A new study focused on the 6.8 M Luding earthquake in China’s Sichuan-Yunnan seismic zone, shows how dams make areas susceptible to earthquakes directly (through RIS) and indirectly by altering geological structures, […]
The world’s biggest hydropower project may be causing giant landslides in China
A massive landslide this week is only the latest natural disaster critics believe the Three Gorges Dam has caused—even officials admit there have been 70% more landslides and bank collapses in the dam’s reservoir area since it was built 12 years ago. Lily Kuo for Quartz reports.
12 dams that changed the world
This spotlight on mega-dams of note, profiled by International Rivers’ Peter Bosshard for The Guardian, lists more banes than boons with a quest Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, famously described as the “disease of gigantism.”
The hanging Jinsha River and earthquakes
Beijing-based media group, Caixin, reports on Chinese geologist Fan Xiao’s research supporting a link between a 6.5-magnitude earthquake in China’s Yunnan Province in early August and the filling of dam reservoirs in the area. Several Probe International studies are cited.
Is the latest earthquake in Yunnan Province dam related?
Another major earthquake has struck China’s Yunnan Province. Close to the epicenter of the earthquake are a number of hydropower dams. We asked Chinese geologist Fan Xiao: “Is there a link?”
Are China’s dams causing quakes?
Is China’s hydropower safe? Bloomberg’s Adam Minter cites Probe International’s investigations into the link between China’s dam-building and the surge in earthquakes.
Yunnan earthquake raises fears on hydropower projects
Geologists express concerns that massive hydropower construction in the region may have contributed to seismic activity. Beijing-based media group, Caixin, interviews Chinese geologist Fan Xiao whose research supports a link between Yunnan’s 6.5-magnitude earthquake in early August and the filling of dam reservoirs in the area.
Three Gorges Dam not affected by tremor
(March 28, 2014) Once again, an earthquake has hit the Three Gorges reservoir area and dam officials are reassuring the public that the world’s largest hydropower plant is operating normally. The epicenter of a 4.3-magnitude earthquake struck Zigui County, just 30 km from the Three Gorges Dam at 12:20 a.m. March 27, 2014. Stay tuned while Probe International investigates the cause and effect of this latest tremor.
China’s South-to-North Water Diversion project threatens flood of problems
(October 28, 2013) This excellent report by Agence France-Presse looks at the growing number of drawbacks posed by China’s South-to-North Water Diversion project and asks whether the $80-billion geo-engineering giant is creating more problems than it is supposed to solve. For example, the strong risk of collecting and distributing tainted water from the supply waterways it draws from, which would render the water carried unusable; the energy required to move water uphill for long sections; the displacement of entire communities in large numbers for reservoir construction, as well as the construction feats required to pull off certain aspects of the project’s plans – such as blasting channels through mountains in earthquake zones on the Tibetan plateau. Not to mention the threat posed by construction of this scale in seismically active zones.
Massive new dams remind China of human price of ‘tofu constructions’
(July 20, 2013) China is on the cusp of another dam-building binge. Nowhere is the aggressive dam push raising more eyebrows than in the country’s southwest. Last year, a report by the environmental group Probe International said of the 130 proposed dams on rivers in the region, nearly 50 per cent “are located in zones of high to very high seismic hazard.”
Funds misused in Three Gorges Project
(June 8, 2013) Funds intended for Three Gorges migrants were misappropriated while funds for geological disaster prevention and ecological protection were mismanaged, says China’s National Audit Office.
China earthquake points to future risk sites
(April 30, 2013) Nature magazine reports that, while scientists agree that China’s deadly tremor at Ya’an (Lushan county) may hint at where future quakes will strike, they disagree on which seismic fault the next rupture is likely to occur.
Are dams triggering China’s earthquakes?
(April 29, 2013) Understanding the forces behind China’s magnitude-7 earthquake in Sichuan Province more than a week ago should sound warning bells. Patricia Adams digs deep into the country’s recent rash of earthquakes in southwestern China and finds the region’s seismic risk is increasingly man-made.
Deadly earthquake in China may be aftershock of 2008 Wenchuan quake
(April 21, 2013) The strong earthquake that struck China’s mountainous Sichuan province Saturday morning may have been an aftershock, says prominent Chinese geologist, Fan Xiao. The accumulation of stress had not yet been fully released, making this region a more dangerous area after the May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
On alert: RIS risk amid rash of earthquakes in China’s Sichuan-Yunnan region
(March 22, 2013) A new report, exclusive to Probe International, calls for urgent monitoring of China’s large dams in areas prone to seismic hazard. These areas may be at increased risk from dam reservoir-induced seismicity (RIS). Scientists have observed that reservoir impoundment may not only increase the risk of strong earthquakes, particularly in areas already vulnerable to high-intensity seismic activity, but may represent a more pronounced risk in the first few years after a dam is filled.