Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 14, Issue 9, pp 1689–1700 | Cite as

Characteristics and triggering mechanism of Xinmo landslide on 24 June 2017 in Sichuan, China

  • Li-jun Su
  • Kai-heng Hu
  • Wei-feng Zhang
  • Jiao Wang
  • Yu Lei
  • Chong-lei Zhang
  • Peng Cui
  • Alessandro Pasuto
  • Quan-hong Zheng


At 5: 39 AM on 24 June 2017, a huge landslide-debris avalanche occurred on Fugui Mountain at Xinmo village, Diexi town, Maoxian county, Sichuan province, China. The debris blocked the Songpinggou River for about 2 km, resulting in a heavy loss of both human lives and properties (10 deaths, 3 injuries, 73 missing, and 103 houses completely destroyed). The objectives of this paper are to understand the overall process and triggering factors of this landslide and to explore the affecting factors for its long term evolution before failure. Post event surveys were carried out the day after the landslide occurrence. Information was gathered from literature and on-site investigation and measurement. Topography, landforms, lithology, geological setting, earthquake history, meteorological and hydrological data of the area were analysed. Aerial photographs and other remote sensing information were used for evaluation and discussion. Eye witnesses also provided a lot of helpful information for us to understand the process of initiation, development and deposition. The depositional characteristics of the moving material as well as the traces of the movement, the structural features of the main scarp and the seismic waves induced by the slide are presented and discussed in detail in this paper. The results show that the mechanism of the landslide is a sudden rupture of the main block caused by the instability of a secondary block at a higher position. After the initiation, the failed rock mass at higher position overloaded the main block at the lower elevation and collapsed in tandem. Fragmentation of the rock mass occurred later, thus forming a debris avalanche with high mobility. This landslide case indicates that such seismic events could influence geological hazards for over 80 years and this study provides reference to the long term susceptibility and risk assessment of secondary geological hazards from earthquake.


High-position landslide Xinmo landslide Landslide mechanism Earthquake effects Rock fall Debris avalanche 


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This study was financially supported by the National Basic Reareach program of China (973 program, Grant No. 2013CB733201), Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, CAS (Grant No. QYZDY-SSW-DQC006) and the “Hundred Talents” program (SU Li-jun) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Professor ZHAO Yong from China Earthquake Networks Center is specially appreciated for his courtesy of providing the data of Seismic wave signal at the Maoxian station.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Earth Surface ProcessChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  3. 3.CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.Sino-Italian Laboratory on Geological and Hydrological HazardsChengduChina
  6. 6.National Research Council of Italy-Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological ProtectionPadovaItaly
  7. 7.Sichuan Bureau of Surveying, Mapping, and GeoinformationChengduChina

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