Effect of the Zipingpu reservoir impoundment on the occurrence of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake and local seismicity
(October 2010) The occurrence of the 2008 May 12 Wenchuan earthquake (M 7.9) near the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau triggered a debate whether it was influenced by the newly impounded Zipingpu reservoir, located only about 21 km east of the earthquake epicentre.
(April 20, 2010) Until the deadly Wenchuan earthquake in China in 2008, no large concrete face rockfill dam (CFRD) had ever been subject to a strong, ground shaking earthquake. But that changed on May 12, 2008 when the Zipingpu hydro dam, one of the largest CFRDs in China and sitting just 17 km from the earthquake epicenter, suffered higher than anticipated seismic forces, causing major damage to its concrete face and deflecting the giant structure 180 mm downstream. A leading scientist now says the earthquake should act as a wake up call for dam builders.
(April 1, 2010) More scientists are joining the debate over whether China’s Wenchuan May 2008 earthquake was triggered by the Zipingpu dam.
(November 6, 2009) A recent article by scientists in the U.S. provides further evidence that the Zipingpu dam’s reservoir may have triggered the devastating May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China. The Wenchuan earthquake killed nearly 90,000 people and unleashed a chorus of speculation that the Zipingpu reservoir may have contributed to the severity of the earthquake, or helped to trigger it.
(October 28, 2009) A new study published in the journal of Geophysical Research Letters provides more evidence that the deadly Wenchuan earthquake may have been triggered by the Zipingpu dam’s reservoir.
(May 8, 2009) The debate over whether the Zipingpu dam contributed to the severity or timing of last year’s deadly earthquake in China’s Sichuan province continues to attract attention. Fan Xiao, chief engineer of the Regional Geology Investigation Team of the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau, was recently interviewed by Richard Stone for Science magazine.
(March 6, 2009) According to reports from the South China Morning Post, the Chinese government official in charge of the Three Gorges Dam has dismissed the theory linking the Zipingpu dam reservoir with the M7.9 earthquake that killed an estimated 88,000 people last May and left millions more homeless; referring to published geological analyses as “personal opinions at most.”
(February 20, 2009) After several weeks of widespread international media coverage of the theory that the Zipingpu dam reservoir played a role in triggering the deadly Sichuan earthquake of May 2008, China’s official Xinhua news agency has finally published an article online discussing the theory.
(February 6, 2009) China’s deadly 2008 earthquake was probably not a natural disaster at all, experts say, but one induced by man – specifically by the four year old Zipingpu dam.
(January 28, 2009) Since China’s deadly May 12 earthquake, Fan Xiao, China’s chief engineer of the Regional Geology Investigation Team of the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau, has been a lone voice calling for an investigation into the possibility that the Zipingpu dam reservoir, just a few kilometers from the epicenter, might have induced the earthquake.
Chinese geologist says Zipingpu dam reservoir may have triggered China’s deadly quake, calls for investigation
(January 26, 2009) Fan Xiao, Chief Engineer of the Regional Geology Investigation Team of the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau, says scientists must investigate if Zipingpu dam triggered devastating 2008 earthquake, describes massive quake-damage to dams, rebuts recent Science Times article.
(December 15, 2008) Top Chinese scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have dismissed the possibility that the Zipingpu dam reservoir could have induced China’s devastating 2008 earthquake, complaining that the media has been “incessantly questioning the wisdom of building more and more hydro dams in earthquake-prone southwest China” in the wake of last year’s quake.
Integrated analysis of stress and regional seismicity by surface loading: a case study of the Zipingpu reservoir
(December 1, 2008) Probe International provides a partial translation of a Chinese geological case study of the Zipingpu reservoir authored by scientists from the government’s China Earthquake Administration. The study concluded that the 320 million tonnes of water in the Zipingpu reservoir had “clearly affected local seismicity” in the region and that, "it is worthwhile to further study if the effect played a role in triggering the Wenchuan earthquake."
(July 22, 2008) The May 12 earthquake hit hard at the largest hydropower project in Sichuan province. Li Xiaoming was on the scene soon after the quake, and writes that even if the immediate dangers have passed, caution is still needed.