Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 339–354 | Cite as

Co-seismic landslide inventory and susceptibility mapping in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake disaster area, China

  • Wei-le LiEmail author
  • Run-qiu Huang
  • Chuan Tang
  • Qiang Xu
  • Cees van Westen


The Ms 8.0 May 12, 2008 Wenchuan earthquake triggered tens of thousands of landslides. The widespread landslides have caused serious casualties and property losses, and posed a great threat to post-earthquake reconstruction. A spatial database, inventoried 43,842 landslides with a total area of 632 km2, was developed by interpretation of multi-resolution remote sensing images. The landslides can be classified into three categories: swallow, disrupted slides and falls; deep-seated slides and falls, and rock avalanches. The correlation between landslides distribution and the influencing parameters including distance from co-seismic fault, lithology, slope gradient, elevation, peak ground acceleration (PGA) and distance from drainage were analyzed. The distance from co-seismic fault was the most significant parameter followed by slope gradient and PGA was the least significant one. A logistic regression model combined with bivariate statistical analysis (BSA) was adopted for landslide susceptibility mapping. The study area was classified into five categories of landslide susceptibility: very low, low, medium, high and very high. 92.0% of the study area belongs to low and very low categories with corresponding 9.0% of the total inventoried landslides. Medium susceptible zones make up 4.2% of the area with 17.7% of the total landslides. The rest of the area was classified into high and very high categories, which makes up 3.9% of the area with corresponding 73.3% of the total landslides. Although the susceptibility map can reveal the likelihood of future landslides and debris flows, and it is helpful for the rebuilding process and future zoning issues.


