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IGL member Xu Chong Attended the 12th International Symposium on Landslides

2016/12/30 8:38:04

At the invitation of AGI and IAEG, IGL member Xu Chong attended the 12th International Symposium on Landslides (ISL 2016),  Naples, Italy in June 11~17, 2016.  

This conference had seven sessions: JTC1 Meeting, Youth Forum, Volcano Activities and Landslides, Climatic Factors-Induced Landslides, Earthquake-Induced Landslides, Human Activity-Induced Landslides, and Others. The International Symposium on Landslides is one of the most influential academic exchange meetings exclusively for landslides in the world. This year, hundreds of landslide researchers from all over the world attended this meeting.

The report of Xu Chong was arranged in Session on Earthquake-Induced Landslides. He displayed a comparison of the landslides induced by 2015 Nepal Mw7.8 and 2008 Wenchuan Mw7.9 earthquakes on a post, and analyzed the reasons for their difference. At present, the submitted manuscript of this study has been accepted by Journal of Earth Science. Xu Chong and his colleagues established databases of the landslides induced by the two events through visual interpretation of high resolution remote sensing, and field investigation and verification. They found the landslides induced by the Wenchuan earthquake are more than those induced by the Nepal shock, though both are of similar magnitude. Based on analysis of the terrain, ground motion peak acceleration, earthquake focal mechanism solutions, seismogenic fault dips and other factors in the affected areas, they suggest the seismogenic fault dip is the most important reason for the difference between the landslides induced by these two earthquakes. This issue can be addressed from two perspectives: The Nepal earthquake, which was generated by a low-angle seismogenic fault, released energy in a wide area, while the Wenchuan earthquake released energy in a narrow area, resulting in an extraordinary large amount of slope failures along a long and narrow belt. When the lower and upper walls of a fault with a gentle dip undergo thrust motion, the compression of the two walls from mutual dislocation is not significant. In comparison, the Wenchuan earthquake with a high-angle dip is liable to generating larger normal compressive stress on the upper wall, thus resulting in more intense deformation of the rock mass of the upper wall near the fault and generating a large quantity of joints and fissures and subsequently forming a large quantity of large-scale rock landslides under the condition of a strong earthquake. Indeed, the landslides induced by the Nepal earthquake are almost all in the weathered layer of shallow strata, while the Wenchuan earthquake induced many large-scale rock landslides. Currently, the cognition that the dip of a seismogenic fault controls landslide distribution is sporadic, while systematic mechanism analysis using the energy release area and deformation is a new attempt in on this subject. It provides a new approach to elucidate the mechanism of earthquake-induced landslides.

During the meeting, Xu Chong exchanged ideas with international peers in the aspect of landslides induced by the 2015 Nepal and the 2008 Wenchuan earthquakes. Besides, they also exchanged ideas on other topics. For example, Professor C. Massey from New Zealand introduced the earthquake hit Kumanoto, Japan on April 15, 2016, including field investigation and landslide type analysis. Xu Chong and Professor C. Massey intend to carry out cooperation in research on the landslides induced by the Kumamoto earthquake in the future. The international conferences, particularly some of similar topics, can gather research scholars in a specific direction, access the most advanced and latest scientific thinking and scientific findings of peers and help scientific research personnel to broaden international horizon, display achievements on international science and technology exchange platforms and raise international influence.