Prediction of a multi-hazard chain by an integrated numerical simulation approach: the Baige landslide, Jinsha River, China

Xuanmei Fan*, Fan Yang, Srikrishnan Siva Subramanian, Qiang Xu, Zetao Feng, O. Mavrouli, Ming Peng, Chaojun Ouyang, John D. Jansen, Runqiu Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)
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Successive major landslides during October and November 2018 in Baige village, eastern Tibet, dammed the Jinsha River on two occasions, and the subsequent dam breaches instigated a multi-hazard chain that flooded many towns downstream. Analysis of high-resolution aerial images and field investigations unveiled three potentially unstable rock mass clusters in the source area of the landslides, suggesting possible future failures with potential for river-damming and flooding. In order to evaluate and understand the disaster chain effect linked to the potentially unstable rock mass, we systematically studied the multi-hazard scenarios through an integrated numerical modelling approach. Our model begins with an evaluation of the probability of landslide failure, including runout and river damming, and then addresses the dam breach and resultant flood—hence simulating and visualising an entire disaster chain. The model parameters were calibrated using empirical data from the two Baige landslides. Then, we predict the future cascading hazards via seven scenarios according to all possible combinations of potential rock mass failure. For each scenario, the landslide runouts, dam-breaching, and flooding are numerically simulated with full consideration of uncertainties among the model input parameters. The maximum dam breach flood extent, depth, velocity, and peak arrival time are predicted at sequential sites downstream. As a first attempt to simulate the full spectrum of a landslide-induced multi-hazard chain, our study provides insights and substantiates the value provided by multi-hazard modelling. The integrated approach described here can be applied to similar landslide-induced chains of hazards in other regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-164
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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