Wenchuan Earthquake Landslide Inventory Susceptibility mapping Logistic regression 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aleotti P, Chowdhury R (1999) Landslide hazard assessment: summary review and new perspectives. Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment 58(1): 21–44. DOI: 10.1007/s100640050066CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ayalew L, Yamagishi H (2005) The application of GIS-based logistic regression for landslide susceptibility mapping in the Kakuda-Yahiko Mountains, Central Japan. Geomorphology 65(1–2): 15–31. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2004.06.010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aykut (2012) A comparison of landslide susceptibility maps produced by logistic regression, multi-criteria decision, and likelihood ratio methods: a case study at İzmir, Turkey. Landslide 9(1): 93–106. DOI: 10.1007/s10346-011-0283-7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bai SB, Wang J, Lv GN, et al. (2010) GIS-based logistic regression for landslide susceptibility mapping of the Zhongxian segment in the Three Gorges area, China. Geomorphology 115: 23–31. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.09.025CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen ZH, Wang JF (2007) Landslide hazard mapping using logistic regression model in Mackenzie Valley, Canada. Nat Hazards 42(1): 75–89. DOI: 10.1007/s11069-006-9061-6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dai FC, Xu C, Yao X, et al. (2011) Spatial distribution of landslides triggered by the 2008 Ms 8.0 Wenchuan earthquake, China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 40(4): 883–895. DOI: 10.1016/j.jseaes.2010.04.010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Das I, Sahoo S, Westen CV, et al. (2010) Landslide susceptibility assessment using logistic regression and its comparison with a rock mass classification system, along a road section in the northern Himalayas (India). Geomorphology 114: 627–637. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.09.023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Das I, Stein A, Kerle N, et al.(2012) Landslide susceptibility mapping along road corridors in the Indian Himalayas using Bayesian logistic regression models. Geomorphology 179: 116–125. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.08.004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dong JJ, Tung YH, Chen CC, et al. (2011) Logistic regression model for predicting the failure probability of a landslide dam. Engineering Geology 117: 52–61. DOI: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2010.10.004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Douglas J (2003) Earthquake ground motion estimation using strong-motion records: a review of equations for the estimation of peak ground acceleration and response spectral ordinates. Earth-Science Reviews 61:43–104. DOI: 10.1016/S0012-8252(02)00112-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gorum T, Fan XM, Westen CJ, et al. (2011) Distribution pattern of earthquake-induced landslides triggered by the 12 May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Geomorphology 133(3–4): 152–167. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.12.030CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Guzzetti F, Mondini AC, Cardinali M, et al. (2012) Landslide inventory maps: New tools for an old problem. Earth-Science Reviews 112(1–2): 42–66. DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2012.02.001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Huang RQ, Li WL (2009a) Analysis of the geo-hazards triggered by the 12 May 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake, China. Bull of Engineering Geology and the Environment 68: 363–371. DOI: 10.1007/s10064-009-0207-0CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Huang RQ, Li WL (2009b) Development and distribution of geohazards triggered by the 5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake in China. Science in China Series E-Technological Sciences 52(4): 810–819. DOI: 10.1007/s11431-009-0117-1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Huang RQ, Pei XJ, Li TB (2008) Basic characteristics and formation mechanism of the largest scale landslide at Daguangbao occurred during the Wenchuan earthquake. Journal of Engineering Geology 16(6): 730–741. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  16. Huang RQ, Xu Q, Huo JJ (2011) Mechanism and geo-mechanics models of landslides triggered by 5.12 Wenchuan earthquake. Journal of Mountain Science 8: 200–210. DOI: 10.1007/ s11629-011-2104-9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Keefer DK (1984) Landslides caused by earthquakes. Geological Society of America Bulletin 95: 406–421. DOI: 10.1130/0016-7606CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lulseged A, Hiromitsu Y (2005) The application of GIS-based logistic regression for landslide susceptibility mapping in the Kakuda-Yahiko Mountains, Central Japan. Geomorphology 65(1–2):15–31. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2004.06.010Google Scholar
  19. Parker RN, Densmore AL, Rosser NJ, et al. (2011) Mass wasting triggered by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake is greater than orogenic growth. Nature Geoscience 4: 449–452. DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Qi SW, Xu Q, Lan HX, et al. (2010) Spatial distribution analysis of landslides triggered by 2008.5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake, China. Engineering Geology 116: 95–108. DOI: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2010.07.011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Qi SW, Xu Q, Lan HX, et al. (2012) Resonance effect existence or not for landslides triggered by 2008 Wenchuan earthquake: A reply to the comment by Drs. Xu Chong and Xu Xiwei. Engineering Geology 151:128–130. DOI: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2012.08.003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Soeters R, Westen CJ (1996) Slope instability recognition, analysis, and zonation. In Turner, K.A. & Schuster, R.L. (eds), Landslides: investigation and mitigation 247:129–177. Washington, D.C.: Transport Research Board.Google Scholar
  23. Song YQ, Gong JH, Gao S, et al.(2012) Susceptibility assessment of earthquake-induced landslides using Bayesian network: A case study in Beichuan, China. Computers & Geosciences 42:189–199. DOI: 10.1016/j.cageo.2011.09.011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Su FH, Cui P, Zhang JQ et al. (2010) Susceptibility Assessment of Landslides Caused by the Wenchuan Earthquake Using a Logistic Regression Model. Journal of Mountain Science 7(3): 234–245. DOI: 10.1007/s11629-010-2015-1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Süzen ML, Doyuran V (2003) A comparison of the GIS based landslide susceptibility assessment methods: multivariate versus bivariate. Environmental Geology 45(5):665–679. DOI: 10.1007/s00254-003-0917-8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tang C, Zhu J, Li WL, et al. (2009) Rainfall-triggered debris flows following the Wenchuan earthquake. Bull Eng Geol Environ) 68: 187–194. DOI: 10.1007/s10064-009-0201-6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tom P, Chen J, Eric K (2008) Stress changes from the 2008Wenchuan earthquake and increased hazard in the Sichuan basin. Nature 454: 509–510. DOI: 10.1038/ nature07177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Van Western CJ, Castellanos E, Kuriakose SL (2008) Spatial data for landslide susceptibility, hazard, and vulnerability assessment: An overview. Engineering Geology 102(3–4): 112–131. DOI: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2008.03.010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Varnes DJ (1984) Landslide hazard zonation: a review of principles and practice. Praris: UNESCO Press.Google Scholar
  30. Wang FW, Chen QG, Lynn H, et al. (2009) Preliminary investigation of some large landslides triggered by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, Sichuan Province, China. Landslides 6(1): 47–54. DOI: 10.1007/s10346-009-0141-zCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Xu C, Dai FC, Xu XW, et al. (2012c) GIS-based support vector machine modeling of earthquake-triggered landslide susceptibility in the Jianjiang River watershed, China. Geomorphology 145–146: 70–80. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2011.12.040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Xu C, Xu XW, Dai FC, et al. (2012a) Comparison of different models for susceptibility mapping of earthquake triggered landslides related with the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China. Computers & Geosciences 46: 317–329. DOI: 10.1016/j.cageo.2012.01.002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Xu C, Xu XW, Dai FC, et al. (2012b) Landslide hazard mapping using GIS and weight of evidence model in Qingshui River watershed of 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake struck Region. Journal of Earth Science 23(1): 97–120. DOI: 10.1007/s12583-012-0236-7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Xu Q, Li WL (2011). Study on the direction effects of landslides triggered by Wenchuan Earthquake. Journal of Sichuan University (Engineering Science Edition) 42(S1): 7–14. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  35. Xu Q, Zhang S, Li WL (2011) Spatial Distribution of Large-scale Landslides Induced by the Wenchuan Earthquake. Journal of Mountain Science 8: 246–260. DOI: 10.1007/s11629-011-2105-8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yalcin A (2008) GIS-based landslide susceptibility mapping using analytical hierarchy process and bivariate statistics in Ardesen (Turkey): comparisons of results and confirmations. Catena 72(1):1–12. DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2007.01.003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yin YP, Wang FW, Sun P (2009) Landslide hazards triggered by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, Sichuan, China. Landslides 6:139–151. DOI: 10.1007/s10346-009-0148-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Youd TL, Perkins DM (1978) Mapping liquefaction-induced ground failure potential. Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division 104:433–446.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei-le Li
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Run-qiu Huang
    • 1
  • Chuan Tang
    • 1
  • Qiang Xu
    • 1
  • Cees van Westen
    • 2
  1. 1.State key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment ProtectionChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  2. 2.Faculty of Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation (ITC)University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations