Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2015, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (3): 319-336.doi: 10.1007/s11442-015-1171-1

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal association analysis of county potential in the Pearl River Delta during 1990-2009

Zhixiong MEI(), Songjun XU*(), Jun OUYANG   

  1. School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Received:2014-05-09 Accepted:2014-06-05 Online:2015-03-15 Published:2015-03-15
  • Contact: Songjun XU;
  • About author:

    Author: Mei Zhixiong, PhD and Associate Professor, specialized in GIS and spatial statistics.

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41001078;No.41271060


According to the highway data and some socioeconomic data of 1990, 1994, 2000, 2005 and 2009 of county units in the Pearl River Delta, this paper measured urban integrated power of different counties in different years by factor analysis, and estimated each county’s potential in each year by means of expanded potential model. Based on that, the spatio-temporal association patterns and evolution of county potential were analyzed using spatio-temporal autocorrelation methods, and the validity of spatio-temporal association patterns was verified by comparing with spatial association patterns and cross-correlation function. The main results are shown as follows: (1) The global spatio-temporal association of county potential showed a positive effect during the study period. But this positive effect was not strong, and it had been slowly strengthened during 1994-2005 and decayed during 2005-2009. The local spatio-temporal association characteristics of most counties’ potential kept relatively stable and focused on a positive autocorrelation, however, there were obvious transformations in some counties among four types of local spatio-temporal association (i.e., HH, LL, HL and LH). (2) The distribution difference and its change of local spatio-temporal association types of county potential were obvious. Spatio-temporal HH type units were located in the central zone and Shenzhen-Dongguan region of the eastern zone, but the central spatio-temporal HH area shrunk to the Guangzhou-Foshan core metropolitan region only after 2000; the spatio-temporal LL area in the western zone kept relatively stable with a surface-shaped continuous distribution pattern, new LL type units emerged in the south-central zone since 2005, the eastern LL area expanded during 1994-2000, but then gradually shrunk and scattered at the eastern edge in 2009; the spatio-temporal HL and LH areas varied significantly. (3) The local spatio-temporal association patterns of county potential among the three zones presented significant disparity, and obvious difference between the eastern and central zones tended to decrease, whereas that between the western zone and the central and eastern zones further expanded. (4) Spatio-temporal autocorrelation methods can efficiently mine the spatio-temporal association patterns of county potential, and can better reveal the complicated spatio-temporal interaction between counties than ESDA methods.

Key words: county potential, association, spatio-temporal autocorrelation, spatio-temporal Moran’s I, Pearl River Delta