Articles | Volume 17, issue 2
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 277–290, 2017
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 277–290, 2017

Research article 24 Feb 2017

Research article | 24 Feb 2017

The catastrophic landfill flowslide at Hongao dumpsite on 20 December 2015 in Shenzhen, China

Qiang Xu1, Dalei Peng1, Weile Li1, Xiujun Dong1, Wei Hu1, Minggao Tang1, and Fangzhou Liu2 Qiang Xu et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China
  • 2School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA

Abstract. A catastrophic flowslide occurred at the Hongao dumpsite on 20 December 2015 in the Guangming New District of Shenzhen, China. The flowslide caused 77 causalities and damaged 33 buildings. In the absence of extreme weather conditions and seismic activity, the causes of the failure were analyzed on the basis of multi-temporal remote-sensing images, site investigation, in situ tests, laboratory tests, and numerical analyses. Site investigations showed that the volume of the displaced material was 2.32  ×  106 m3 and the volume of the pre-failure waste filling was 6.27  ×  106 m3. The flowslide was characterized by high travel velocity and long runout distance. The displaced material was primarily a mixture of silty soil and construction and demolition waste with water content of 17.3–42.4 %. The primary causes of the failure were concluded to be the following: (1) groundwater flow had stagnated in the dumpsite due to drainage system failure and the underlying impermeable granite stratum; (2) the accumulation rate and total volume of the waste filling was in exceedance of the design capacity. The flowslide may be ascribed to the development of excess pore-water pressure as evidence of liquefaction was observed at several locations, and it is postulated that such phenomena were related to the surcharge loads imposed by the unregulated disposal activities.

Short summary
The article aims at presenting the first-hand dataset and results from the field investigation, laboratory test, and numerical analysis for the flowslide that occurred on 20 December 2015 in Shenzhen, China: a devastating event causing significant human and property losses. The article concluded that the landfill stagnated groundwater flow and resulted in high water pressure due to the absence of a drainage system, with both disposal rate and amount exceeding the maximum design capacity.
Final-revised paper