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Institute of Geology Organized Field Geological Practice in Ningxia for the 2015 Postgraduates and New Employees

2015/12/28 18:19:37

In order to promote growth of young talents, according to the postgraduate training plan and new employees training system, the institute organized more than 40 2014-grade postgraduates, new employees and new coming postdoctors to paricipate a 10-day field geological practice in Ningxia from September 16 to 25, 2015. It is the fourth batch of people going to the base since our institute and the Earthquake Administration of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region jointly established “Field Teaching Practice Base for Postgraduates of the Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration”.

September 15: Pre-departure training 

To assure that the field practice was carried out in an orderly and efficient way, the trainees received pre-departure training in No. 301 conference room on September 15. Deputy Director Xu Xiwei gave a lecture titled “Discussion of Seismogenic Structure of the Wenchuan Earthquake” to introduced in details the geological structure and earthquake generation mechanism. Advisor He Honglin comprehensively introduced the basic information of the practice site from three aspects: purpose and significance of the practice, tectonic background of the practice site, and teaching content. In the end, advisor Ran Kangyong exchanged ideas with the trainees based on his many years’ experiences as a team leader of the practice.

During training, Human Resource Director Qu Yi and Deputy Director Wu Yanping presented the precautions, agenda, discipline requirements, grouping and preparatory work of this practice.

September 16: Arrive in Ningxia

On September 16, the practice team arrived at the Earthquake Administration of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Director-General Chai Chizhang expressed warm welcome on behalf of Earthquake Administration of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and made a report titled “Tectonic setting of active faults in Ningxia and its significance in the research of active faults in China”.

Chai Chizhang summarized the tectonic setting of Ningxia, introduced the work experience and study results of numerous domestic and foreign famous scholars in this region. Through the introduction, people knew the active tectonics of Ningxia was characterized by many patterns, a large variety, centralized phenomena, younger activity and high activity level. He reviewed the discovery of the Zhongning paleo-earthquake site, discovery of dislocation at Hongguozi Great Wall, application of colluvial wedge theory in the research of active faults at the eastern foot of the Helan Mountains, belt-like geological mapping of the Haiyuan fault zone, detection of active faults in Yinchuan and evaluation of its seismic risk, and a few important active tectonics research events in Ningxia, and explained the domestic and foreign influence and position of the research of active tectonics in Ningxia. He explained the role of active tectonic research results in earthquake disaster mitigation of Ningxia. Lastly, Director-General Chai reminded all the practicing students to care for the active tectonic relics and cultural relics. Director-General Chai explained the profound in simple terms. His explanation was meticulous and comprehensive. All the trainees had preliminary knowledge on the tectonic background of Ningxia. After the reporting, the practice team visited Yinchuan seismic station of the Earthquake Administration of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

September 18-19: Xiangshan-Tianjingshan fault zone

Facing the morning glow, the practice team set out from Yinchuan, went to Zhongwei and investigated the active behaviors of the Xiangshan-Tianjingshan fault zone, a famous arc-like structure in the middle of Ningxia. As an important part of the arc-shaped fault system on the northeastern margin of the Tibetan plateau, the Xiangshan-Tianjingshan fault zone is the frontal-most of the northeastward expansion of the Tibetan plateau, and also the latest tectonic boundary of the plateau. Through the two-day investigation from September 18 to 19, the members of the practice team  have learned the expansion process of the Tibetan plateau, activity history of the Xiangshan-Tianjingshan fault zone and its latest motion.

September 20: Hejiakouzi of Haiyuan

Departing from Zhongwei, the practice team came to Hejiakouzi, Haiyuan. Wang Weitao introduced in details the Cenozoic sedimentary section of Hejiakouzi, and explained the sedimentary characteristics, sedimentary environment and division marks of strata including Salawusu Formation, Helan Formation, Yinchuan Formation, Ganhegou Formation, Hongliu Formation and Qingshuiying Formation. After the explanation, 10 observation points were determined. As homework, the students were asked to measure formation occurrence by tool and map the cross section of Hejiakouzi. At noon, after lunch, they began to walk back, look for point locations and carry out measurement and mapping. Every group carefully measured the measurement points and briefly discussed some problems they met during measurement.

September 21: Fault at the eastern foot of Liupan Mountains and Liupanshan Memorial Hall of Red Army’s Long March

On September 21, the practice team came to the fault at the eastern foot of the Liupan Mountains. In the morning, the practice team set out from Guyuan and arrived at Xianglong River in the crosscut of the fault zone at the eastern foot of the Liupan Mountains. Advisor Yuan Renmao and Wang Ping showed them around the river terraces on the two banks of the Xianglong river, introduced fault dislocation conditions of the terraces and how to use terrace age to limit fault activity time, and required the students to draw terrace planes and fault profiles. The students expressed their opinions on the formation of river terraces, exchanged ideas with the advisors and knew how to identify and map river terraces. Through this practice, the students knew river landform and its response to earthquakes and practiced the identification and mapping of fault profiles.

In the afternoon, the practice team went to the Liupanshan Memorial Hall of Red Army’s Long March on the main peak of the Liupan Mountains and in Guyuan City, Ningxia. The memorial hall displayed about 100 remains, cultural relics and pictures about the Long March of the Red Army and reappeared the struggle history that Chinese Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army passed the Liupan Mountains area for three times during the Long March and the scenes that the people in the Liupan Mountains built their homeland under the encouragement of the spirit of the Long March. Through visiting the memorial hall, the students again appreciated the heroic and fearless feat of the Red Army during the Long March.

September 24: Fault at the western foot of the Helan Mountains

On September 24, the practice team came to the fault at the western foot of the Helan Mountains and continued to carry out study. Here there is a nameless sand river. On its northern bank, there are wide and large class-I terraces about 1.5m higher than the riverbed and class-IV terraces more than 60m higher than the riverbed. On the class-I terrace, a young scarp crossing the terrace was seen. Its strikes in 350°. Three parallel exploratory trenches crossing the fault have been dug by previous work. Advisor Yuan Renmao and Wang Ping introduced the basic information of neighboring tectonic landform and exploratory trenches. Then under the guidance of the teachers, students carefully observed the strata and faults revealed by the exploratory trenches and the paleo-earthquake information reflected by them in comparison with the photos and jigsaws of the trenches and drew the profiles of the trenches by group.


Ten days are a very short time period, but the significance of field practice is far-reaching. In 10 days, the participants mastered knowledge, opened horizon and made friends. They thank the institute for providing a good platform for cultivation of young talents, thank Director-General Chai Chizhang and related staff of the Earthquake Administration of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and thank all the teachers for their selfless accompanying and earnest work. The practice not only cultivated people’s basic skills in the field and the spirits of team-working and hard working but also cultivated the sense of responsibility and mission for the undertaking  earthquake prevention and disaster reduction.