Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2018, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (3): 323-336.doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1475-z

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial and temporal variation of the urban impervious surface and its driving forces in the central city of Harbin

Miao LI1,*(), Shuying ZANG1(), Changshan WU2, Xiaodong NA1   

  1. 1. School of Geographical Sciences, Harbin Normal University, Harbin 150025, China
    2. Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, PO Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413, USA
  • Received:2017-01-31 Accepted:2017-04-01 Online:2018-03-10 Published:2018-03-10
  • Contact: Miao LI;
  • About author:

    Author: Li Miao (1984-), PhD, specialized in land use/cover change and urban remote sensing. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Zang Shuying (1963-), Professor, E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province, No.QC2016050;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41571199, No.41601382, No.41771195


Associated with the rapid economic development of China, the level of urbanization is becoming a serious concern. Harbin, the capital city of Heilongjiang Province, China and one of the political, economic, cultural, and transportation centers of the northeastern region of China, has experienced rapid urbanization recently. To examine the spatial patterns of long-term urbanization and explore its driving forces, we employed the impervious surface fraction derived from remote sensing image as a primary indicator. Specifically, urban impervious surface information for the central city of Harbin in 1984, 1993, 2002, and 2010 was extracted from Landsat Thematic Mapper image using a Linear Spectral Mixture Analysis (LMSA). Then, the spatial and temporal variation characteristics and the driving factors of percent impervious surface area (ISA) changes were analyzed throughout this 26-year period (1984 to 2010). Analysis of results suggests that: (1) ISAs in the central city of Harbin constantly increased, particularly from 1993 to 2010, a rapid urbanization period; (2) the gravity center of impervious surface area in the central city was located in Nangang District in 1984, moving southeast from 1984 to 1993, northwest from 1993 to 2002, and continuing toward the southeast from 2002 to 2010; and (3) the urban growth of the central city can be characterized as edge-type growth.

Key words: central city of Harbin, urban impervious surface, dynamic change, driving force