AG, Yin YP (2012) Numerical simulation of dynamic behavior of Donghekou rockslide–debris avalanche. J Eng Geol 20(3):334–339Google Scholar
  17. Reddy KR, Hettiarachchi H, Parakalla N, Gangathulasi J, Bogner J, Lagier T (2009) Hydraulic conductivity of MSW in landfills. J Environ Eng 135(8):677–683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sassa K, Nagai O, Solidum R, Yamazaki Y, Ohta H (2010) An integrated model simulating the initiation and motion of earthquake and rain induced rapid landslides and its application to the 2006 Leyte landslide. Landslides 7(3):219–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Stark TD, Edi HT, Evans WD, Sherry PE (2000) Municipal solid waste slope failure. II: stability analyses. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 126(5):408–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Tang C, Zhu J, Ding J (2011) Catastrophic debris flows triggered by a 14 August 2010 rainfall at the epicenter of the Wenchuan earthquake. Landslides 8:485–497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wang JD, Zhang ZY (1999) A study on the mechanism of high-speed loess landslide induced by earthquake. Chinese J Geotech Eng 27(6):670–674Google Scholar
  22. Xing AG, Wang GH, Li B et al (2014) Long-runout mechanism and landsliding behaviour of large catastrophic landslide triggered by heavy rainfall in Guanling, Guizhou, China. Can Geotech J 52(7):971–981CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Xing AG, Wang GH, Yin YP et al (2015) Investigation and dynamic analysis of a catastrophic rock avalanche on September 23, 1991, Zhaotong, China. Landslides 13(5):1035–1047CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Xing AG, Yuan XY, Xu Q et al (2016) Characteristics and numerical runout modelling of a catastrophic rock avalanche triggered by the Wenchuan earthquake in the Wenjia valley, Mianzhu, Sichuan, China. Landslides 14(1):1–16Google Scholar
  25. Xu Q, Fan XM, Dong XJ (2010) Characteristics and formation mechanism of a catastrophic rainfall–induced rock avalanche–mud flow in Sichuan, China. Landslides 9:143–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ye W, HL J, Zhao XY et al (1998) Depositional features and material sources of loess in Yili region, Xinjiang. Arid Land Geogeoraphy 21(4):1–8Google Scholar
  27. Yin YP, Cheng YL, Liang J, Wang WP et al (2016) Heavy-rainfall-induced catastrophic rockslidedebris flow at Sanxicun, Dujiangyan, after the Wenchuan Ms 8.0 eawrthquake. Landslides 13(1):9–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zhang DX, Wang GH, Luo CY, Chen J, Zhou YX (2009) A rapid loess flowslide triggered by irrigation in China. Landslides 6(1):55–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Zhang M, Yin YP, Wu SR (2010) Development status and prospects of studies on kinematics of long runout rock avalanches. J Eng Geol 18(6):805–817Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenpei Wang
    • 1
  • Yueping Yin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sainan Zhu
    • 1
  • Yunjie Wei
    • 1
  • Nan Zhang
    • 1
  • Jinkai Yan
    • 1
  1. 1.China Institute of Geo-Environment Monitoring China Geological SurveyBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations