1879 Gansu earthquake

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1879 Gansu earthquake
1879 Gansu earthquake is located in Gansu
1879 Gansu earthquake
1879 Gansu earthquake is located in China
1879 Gansu earthquake
Local date July 1, 1879 (1879-07-01)
Magnitude 8.0 Ms[1]
Epicenter 33°12′N 104°42′E / 33.2°N 104.7°E / 33.2; 104.7Coordinates: 33°12′N 104°42′E / 33.2°N 104.7°E / 33.2; 104.7[1]
Areas affected China
Max. intensity XI (Extreme)
Landslides Many
Foreshocks Yes
Casualties 22,000

The 1879 Gansu earthquake occurred at about 04:00 local time on 1 July. It had an estimated magnitude of 8.0 on the Ms scale and a maximum perceived intensity of XI (Extreme) on the Mercalli intensity scale. The epicenter was in Wudu District in southern Gansu, close to the border with Sichuan. It caused widespread damage and killed an estimated 22,000 people.


The earthquake was preceded by foreshocks in the few days before the mainshock.[1]

The meizoseismal area extends 70 km in a SSW-NNE direction and is 30 km across.[2] The earthquake may have been caused by movement on the SSW-NNE trending Fanjiaba-Linjiang Fault. This fault correlates well with a 30 km long lineament seen on satellite images.[3] The similarly oriented Hanan-Daoqizi-Maopola fault zone has also been proposed as a likely candidate.[2]

The earthquake triggered many landslides and caused the formation of several natural dams 40 to 120 m high.[4]


In Wudu city there were a total of 9,881 casualties, with many houses damaged and about half of the livestock killed. Large parts of the city walls were badly damaged and 60 temples were destroyed at Wanshou Hill. In Wenxian and the surrounding villages 10,792 people were killed. Many homes were destroyed and the city walls collapsed.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d National Geophysical Data Center. "Significant Earthquake". Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Hou, K.; Lei Z.; Wan F.; Li L. & Xiong Z. (2006). "Research on the 1879 South Wudu M8.0 Earthquake and Its Co-Seismic Fracture". Earthquake Research in China. 20 (1). Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Feng, X.; Dong X.; Liu C. & Li J. (2005). "Discussion on the activity of Fanjiaba-Linjiang Fault and the South Wudu, Gansu Province M8 Earthquake of 1879". Seismology and Geology. 27 (1). Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Tang, C.; Regngers N.; van Asch Th.W.J.; Yang Y.H. & Wang G.F. (2011). "Triggering conditions and depositional characteristics of a disastrous debris flow event in Zhouqu city, Gansu Province, northwestern China" (PDF). Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. Copernicus Publications (11): 2903–2912. Bibcode:2011NHESS..11.2903T. doi:10.5194/nhess-11-2903-2011. Retrieved 30 November 2012.