Large quantities of mined ore materials are processed annually to obtain the various types of minerals that are essential to industrial processes. At the same time, a lot of tailings held up by tailings dam. Due to its execution simplicity and low cost, upstream tailings disposal has been the most common method used for the surface disposal of tailings produced from processing the mined ore materials. The phreatic surface is higher for upstream-type and loose saturated deposits may be incorporated in mostly zones, so that upstream dams are particularly susceptible to liquefaction and flow slide damage under earthquake. Earthquake disasters of tailings dam are analyzed, the mechanism of flow induced by seismic liquefaction are preliminarily studied, and the flow slide models are researched from four aspects of foundation damage, initial dam damage, sub-dam damage and inner slope sliding damage. It is of great significance to guide the antiseismic design of tailings dam and improve the level of safety management and reduce the mine disaster losses.