Zipingpu Dam

Zipingpu Dam (紫坪铺水利枢纽) is an embankment dam on the Min River near the city of Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province[1] in southwest China. It consists of four generators with a total generating capacity of 760 MW.[2] Construction began in 2001 and was finished late 2006. The dam site was originally developed during the Shu-Han nearly 2000 years ago.

Zipingpu Dam
Zipingpu Dam North of Dujiangyan.jpg
Zipingpu Dam is located in China
Zipingpu Dam
Location of Zipingpu Dam in China
Coordinates31°02′07″N 103°34′26″E / 31.03528°N 103.57389°E / 31.03528; 103.57389Coordinates: 31°02′07″N 103°34′26″E / 31.03528°N 103.57389°E / 31.03528; 103.57389
Construction beganMarch 2001
Dam and spillways
Type of damEmbankment, concrete-face rock-fill
ImpoundsMin River
Height156 metres (512 ft)
Length663 m (2,175 ft)
CreatesZipingpu Reservoir
Total capacity1,120,000,000 cubic metres (907,999 acre⋅ft)
Power Station
Installed capacity760 MW

The traditional Dujiangyan Irrigation System consisting of canals, levees, and dams, has been in use since 256 AD.


A view from the north side of Zipingpu when the water is reserved

The 7.9 magnitude quake on May 12, 2008 caused some damage to the dam, with its wall being cracked and fissured. The reservoir had to be gradually drained to permit consolidation works.[3][4]

The reservoir is located just a few kilometers from the 2008 earthquake epicenter, and just a few hundred meters from the fault. Some geologists hypothesized that the loading and unloading of the crust below the reservoir caused by changes in the water level may have somehow acted as a trigger to the earthquake. However, this hypothesis has not been demonstrated.[5][6][7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Satellite map of Zipingpu area
  2. ^ "New Water Control Project Under Construction", Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2002
  3. ^ "Zipingpu Hydropower plant stopped by quake",, May 13, 2008
  4. ^ Wong, Edward; and Schwartz, John, "Chinese Soldiers Rush to Bolster Weakened Dams", The New York Times, May 15, 2008
  5. ^ Moore, Malcolm, "Chinese earthquake may have been man-made, say scientists", The Telegraph, Feb 3, 2009
  6. ^ LaFraniere, Sharon, "Possible Link Between Dam and China Quake", The New York Times, February 5, 2009
  7. ^ "Zipingpu Reservoir and the Wenchuan Earthquake" (PDF). ECEE. Retrieved August 23, 2011.