The relationships between strong earthquakes, landslides, and vegetation destruction and the process of post-seismic recovery in tectonically active alpine valley areas have not been adequately documented. Here we show detailed pollen study results from a swamp located near the epicenter of the 1933 M 7.5 Diexi earthquake in eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) to reveal the impact of earthquake on vegetation, and the post-seismic recovery process. Based on(210)Pb-Cs-137 age model, the seismic event layer is well constrained. The earthquake event corresponds stratigraphically to a zone with the lowest pollen concentrations, the lowest pollen diversity, and a high frequency of non-arboreal pollen. Elaeagnaceae scrubs rapidly developed in post-seismic landscape recovery processes, which is important for reducing soil erosion and landslide activities. Natural ecological recovery is slow due to increasing human activities and historical climatic fluctuations.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS
Xu, H., Jiang, H., Liu, K., & Zhong, N. (2020). Potential pollen evidence for the 1933 M 7.5 Diexi earthquake and implications for post-seismic landscape recovery. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 15 (9) https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab9af6