On 14 November 2001, an extraordinarily large earthquake occurred on the northern Tibetan Plateau. The event, known as the Kunlunshan earthquake, was the largest to strike the mainland of China over the past 50 years. The moment magnitude of the earthquake was 7.7 to 7.9 (USGS National Earthquake Information Center, 2001; Harvard CMT Catalog, 2001), and its surface wave magnitude was 8.1 (Chinese Digital Seismograph Network, 2001). Its epicenter was instrumentally located as close to Buka Daban Feng, a snowcapped summit with an altitude of 6,800 m (USGS National Earthquake Information Center, 2001; Chinese Digital Seismograph Network, 2001), or south...

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