(February 3, 2011) The Government of China is using international pressure to reduce carbon emissions as a pretense to build a series of controversial power stations on the pristine Nu River—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—despite opposition from environmentalists and human rights advocates.
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.
(July 14, 2010) Abstract: Two and a half years prior to China’s M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake of May 2008, at least 300 million metric tons of water accumulated with additional seasonal water level changes in the Minjiang River Valley at the eastern margin of the Longmen Shan. This article shows that static surface loading in the valley induced Coulomb failure stresses on the nearby Beichuan thrust fault system at <17km depth.
(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.
(February 8, 2010) Following the 12 May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China, Chen Houqun, Xu Zeping and Li Ming discuss the question of whether large reservoirs can trigger strong earthquakes.
(January 2010) Following the 12 May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China, Chen Houqun, Xu Zeping and Li Ming discuss the question of whether large reservoirs can trigger strong earthquakes.
(November 19, 2009) Peter Bosshard, policy director of International Rivers, provides a nice overview of the controversy surrounding 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.
(June 5, 2009) When the Sichuan province was rocked by a massive 7.9-magnitude earthquake last year, many scientists and government leaders were caught off guard. Previous studies by geologists stated that while the area—on the surface—appeared to be seismically active, their research showed otherwise.
(May 27, 2009) A Science Times article recounting the tale of an unpublished article by Li Youcai and CIO Shuheng, two Chinese scientists, warning of the potential dangers from building dams in the Dujiangyan and Zipingpu area.
(May 13, 2009) The Chinese government has announced it is installing an experimental earthquake early warning system, capable of sending warnings within seconds before a quake strikes.
(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.
(April 25, 2009) Nearly a year after the deadly earthquake, relatives and others who ask questions are harassed, spied upon and arrested.