Table of Content

    10 October 2017, Volume 27 Issue 10 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Orginal Article
    Process and proposal for comprehensive regionalization of Chinese human geography
    Chuanglin FANG, Haimeng LIU, Kui LUO, Xiaohua YU
    2017, 27 (10):  1155-1168.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1428-y
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    The comprehensive regionalization of Chinese human geography is based on the rules governing regional differentiation of Chinese physical geographic factors. Based on regional differences and similarities in human factors, this study divides the whole country into two levels of relatively independent, complete and organically linked human geographic units. As a fundamental, comprehensive, cutting-edge, practical and important task, the comprehensive regionalization of human geography highlights the characteristics, regional and sub-regional features, complexity and variety of spatial differences between factors of Chinese human geography. It is capable of promoting the development of human geography based on local conditions, providing basic scientific support to national and local development strategies, such as the Belt and Road Strategy, new urbanization and environmental awareness, and creating a sound geopolitical environment in key areas. Using results from existing physical and human geographic zoning studies, and in accordance with the principles of synthesis, dominant factors, the relative consistency of the natural environment, the relative consistency of social and economic development, the consistency of the regional cultural landscape, the continuity of spatial distribution and the integrity of county-level administrative divisions, and taking as its basis the division of human geography into 10 major factors (nature, economy, population, culture, ethnicity, agriculture, transportation, urbanization, the settlement landscape and administrative divisions), this paper constructs an index system for the comprehensive regionalization of Chinese human geography through a combination of top-down and bottom-up zoning and spatial clustering analysis. In this study, Chinese human geography is divided into eight regions and 66 sub-regions. The eight human geography regions are (I) Northeast China, (II) North China, (III) East China, (IV) Central China, (V) South China, (VI) Northwest China, (VII) Southwest China, and (VIII) Qinghai and Tibet. This zoning proposal fills gaps in studies involving the non-comprehensive regionalization of Chinese human geography. Each human geography region and sub-region has different topographical, climatic, ecological, population, urbanization, economic development, settlement landscape, regional cultural and ethno-religious attributes. This proposal on the comprehensive regionalization of Chinese human geography dovetails closely with previous studies on comprehensive regionalization in Chinese physical geography, Chinese economic zoning, and Chinese agricultural zoning. It shows that, under the dual roles of nature and humans, there are certain rules of regional differentiation that govern the comprehensive regionalization of Chinese human geography.

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    Rural restructuring in China: Theory, approaches and research prospect
    Shuangshuang TU, Hualou LONG
    2017, 27 (10):  1169-1184.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1429-x
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    Rural restructuring is a process of reshaping socio-economic morphology and spatial pattern in rural territory in response to the changes of elements both in kernel system and external system of rural development, by optimally allocating and efficiently managing the material and non-material elements in the two systems. It aims at ultimately optimizing the structure and promoting the function within rural territorial system as well as realizing the coordination of structure and complementation of function between urban and rural territorial system. This paper establishes a theoretical framework of rural restructuring through elaborating the concept and connotations as well as analyzing the mechanism pushing forward rural restructuring based on the evolution of “elements-structure-function”, and probes the approaches from the three aspects of spatial restructuring, economic restructuring and social restructuring. Besides, the authors argue that the study of rural restructuring in China in the future needs to focus on the aspects of long-term and multi-scale process and pattern, mechanism, regional models, rural planning technology system and standard, policy and institutional innovations concerning rural restructuring as well as the impacts of globalization on rural restructuring, in order to serve the current national strategic demands and cope with the changes of rural development elements in the process of urban-rural development transformation.

