Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2017, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (8): 1011-1024.doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1418-0

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles    

The spatial distribution and factors affecting karst cave development in Guizhou Province

Zhongfa ZHOU1,2(), Shaoyun ZHANG1,2, Kangning XIONG1(), Bo LI2, Zhonghui TIAN1,2, Quan CHEN1,2, Lihui YAN1,2, Shizhen XIAO1   

  1. 1. School of Karst Science, Guizhou Normal University/State Key Laboratory Incubation Base for Karst
    Mountain Ecology Environment of Guizhou Province, Guiyang 550001, China
    2. Remote Sensing Center of Guizhou Province, Guiyang 550001, China
  • Received:2016-10-09 Accepted:2016-12-20 Online:2017-08-31 Published:2017-08-31
  • About author:

    Author: Zhou Zhongfa (1969-), Professor and PhD Supervisor, E-mail:
    Zhang Shaoyun (1992-), MS in Geography, E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Xiong Kangning (1958-), Professor and PhD Supervisor, E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41361081;High-level Innovative Talents Cultivation Program of Guizhou Province (Qian Ke He SY [2016]5674);Project of Innovation Program for Postgraduate Education of Guizhou Province, No.[2016]04


This research examines the distribution features of 4960 caves across Guizhou Province, while probing the relationship between the caves’ spatial patterns and geographic elements. This study is based on hydrogeological and topographic maps of Guizhou. ArcGIS software was used to process the adjacent index, spatial analysis, and coupling analysis of the caves altitude and longitude, as well as the rock properties, lithology, drainage and tectonic division of almost 5000 caves. Based on a point pattern analysis of Guizhou caves, the adjacent index is 0.53, and the coefficient of variation verified by Tyson polygon reached 72.469%. This figure reflects the clustered distribution pattern of the caves. Across the entire province, caves are divided into four concentrated areas and one weakly affected area. The four concentrated areas are Zunyi-Tongren, Bijie, Qianxinan-Liupanshui, and Guiyang-Anshun-Qinan. The one weakly affected zone is Qiandongnan. The most concentrated among them is the Guiyang-Anshun-Qiannan area, which covers 24.67% of the total province area, and accounts for 36.63% of the total province’s caves. Cave distribution in Guizhou is characterized as dense in the western part and sparse in the eastern part. Under this study background, the natural elements of formation, including lithology, structure, climate, hydrology, and altitude, and their effects on the distribution, number, and spatial pattern of cave development is analyzed.

Key words: karst caves, geographic information system, spatial pattern, affecting factor, Guizhou