JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2021, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (1): 27-36.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20210102

• Evolution of City and Town Settlements • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Reconstruction of cultivated land pattern in the upper reaches of the Yellow River in the late Northern Song Dynasty:Take Hehuang Valley as an example

GUO Rong1(), LIU Feng-gui1,2(), CHEN Qiong1, ZHOU Qiang1, GU Xi-jing1, CAI Xiang-cuo-mao1   

  1. 1. College of Geographic Sciences, Qinghai Normal University, Xining 810008, China
    2. Academy of Plateau Science and Sustainability, Xining 810008, China
  • Received:2020-08-03 Revised:2020-11-18 Online:2021-01-28 Published:2021-03-28
  • Contact: LIU Feng-gui E-mail:GR95316@163.com;lfg_918@163.com

Abstract:

The Hehuang Valley in the upper reaches of the Yellow River is one of the areas with a long history of human activities, and it is the westernmost part of cultivated land reclamation along the Yellow River. The reconstruction of settlements and cultivated land has practical significance for the study of human activities and global change in this basin. In this paper, a database of settlements and cultivated land in the Hehuang Valley in the late Northern Song Dynasty (1117) was established by combing a large number of historical documents. Based on the spatial distribution of settlements, the grid model was used to reconstruct the cultivated land pattern of the study area with an accuracy of 1 km×1 km. The results show that: (1) The settlements in the Hehuang Valley in the upper reaches of the Yellow River in the late Northern Song Dynasty are concentrated in alluvial and proluvial plains along the main stream of the Yellow River and Huangshui River with relatively low altitude and gentle slope, and the "City" is mainly distributed in the mountain pass in the relatively low altitude area, highlighting its defense function; "States and Castles" are mostly distributed along rivers with relatively flat terrain and relatively geo-safe; however, "Villages" are scattered along the tributaries of rivers, showing the characteristics of disorderly development. (2) The total cultivated land area in the Hehuang Valley is estimated to be about 304.67 km2, with only 16.16% of the grids distributed with cultivated land and only 24.16% of the grids with the highest reclamation rate, among which 74.06% are distributed in the Huangshui Valley and 25.94% along the main stream of the Yellow River, indicating that cultivated land reclamation in the late Northern Song Dynasty is mainly concentrated in the Huangshui River Basin. (3) From the altitude of settlement distribution, 78.09% of the cultivated land grids are distributed in the area of flat terrain with water below 2600 m above sea level, and 21.91% of the grids are distributed in the shallow mountains between 2600 m and 3200 m, indicating that the cultivated land range was not large at that time, and the altitude greatly restricted the expansion of cultivated land, which was mainly distributed in areas with superior irrigation conditions. (4) Rebuilding the spatial pattern of cultivated land based on settlement accords with the fact that cultivated land is distributed with settlements, which is more reliable.

Key words: upper reaches of the Yellow River, cultivated land reconstruction, late Northern Song Dynasty, Hehuang Valley