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    Quantitative estimation and spatial reconstruction of urban and rural construction land in Jiangsu Province, 1820-1985
    Jinyuan XIE, Xiaobin JIN, Yinan LIN, Yinong CHENG, Xuhong YANG, Qing BAI, Yinkang ZHOU
    2017, 27 (10):  1185-1208.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1430-4
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    Land cover is the most evident landscape signal to characterize the influence of human activities on terrestrial ecosystems. Since the industrial revolution, the expansion of construction land has profoundly changed the status of land use coverage and changes. This study is proposed to reconstruct the spatial pattern of construction land (urban construction land and rural settlement land) for five historical periods over the past 200 years in Jiangsu Province with 200 m × 200 m grids on the basis of quantitative estimation. Urban construction land is estimated based on data about city walls, four gates along walls, and other socio-economic factors. Rural settlement land is calculated based on the rural population and per capita housing allowance. The spatial pattern of historical construction land is simulated based on the distribution of modern construction land in 1985 with a quantitative-boundary- suitability control method and thorough consideration over connectivity of different land use types. The study concludes that: (1) the amount of construction land in Jiangsu Province is estimated at 963.46 km2 in 1820, 1043.46 km2 in 1911, 1672.40 km2 in 1936, 1980.34 km2 in 1952 and 10,687.20 km2 in 1985; and (2) the spatial distribution of construction land features the great proclivity to water bodies and main roads and the strong polarization of existent residence. The results are verified directly and indirectly by applying the trend verification of construction land changes and patterns, the correlation analysis between rural settlement land and local arable land, and quantitative accuracy test of the reconstructed construction land to actual historical survey maps covering four sample regions in 1936.

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    Reconstruction of cropland spatial patterns and its spatiotemporal changes over the 20th century on the Songnen Plain, Northeast China
    Lijuan ZHANG, Lanqi JIANG, Xuezhen ZHANG
    2017, 27 (10):  1209-1226.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1431-3
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    We initially estimated the cropland area at county level using local historical documents for the Songnen Plain (SNP) in the 1910s and 1930s. We then allocated this cropland area to grid cells with a size of 1 km × 1 km, using a range of cultivation possibilities from high to low; this was based on topography and minimum distances to rivers, settlements, and traffic lines. Cropland areas for the 1950s were obtained from the Land Use Map of Northeast China, and map vectorization was performed with ArcGIS technology. Cropland areas for the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s were retrieved from Landsat images. We found that the cropland areas were 4.92 × 104 km2 and 7.60 × 104 km2, accounting for 22.8% and 35.2% of the total area of the SNP in the 1910s and 1930s, respectively, which increased to 13.14 × 104 km2, accounting for 60.9% in the 2010s. The cropland increased at a rate of 1.18 × 104 km2 per decade from the 1910s to 1970s while it was merely 0.285 × 104 km2 per decade from the 1970s to 2010s. From the 1910s to 1930s, new cultivation mainly occurred in the central SNP while, from the 1930s to 1970s, it was mainly over the western and northern parts. This spatially explicit reconstruction could be offered as primary data for studying the effects of changes in human-induced land cover based on climate change over the last century.

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    Emergy-based environmental accounting toward a sustainable Mongolia
    Haitao LI, Mark BROWN
    2017, 27 (10):  1227-1248.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1432-2
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    An emergy-based environmental accounting of Mongolia is presented based on the data from 1995 to 2012. By calculating natural and economic inputs and a series of emergy indicators, this paper discusses Mongolia’s resource use structure, economic situation, trade status and societal sustainability. The results show that the total emergy use for Mongolia changed from 2.83×1022 sej in 1995 to 4.96×1022 sej in 2012, representing a 75% increase over the 18 years of this study, yet its emergy per capita remains one of the lowest in the world (1.74×1016 sej/capita). The emergy money ratio (EMR) of Mongolia during 1995-2012 decreased from 1.99×1013 sej/USD to 7.75×1012 sej/USD, which indicates that the power of a dollar for purchasing real wealth in Mongolia was declining, while the relatively high absolute values compared to its trading partners and even the world average EMR suggests that Mongolia is continuing a trade disadvantage. Mongolia’s emergy exchange ratio is increasingly less than one to the point that in 2012 the ratio was 0.3 suggesting that the exported emergy was over 3.3 times greater than the imported emergy. The growing dependence on imports and the dramatic increase in exports suggests that Mongolia’s economy is increasingly vulnerable to downturns in the world economy.

