Timing and Spouting Height of Sand Boils Caused by Liquefaction during the 2010 Mw 6.9 Yushu Earthquake, Tibetan Plateau, China

DOI: 10.4236/ojer.2015.41002   PDF   HTML   XML   3,424 Downloads   3,824 Views  


The 2010 Mw 6.9 Yushu earthquake produced a ~33-km-long co-seismic surface rupture zone along the pre-existing active Yushu Fault on China’s central Tibetan Plateau. Sand boils occurred along the tension cracks of the co-seismic surface rupture zone, and locally spouted up above the ground to coat the top of limestone blocks that had slid down from an adjacent ~300-m-high mountain slope. Based on our observations, the relations between the arrival times of P- and S-waves at the sand-boil location and the seismic rupture velocity, we conclude that 1) the sand boils occurred at least 18.24 s after the main shock; 2) it took at least 4.09 - 9.79 s after the formation of co-seismic surface rupture to generate liquefaction at the sand-boil location; 3) the spouting height of sand boils was at least 65 cm. Our findings help to clarify the relationships between the timing of lique-faction and the spouting height of sand boils during a large-magnitude earthquake.

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Yan, B. and Lin, A. (2015) Timing and Spouting Height of Sand Boils Caused by Liquefaction during the 2010 Mw 6.9 Yushu Earthquake, Tibetan Plateau, China. Open Journal of Earthquake Research, 4, 14-22. doi: 10.4236/ojer.2015.41002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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