(December 28, 2008) The biggest potential disaster, Pearce reports, was averted at the Zipingpu dam, just 17 kilometres from the quake’s epicenter. “Holding back more than a cubic kilometer of water … the hydroelectric dam was the largest of a new, cheap design with a rock core and concrete face. As the tight valley sides juddered, the structure was squeezed and ended up 18 centimeters downstream, and 70 cm lower. … The concrete was ripped apart but the core of the dam survived.”
(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."
(October 17, 2008) Based on the analysis of seismogeological background, the Three Gorges Reservoir area is divided into 31 units according to different combined conditions of induced earthquake, together with 8 influencing factors, to give the prediction on probability and magnitude of RIS by adopting statistical prediction model, fuzzy mathematics and gray system model as well as artificial neural network model respectively.
(October 3, 2008) The International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) has published a new informative bulletin on reservoir triggered seismicity.
(September 18, 2008) By the end of this year China’s Three Gorges Corporation plans to raise its reservoir to a final height of 175 metres despite experts’ warnings that higher water levels are likely to accelerate sedimentation and render the port of Chongqing useless within the first 10 years of operation.
(June 3, 2008) To build a hospital, nuclear power station or a large dam you need to know the possible earthquake risks of the terrain. Now, researchers from the Universities of Granada and Jaen, alongside scientists from the University of California, have developed, based on relief data from the southern edge of the Sierra Nevada, a geomorphological index that analyses land form in relation to active tectonics, applicable to any mountain chain on the planet.
(September 7, 2008) Up to 20 million people, thousands of whom are already displaced from their homes following the devastating Chinese earthquake, are at increased risk from flooding and major power shortages in the massive Sichuan Basin over the next few decades and possibly centuries.
(September 4, 2008) An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 hit Sichaun province last Saturday, killing at least 38 people and displacing 1.09 million, reports the South China Morning Post.
(August 16, 2008) A few days ago, the State Overall Planning for the Post-Wenchuan Earthquake Restoration and Reconstruction (Public Opinion Soliciting Draft) started to solicit opinions from home and abroad. An official was interviewed by the press and answered the questions regarding the public opinion solicitation.
(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.
(July 11, 2008) A group of Chinese academics and environmental activists call on the Chinese government to review the safety of large dam projects.
(July 11, 2008) The numbers from the May 12 earthquake in China are staggering. As this edition of E&MJ went to press, the death toll in Sichuan Province had climbed to 68,000 with 288,000 injured and more than 5 million people homeless.
(July 1, 2008) An article published recently in the journal Nature provides in-depth details about the area where the Wenchuan earthquake hit and particularly the state of stress in the crust of the Earth in the area.
(June 30, 2008) This Chinese geological expert had raised the possibility of a dangerous earthquake in the area in 2007.