Moscow University Geology Bulletin

, Volume 72, Issue 1, pp 37–45 | Cite as

The geological background of the May 12, 2008 Ms 8.0 Wenchuan catastrophic earthquake, Longmen Shan, Western China



The Longmen Shan fault zone is located at the particular boundary between the Triassic Songpan-Ganzi orogen of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and the stable Sichuan basin of the Yangtze platform. There are four major active faults and three tectonic nappes in this region. According to an analysis of neotectonics and historical earthquakes, the Longmen Shan fault zone presents a high level of seismic hazard. The rupture system that hosted the Wenchuan earthquake is characterized by thrust and dextral strike-slip movement.


Wenchuan earthquake Longmen Shan fault zone Qinghai-Tibetan plateau Sichuan basin geological structure neotectonics seismic ruptures 


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© Allerton Press, Inc. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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