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Volume 35 Issue 3
Jun 2024
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Article Contents
Yiqiu Yan, Changbao Guo, Yanan Zhang, Zhendong Qiu, Caihong Li, Xue Li. Development and Deformation Characteristics of Large Ancient Landslides in the Intensely Hazardous Xiongba-Sela Section of the Jinsha River, Eastern Tibetan Plateau, China. Journal of Earth Science, 2024, 35(3): 980-997. doi: 10.1007/s12583-023-1925-y
Citation: Yiqiu Yan, Changbao Guo, Yanan Zhang, Zhendong Qiu, Caihong Li, Xue Li. Development and Deformation Characteristics of Large Ancient Landslides in the Intensely Hazardous Xiongba-Sela Section of the Jinsha River, Eastern Tibetan Plateau, China. Journal of Earth Science, 2024, 35(3): 980-997. doi: 10.1007/s12583-023-1925-y

Development and Deformation Characteristics of Large Ancient Landslides in the Intensely Hazardous Xiongba-Sela Section of the Jinsha River, Eastern Tibetan Plateau, China

doi: 10.1007/s12583-023-1925-y
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  • Corresponding author: Changbao Guo,
  • Received Date: 11 Jun 2023
  • Accepted Date: 22 Aug 2023
  • Issue Publish Date: 30 Jun 2024
  • The upstream Jinsha River, located in the eastern Tibetan Plateau, has been experiencing intense geological hazards characterized by a high density of ancient landslides, significant deformation and reactivation challenges. In this study, remote sensing interpretation, field investigations, and Small Baseline Subset Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SBAS-InSAR) technologies have been employed. Along a 17 km stretch of the Jinsha River, specifically in the Xiongba-Sela segment, 16 large-scale ancient landslides were identified, 9 of which are currently undergoing creeping deformation. Notably, the Sela and Xiongba ancient landslides exhibit significant deformation, with a maximum deformation rate of -192 mm/yr, indicating a high level of sliding activity. The volume of the Sela ancient landslide is estimated to be 1.8 × 108 to 4.5 × 108 m3, and characterized by extensive fissures and long-term creeping deformation. The SBAS-InSAR results revealed significant spatial variations in the deformation of the Sela ancient landslide, generally displaying two secondary zones of intense deformation, and landslide deformation exhibits nonlinear behavior with time. Between January 2016 and February 2022, Zone Ⅲ1 on the southwest side of the Sela ancient landslide, experienced a maximum cumulative deformation of -857 mm, with a maximum deformation rate of -108 mm/yr. Zone Ⅲ2, on the northeast side of the Sela ancient landslide, the maximum cumulative deformation was -456 mm, with a maximum deformation rate of -74 mm/yr; among these, the H2 and H4 secondary bodies on the south side of Ⅲ1 are in the accelerative deformation stage and at the Warn warning level. We propose that the large-scale flood and debris flow disasters triggered by the Baige landslide-dammed lake-dam broken disaster chain in Tibetan Plateau during October and November 2018 caused severe erosion at the foot of downstream slopes. This far-field triggering effect accelerated the creep of the downstream ancient landslides. Consequently, the deformation rate of Zone Ⅲ2 of the Sela ancient landslide increased by 6 to 8 times, exhibiting traction-type style reactivation. This heightened activity raises concerns about the potential for large-scale or overall reactivation of the landslide, posing a risk of damming the Jinsha River and initiating a dam-break disaster chain. Our research on the reactivation characteristics and mechanisms of large ancient landslides in high deep-cut valleys provides valuable guidance for geological hazard investigation and risk prevention.


  • Conflict of Interest
    The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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