Dynamic process of the massive Xinmo landslide, Sichuan (China), from joint seismic signal and morphodynamic analysis

  • Xiuqiang Bai
  • Jihao Jian
  • Siming HeEmail author
  • Wei Liu
Original Paper


On 24 June 2017, a massive high-position landslide occurred at Diexi, Maoxian county, Sichuan, China, destroying the village of Xinmo with over 80 fatalities. Based on field surveys and DEM data before and after the landslide, the run-out of the landslide had a horizontal extent of 2400 m and a vertical extent of 1200 m and covered an area of about 1.48 × 106 m2. Based on the pre- and post-landslide profiles, the landslide region can be divided into four zones: source area, erosion area, sliding area, and accumulation area. The volume and area of each zone were calculated from DEM data before and after the landslide. Because of the fragmentation and erosion of the landslide during movement, the landslide volume increased from 2.8 × 106 m3 to 6.4 × 106 m3; the fractional amount of volume expansion due to fragmentation (FF) and entrainment ratio (ER) were 0.033 and 1.23, respectively. The velocity and acceleration of the Xinmo landslide were calculated through the inverted forces from seismic waves. The friction coefficients in each zone of the landslide during movement were also obtained, providing a useful parameter for numerical simulation modeling. An inverse relation was found between the absolute velocity and friction coefficient of each zone, demonstrating the existence of frictional velocity-weakening in massive extensive landslides. Based on frictional velocity-weakening, the steady-state apparent friction μ(U, σ) as a function of absolute slip velocity U and normal pressure σ was also obtained.


Xinmo village landslide Morphodynamic Seismic signal Frictional velocity-weakening 



This work was supported as a joint research project by NSFC-ICIMOD (Grant No. 41661144041); the NSFC (Grant No. 41772312); The Key Research and Development Program and The Scientific Support Program of the Science and Technology Department of Sichuan Province of China (Grant No.2017SZ0041; Grant No.2016SZ0067). We are thankful for the DEMs data of the study site provided by Sichuan Geomatics Center and the seismic data and suggestions provided by the Sichuan Earthquake Administration. We also thank the previous reviewers and Dr. A. Lucas for helpful suggestions, which greatly improved the quality of this paper.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiuqiang Bai
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jihao Jian
    • 4
  • Siming He
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
    Email author
  • Wei Liu
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Tibetan Plateau ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.College of Environment and Civil EngineeringChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  5. 5.Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Surface ProcessChinese Academy of ScienceChengduChina
  6. 6.Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina

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