1955 Zheduotang earthquake

Coordinates: 29°57′25″N 101°45′32″E / 29.957°N 101.759°E / 29.957; 101.759
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
1955 Zheduotang earthquake
Areas affectedSichuan, China
Max. intensityIX (Violent)

Casualties70 dead

The 1955 Zheduotang earthquake, also known as the Kangding earthquake occurred on April 14 at 09:29:02 local time near the city of Kangding in the Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan. The earthquake had a moment magnitude of 7.0 and a surface wave magnitude of 7.1 and struck at a depth of 10 km.[1] Severe damage occurred in Kangding with the loss of 70 lives.

Tectonic setting


normal faults to break within the thickened crust.[2][3]



strike-slip fault that accommodate the strike-slip motion in the Tibetan Plateau. The fault is one of the largest active intracontinental geological structure in the world. Beginning in 1893, at least 350 km of the fault length has ruptured in large successive earthquakes with magnitudes 6.5 or larger.[4] Going back to the year 1700 to present-day, the fault has ruptured its entire 1,400 km length during large earthquakes.[5]


The earthquake specifically ruptured the Zheduotang Fault; a segment of the Xianshuihe fault system. The left-lateral

strike-slip rupture mechanism is consistent with movement along the fault system. A 43-km-long surface rupture is associated with the mainshock. In a November 2020 study published in the academic journal Geological Journal, the moment magnitude of the mainshock was evaluated at 7.0 Mw . Previous studies have placed the surface wave and moment magnitudes at 7.5.[6]

Coulomb stress transfer after the 1955 earthquake increased seismic strain on the adjacent Selaha Fault, also part of the Xianshuihe fault system. In 2014, an earthquake measuring magnitudes 5.9 ruptured the Selaha Fault, releasing some of the strain.[7] Since the 1955 quake, the Zheduotang Fault has accumulated enough strain to generate a magnitude 6.5–6.8 earthquake with the potential to cause severe destruction.[8]


Many landslides were triggered and the ground fissured. Natural springs erupted water intensely or dried up. Spring water discolored after the quake. A total of 624 homes and temples were destroyed and 1,083 were damaged in Kangding. At least 70 people died and 217 were injured.[9] Walls around the city toppled. Approximately 90% of the city's wooden-frame or adobe-constructed structures were destroyed. There were more than 30 landslides recorded, many of which blocked roads. In Luding County, shabby homes collapsed. Bridges, dams and ravines were seriously damaged or collapsed.[10] Landslides affected an area of 4,416 km2.[11]

See also


  1. U.S. Geological Survey
    . Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  2. S2CID 134590278.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link
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  9. ^ "大灾无情!盘点历史上四川发生的10余次7级以上地震" [The catastrophe is merciless! Inventory of more than 10 earthquakes of magnitude 7 and above that occurred in Sichuan in history]. chengdumingxiao.com (in Chinese). 10 August 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Significant Earthquake Information". ngdc.noaa.gov. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  11. .

External links