Application of GIS

Research and compilation of the Geomorphologic Atlas of the People’s Republic of China (1:1,000,000)

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information Systems, Beijing 100101, China|
    2. Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS, Urumqi 830011, China|
    3. China National Environmental Monitoring Center, Beijing 100012, China

Received date: 2010-04-30

  Revised date: 2010-06-15

  Online published: 2011-01-13

Supported by

Key Project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40871177; No.40830529


Geomorphologic maps are one of the most fundamental materials of the natural environment. They have been widely used in scientific research, resource exploration and extraction, education and military affairs etc. An editorial committee was established in 2001 to collect materials for researching and compiling a set of new 1:1,000,000 geomorphologic atlas of China. A digital geomorphologic database was created with visual interpretation from Landsat TM/ETM imageries and SRTM-DEM etc. The atlas compiled from the database was finished. The main characteristics of the atlas are as follows: Firstly, Landsat TM/ETM imageries, published geomorphologic maps or sketches, geographical base maps, digital geological maps, and other thematic maps were collected, which were uniformly geometrically rectified, clipped into uniform sheets, and stored in the foundation database. Secondly, based on the legends of 15 sheets 1:1,000,000 maps published in the 1980s, a geomorphologic classification system was built by combining morphology and genesis types. The system comprised seven hierarchical layers: basic morphology, genesis, sub-genesis, morphology, micro-morphology, slope and aspect, material composition and lithology. These layers were stored in the database during visual image interpretation. About 2000 kinds of morpho- genesis and 300 kinds of morpho-structure were interpreted. Thirdly, the legend system was built, which included color, symbol bases and note bases etc., compilation standards and procedures were developed, 74 sheets of 1:1,000,000 covering all land and sea territories of China were compiled, the 1:1,000,000 geomorphologic atlas of the People’s Republic of China was finished and published. The atlas will fill the blanks in national basic scale thematic maps, and the geomorphologic database could be applied widely in many fields in the future.

Cite this article

CHENG Weiming, ZHOU Chenghu, CHAI Huixia, ZHAO Shangmin, LIU Haijiang, ZHOU Zengpo . Research and compilation of the Geomorphologic Atlas of the People’s Republic of China (1:1,000,000)[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2011 , 21(1) : 89 -100 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-011-0831-z