Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2022, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (9): 1642-1653.doi: 10.1007/s11442-022-2015-4

• Special Issue: Disciplinary Structure and Development of Geographic Science • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Disciplinary structure and development strategy of physical geography in China

CHEN Fahu1,2,3(), WU Shaohong3,4, LIU Hongyan5, YANG Xiaoyan1,2,6, LIU Jianbao1,2,3   

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Tibetan Plateau Earth System, Resources and Environment, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2.Alpine Paleoecology and Human Adaptation Group (ALPHA), Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3.College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    5.College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    6.College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2022-05-06 Accepted:2022-06-10 Online:2022-09-25 Published:2022-11-25
  • About author:Chen Fahu (1962‒), Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, specialized in climate and environmental change and prehistoric human-environment interaction. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41530749);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41842050)


Physical geography, one of the branches of geography, is the basic discipline of geographic science. And it is the scientific foundation of ecology, environmental science and other related disciplines. Physical geography focuses on spatial characteristics, evolution and regional differentiation of the earth’s surface. In the new period of rapid development of social economy, and science and technology, physical geography is more closely and widely connected with human geography and, information geography. This paper analyzed the forming process of the physical geography, expressed sub-discipline structure of integrated physical geography, sectoral physical geography, human living-environment geography, and proposed the development strategy of physical geography and its sub-branch disciplines, key priority of development goals and directions in China.

Key words: physical geography, disciplinary structure, development strategy