Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2018, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (3): 306-322.doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1474-0

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Comparison of spatial structures of urban agglomerations between the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and Boswash based on the subpixel-level impervious surface coverage product

Shisong CAO(), Deyong HU*, Zhuowei HU(), Wenji ZHAO, Shanshan CHEN, Chen YU   

  1. College of Resource Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
  • Received:2017-07-25 Accepted:2017-08-30 Online:2018-03-10 Published:2018-03-10
  • Contact: Deyong HU;
  • About author:

    Author: Cao Shisong (1989-), PhD Candidate, specialized in remote sensing and urban ecology and environment. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Hu Zhuowei (1979-), PhD and Associate Professor, specialized in geographic information modeling and application. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41671339


Under the background of China’s rapid urbanization, study on comparative analysis of the spatial structure of urban agglomerations between China and the US can provide the policy proposals of space optimization for the Chinese government. Taking the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) and Boswash as study area, we mapped the subpixel-level impervious surface coverage of the BTH and Boswash, respectively, from 1972 to 2011. Further, landscape metrics, gravitational model and spatial analysis were used to analyze the differences of the spatial structures between the BTH and Boswash. The results showed that (1) the area of the impervious surface increased rapidly in the BTH, while those remained stable in the Boswash. (2) The spatial structure of the BTH experienced different periods including isolated cities stage, dual-core cities stage, group cities stage and network-style cities stage, while those of the Boswash was more stable, and its spatial pattern showed a “point-axis” structure. (3) The spatial pattern of high-high assembling regions of the impervious surface exhibited a “standing pancake” feature in the BTH, while those showed a “multi-center, local aggregation and global discrete” feature in the Boswash. (4) All the percentages of the impervious surface of ecological, living, and production land of the BTH were higher than those of the Boswash. At last, from the perspective of space optimization of urban agglomeration, the development proposals for the BTH were proposed.

Key words: impervious surface coverage, urban agglomeration, spatial structure comparison, landscape pattern, ecological-living-production land