| More


Views: 138 Downloads: 112
E. Lekkas
E. Lekkas


The Wenchuan earthquake of the 12th of May 2008, in Sichuan county of China can be classified as a large scale event based on the tectonic structures that triggered the earthquake and the effects caused on the human, structural and natural environment. The aim of this paper is to present the geotectonic and seismotectonic regime of the earthquake affected region based on field data along the seismic fault zone and an attempt is made towards the: (i) estimation of the intensity values according to EMS1998 (European Microseismic Scale, 1998) and ESI2007 (Environmental Seismic Intensity Scale, 2007) and the determination of their geographical distribution in a macroscale, (ii) interpretation of the intensity values data and their distribution according to the seismotectonic, geodynamic and geotechnical regime, and (iii) conduction of a comparative evaluation review on the application of both EMS1998 and ESI2007. The application of both EMS1998 and ESI2007 and the comparative evaluation of the results indicate that the estimated values of EMS1998 and ESI2007 were almost in agreement, despite the fact that the geographical locations of assessment data were different suggesting that the application and use of both scales appears to represent a useful and reliable tool for seismic hazard estimation.


Wenchuan earthquake; China; macroseismicity; geological effects; EMS1998; ESI200

Full Text:



Burchfiel, B.C. (2004). New Technology, New Geological Challenges. GSA Today, 14, No.2, 4-7.

Burchfiel, B.C., Chen, Z., Liu, Y. and Royden, L.H. (1995). Tectonics of the Longmen Shan and adjacent

regions, central China. International Geological Review: 37 661-738.

Fig. 8: Schematic cross-section NW-SE trending with the location of areas A, B and C and the estimated values

according to EMS1998 and ESI2007 intensity scales.

XLIII, No 3 – 1372

Burchfiel, B.C., Royden, L.H., Van der Hilst, R.D. and Hager, B.H. (2008). A geological and geophysical

context for the Wenchuan earthquake of 12 May 2008, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China. GSA

Today, 18, No.7. 4-11.

Chen, L., Hou, L., Cao, Z., Yuan, X., Sun, R., Wang, W., Mang, F., Chen, H., and Dong, L. (2008). Liquefaction

Investigation of Wenchuan Earthquake. 14th WCEE, Beijing, China, S31-049.

Densmore A.L., Ellis, M.A., Li, Y., Zhou, R., Hancock, G.S., and Richardson, N. (2007). Active tectonics

of the Beinchuan and Pengguan faults at the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. Tectonics. 26

TC4005, doi:10.1029/2006TC001987.

Gan, W.J., Zhang, P.Z., Shen, Z.K., Niu, Z.J., Wang, M., Wan, Y.G., Zhou, D.M., and Cheng, J. (2007).

Present-day crustal motion within the Tibetan Plateau inferred from GPS measurements. J. Geophys.

Res. - Solid Earth. 112 B08416, doi:10.1029/2005JB004120.

Grünthal, G. ed. (1998). European Macroseismic Scale 1998. Conseil de l’ Europe, 15 99.

Hao, K.X.S., Si, H. and Fujiwara, H. (2008). A Preliminary Investigation of the Coseismic Surface-Ruptures

for Wenchuan Earthquake of 12 May 2008, Sichuan, China. 14th WCEE, Beijing, China, S31-

Houssam, M.A., Li, Y., Oday, A.S., A’ssim, A. and Wang, L. (2008). A Comprehensive Analysis Of The

Devastating Wenchuan Earthquake Of May 12th 2008. 14th WCEE, Beijing, China, S31-014.

Hubbard, J., and Shaw, J. (2009). Uplift of the Longmen Shan and Tibetan plateau, and the 2008

Wenchuan (M=7.9). Nature, 458 194-197.

Kabeyasawa, T., Kabeyasawa, T., Kusunoki, K. and Li, K. (2008). An Outline of Damages to School

Buildings in Dujiangyan by the Wenchuan Earthquake on May 12, 2008. 14th WCEE, Beijing, China,


Lekkas, E. (2008a). Wenchuan Earthquake (Mw 7.9, 12 May 2008) Sichuan, China. Geotectonic Regime

and Damage Macro-Distribution. 14th WCEE, Beijing, China, S31-015.

Lekkas, E. (2008b). Zipingpu Dam Failures (Sichuan Prefecture, China) caused by the 7.9R Earthquake

on the 12th May 2008. ESC 2008, 31st General Assembly, Crete Island, Greece, 238-239.

Michetti A.M., Esposito, E., Guerrieri, L., Porfido, S., Serva, L., Tatevossian, R., Vittori, E., Audemard,

F., Azuma, T., Clague, J., Comerci, V., Gürpinar, A., Mccalpin, J., Mohammadioun, B., Mörner, N.A.,

Ota, Y., Roghozin, E. (2007). Environmental Seismic Intensity Scale 2007 - ESI 2007. In: Guerrieri

L. and Vittori E. (Eds.), Memorie Descrittive della Carta Geologica d’Italia, 74, 7-54, Servizio Geologico

d’Italia – Dipartimento Difesa del Suolo, APAT, Roma, Italy.

Royden, L.H., Burchfiel, B.C. and Van der Hilst, R.D. (2008). The geological evolution of the Tibetan

Plateau. Science, 321. no. 5892, 1054 - 1058.

Sun, J., Q. Meng, Ma, Q., Shi, H. and Sun, Z. (2008). Outline introduction of building damage in high

intensity areas of Wenchuan M8.0 earthquake. 14th WCEE, Beijing, China, S31-020.

Tectonics Observatory of Caltech (2008) The science behind China’s 2008 Sichuan earthquake.


USGS (2008). Magnitude 7.9 - Eastern Sichuan, China http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/eqinthenews/2008/us2008ryan/.

Xu, Q., Fan, X.M., and Westen, C.V. (2009). Landslide dams triggered by the Wenchuan Earthquake,

Sichuan Province, South West China. Bull Eng Geol Environ, 68, No. 3, 373-386.

Zhang, P.Z., Shen, Z., Wang, M., Gan, W.J., Burgmann, R. and Molnar, P. (2004). Continuous deformation

of the Tibetan Plateau from global positioning system data, Geology, 32 809-812.

Zhao, J., Zhou, Z. and Wu, J. (2008). Investigation of landslide and rockfall caused by Wenchuan earthquake

of Ms8.0. 14th WCEE, Beijing, China, S31-050.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 E. Lekkas

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.