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    The mechanism of barrier river reaches in the middle and lower Yangtze River
    Xingying YOU, Jinwu TANG, Xiaofeng ZHANG, Weiguo HOU, Yunping YANG, Zhaohua SUN, Zhaohui WENG
    2017, 27 (10):  1249-1267.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1433-1
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    Alluvial channel has always adjusted itself to the equilibrium state of sediment transport after it was artificially or naturally disturbed. How to maintain the equilibrium state of sediment transport and keep the river regime stable has always been the concerns of fluvial geomorphologists. The channel in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River is characterized by the staggered distribution of the bifurcated river and the single-thread river. The change of river regime is more violently in the bifurcated river than in the single-thread river. Whether the adjustment of the river regime in the bifurcated river can pass through the single-thread river and propagate to the downstream reaches affects the stabilities of the overall river regime. Studies show that the barrier river reach can block the upstream channel adjustment from propagating to the downstream reaches; therefore, it plays a key role in stabilizing the river regime. This study investigates 34 single-thread river reaches in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. On the basis of the systematic summarization of the fluvial process of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the control factors of barrier river reach are summarized and extracted: the planar morphology of single-thread and meandering; with no flow deflecting node distributed in the upper or middle part of the river reach; the hydraulic geometric coefficient is less than 4; the longitudinal gradient is greater than 12‰, the clay content of the concave bank is greater than 9.5%, and the median diameter of the bed sediment is greater than 0.158 mm. From the Navier-Stokes equation, the calculation formula of the bending radius of flow dynamic axis is deduced, and then the roles of these control factors on restricting the migration of the flow dynamic axis and the formation of the barrier river reach are analyzed. The barrier river reach is considered as such when the ratio of the migration force of the flow dynamic axis to the constraint force of the channel boundary is less than 1 under different flow levels. The mechanism of the barrier river reach is such that even when the upstream river regime adjusts, the channel boundary of this reach can always constrain the migration amplitude of the flow dynamic axis and centralize the planar position of the main stream line under different upstream river regime conditions, providing a relatively stable incoming flow conditions for the downstream reaches, thereby blocking the upstream river regime adjustment from propagating to the downstream reaches.

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    Interacting effects of multiple factors on the morphological evolution of the meandering reaches downstream the Three Gorges Dam
    Jianqiao HAN, Wei ZHANG, Yongyang FAN, Mengqing YU
    2017, 27 (10):  1268-1278.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1434-0
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    Elucidating the influence of dams on fluvial processes can inform river protection and basin management. However, relatively few studies have focused on how multiple factors interact to affect the morphological evolution of meandering reaches. Using hydrological and topographical data, we analyzed the factors that influence and regulate the meandering reaches downstream the Three Gorges Dam (TGD). Our conclusions are as follows. (1) The meandering reaches can be classified into two types based on their evolution during the pre-dam period: G1 reaches, characterized by convex point bar erosion and concave channel deposition (CECD), and G2 reaches, characterized by convex point bar deposition and concave channel erosion (CDCE). Both reach types exhibited CECD features during the post-dam period. (2) Flow processes and sediment transport are the factors that caused serious erosion of the low beaches located in the convex point bars. However, changes in the river regime, river boundaries and jacking of Dongting Lake do not act as primary controls on the morphological evolution of the meandering reaches. (3) Flood discharges ranging from 20,000 to 25,000 m3/s result in greater erosion of convex point bars. The point bars become scoured if the durations of these flows, which are close to bankfull discharge, exceed 20 days. In addition, the reduction in bedload causes the decreasing of point bar siltation in the water-falling period. (4) During the post-dam period, flood abatement, the increased duration of discharges ranging from 20,000 to 25,000 m3/s, and a significant reduction in sediment transport are the main factors that caused meandering reaches to show CECD features. Our results are relevant to other meandering reaches, where they can inform estimates of riverbed change, river management strategies and river protection.

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    A review of Geographical Dynamics and Firm Spatial Strategy in China by Shengjun Zhu, John Pickles and Canfei He
    Dongqi SUN
    2017, 27 (10):  1279-1280.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1435-z
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