Category: Zipingpu

An Inconvenient Truth: China Uses Global Warming to Justify Controversial Nu River Dams Project

(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.

Evidence for surface loading as trigger mechanism of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake

(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.

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.

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.

Mounting pressure on Zipingpu dam’s contribution to Wenchuan earthquake

(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.