GUO Lei, ZHAN Wenhuan, ZHANG Fan, ZHANG Jinchang, YAO Yantao, LI Jian, FENG Yingci, CHEN Mei, CHENG Gong. The influence of earthquakes on Zhubi Reef in the Nansha Islands of the South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2017, 36(3): 99-108. doi: 10.1007/s13131-017-1008-0
Citation: GUO Lei, ZHAN Wenhuan, ZHANG Fan, ZHANG Jinchang, YAO Yantao, LI Jian, FENG Yingci, CHEN Mei, CHENG Gong. The influence of earthquakes on Zhubi Reef in the Nansha Islands of the South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2017, 36(3): 99-108. doi: 10.1007/s13131-017-1008-0

The influence of earthquakes on Zhubi Reef in the Nansha Islands of the South China Sea

doi: 10.1007/s13131-017-1008-0
  • Received Date: 2015-12-29
  • Rev Recd Date: 2016-05-16
  • It is exceedingly important to estimate the stability of coral reefs. In recent years, growing construction projects have been carried out on the reef flat in the South China Sea. As a special marine geotechnical medium, it is made of the reef debris underwent overwhelmingly long geological age. Reefs grow thickly on the carbonate platform after the Late Oligocene and have five to six main sedimentary facies. It can be used as a recorder to measure the occurrence time of recent earthquake. A model of reef body is presented to study the influence of earthquakes according to the geological structure characteristic of reefs in the Nansha Islands. Furthermore, GeoStudio is used to simulate stress and deformation situations within it under various earthquake intensities. A safety factor is calculated by the limit equilibrium method, and the possible scenarios of earthquake-induced landslides and sliding scale are defined with a Newmark sliding block method, as well as stress distribution and deformation behaviors. Therefore, the numerical results suggest that the connections between the coral reef and the earthquake are as follows:(1) the reef body has a good stability under self-gravity state; (2) after the earthquake, it may cause slope's instability and bring out slumping when the safety factor is smaller than 1 (FS<1); (3) the safety factor decreases with the increasing earthquake intensity, and fluctuates around a particular value after a while; and (4) as a new developed part of the reef, the smaller shallow landslide will be easily subject to collapse caused by the earthquake. It is concluded that it is feasible to provide a reference for evaluating the stability of coral reef using a geotechnical engineering simulation method. This can help the engineering constructions in the South China Sea.
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