Category: Dams and Earthquakes

Forced evictions over Pubugou dam

(April 26, 2010) Authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan have begun demolishing houses and forcing people from their homes near the Pubugou hydroelectic power project, which is due to go into operation soon. Chinese geological expert says the dam will increase the risk of devastating earthquakes.


The Zipingpu experiment: Dam engineers go back to the drawing boards

(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.

Seismic Aspects of Large Dams

(April 19, 2010) A presentation by Dr. Martin Wieland, Chairman of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) Committee on Seismic Aspects of Dam Design, on the seismic aspects of dams. Contains stunning photographs of the damage to the Zipingpu dam in the wake of the Wenchuan Earthquake in China’s Sichuan province on May 12, 2008.

Prediction of reservoir-induced earthquake based on fuzzy theory

(April 4, 2010) Abstract—With more and more reservoirs have been and are being built all over the world, reservoir-induced earthquake has received a great deal of attention from geoscientists mainly because of its potential to damage constructions and to cause human losses. Based on the previous researches on the environmental conditions of reservoir-induced earthquake, a criteria hierarchy model has been constructed.

The Three Gorges reservoir has become a danger

(March 11, 2010) The large-scale construction that accompanied the building of the Three Gorges dam and its reservoir has increased the number of landslides—both new and reactivated—in the surrounding area. County seats recently built on land near the reservoir are now particularly prone to landslides. Local schools and residential buildings are already suffering cracked foundations and walls.

More evidence the Zipingpu dam may be to blame for the Wenchuan earthquake

(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.