Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche

Tipo di prodottoArticolo in rivista
TitoloRecurrent rock avalanches progressively dismantle a mountain ridge in Beichuan County, Sichuan, most recently in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake
Anno di pubblicazione2021
Autore/iJ.Wasowski, M.J.McSaveney, L.Pisano, V. Del Gaudio, Y.Lib, W.Hub
Affiliazioni autoriConsiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica, Bari, Italy GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica, Bari, Italy Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e Geoambientali, Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro", Bari, Italy State Key Laboratory of Geo-Hazard Prevention and Geo-Environment Protection, Chengdu University of Technology, PR China State Key Laboratory of Geo-Hazard Prevention and Geo-Environment Protection, Chengdu University of Technology, PR China
Autori CNR e affiliazioni
  • inglese
AbstractLarge earthquake-triggered landslides, in particular rock avalanches, can have catastrophic consequences. However, without accelerometer records, the recognition of slopes prone to such failures remains difficult, because slope-specific seismic response depends on many factors including local topography, landforms, structure and internal geology. We address these issues by exploring the case of a rock avalanche of >3 million m3 triggered by the 2008 Mw7.9 Wenchuan earthquake in the Longmen Shan range, China. The failure, denominated Yangjia gully rock avalanche, occurred in Beichuan County (Sichuan Province), one of the areas that suffered the highest shaking intensity and death toll caused by co-seismic landsliding. Even though the Wenchuan earthquake produced tens of large (volume > 1 million m3) rock avalanches, many of which resulted in dangerous landslides, few studies so far have examined the pre-2008 history of the failed slope or reported on the stratigraphic record of mass-movement deposits exposed along local river courses. The presented case of the Yangjia gully rock avalanche shows the importance of such attempts as they provide information on the recurrence of large slope failures and their associated hazards. Our effort stems from recognition, on 2005 satellite imagery, of topography and morphology indicative of a large, apparently pre-historic slope failure and the associated breached landslide dam, both features closely resembling the forms generated in the catastrophic 2008 earthquake. The follow-up reconstruction recognizes an earlier landslide deposit exhumed from beneath the 2008 Yangjia gully rock avalanche by fluvial erosion since May 2008. We infer a seismic trigger also for the pre-2008 rock avalanche based on the following circumstantial evidence: i) the same source area (valley-facing, terminal portion of a flat-topped, elongated mountain ridge) located within one and a half kilometer of the seismically active Beichuan fault; ii) significant directional amplification of ground vibration, sub-parallel to the failed slope direction, detected via ambient noise measurements on the ridge adjacent to the source area of the 2008 rock avalanche and iii) common depositional and textural features of the two landslide deposits. Then, we show how, through consideration of the broader geomorphic and seismo-tectonic contexts, one can gain insight into the spatial and temporal recurrence of catastrophic slope failures in Beichuan County and elsewhere in the Longmen Shan. This insight, combined with local-scale geologic and geomorphologic knowledge, may guide selection of suspect slopes for reconnaissance, wide-area ambient noise investigation aimed at discriminating their relative susceptibility to co-seismic catastrophic failures. We indicate the feasibility of such investigations through the example of this study, which uses 3-component velocimeters designed to register low amplitude ground vibration.
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RivistaGeomorphology (Amst.)
Attiva dal 1987
Editore: Elsevier - Oxford ;
Paese di pubblicazione: Paesi Bassi
Lingua: inglese
ISSN: 0169-555X
Titolo chiave: Geomorphology (Amst.)
Titolo proprio: Geomorphology. (Amst.)
Titolo abbreviato: Geomorphology (Amst.)
Numero volume della rivista374
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Verificato da refereeSì: Internazionale
Stato della pubblicazionePublished version
Indicizzazione (in banche dati controllate)-
Parole chiaveCo-seismic rock avalancheLandslide damAmbient noiseWenchuan earthquake, Longmen Shan
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Strutture CNR
  • IRPI — Istituto di ricerca per la protezione idrogeologica
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