The damming of rivers by landslides resulting in the formation of a lake was one of the typical secondary geological hazards triggered by the Wenchuan earthquake which occurred on May 12, 2008. Some landslide-dammed lakes were at a high risk of causing further damage since the rainstorm season was expected soon after the earthquake.

In order to understand the dynamic processes in the formation of landslide-dammed lakes and provide technical support to hazard prevention and mitigation strategy, Dr. ZHOU Jiawen of Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMHE) and his team selected the Yangjiagou landslide-dammed lake as a case study to investigate the typical processes of dam formation.

The research results show that the formation of the landslide dam took approximately 35s. The maximum velocity of a typical particle was approximately 26.8m/s. And the overflow would have occurred 15.1h after the river was blocked, and overtopping failure occurs for the landslide dam in the rainstorm season when the water flow is large enough, causing a major disaster

The paper titled “Dynamic process analysis for the formation of Yangjiagou landslide-dammed lake triggered by the Wenchuan earthquake, China” was published in Landslides, 2013 (10):331–342, DOI 10.1007/s10346-013-0387-3.