JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2021, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (1): 69-86.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20210105

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

Spatial pattern evolution of cities and influencing factors in the historical Yellow River Basin

WANG Chang-song(), DUAN Yun-xin, ZHANG Ran   

  1. Institute of Historical Geography, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2020-06-08 Revised:2020-07-13 Online:2021-01-28 Published:2021-03-28


The spatial pattern evolution of the cities in the historical Yellow River Basin will help us understand the characteristics and development context of human settlements, which plays a key role in ecological protection and urban development in the Yellow River Basin today. This article uses the time series data of cities (BC763-AD1911) in the CHGIS database of Harvard University, the elevation data of STRM, the regional data of nine major basins in China, and the historical population data. It studies the spatio-temporal pattern evolution of cities in the Yellow River Basin, as well as the influencing factors. The results show that: (1) The changes in the number of cities can be divided into five stages. (2) The first level continous stable region includes the high-density urban area in northern Henan with present Anyang as the center, high-density urban area in Guanzhong with present Xi'an as the center, and the secondary high-density area with Jinan, Taiyuan and Luoyang as the center. The second level continuous stable region includes five important city belts, namely, Weihe River city belt, Fenhe River city belt, northern foot city belt of central Shandong mountainous region, eastern foot city belt of Taihang Mountains and Grand Canal city belt. (3) The average distance of city gravity migration is 32 km, and the average distance of population gravity migration is 95.78 km. The distribution of cities and population is closely related. (4) Natural factors such as temperature and precipitation, elevation, distance from the rivers, downstream avulsions of the Yellow River, as well as human factors such as wars, capital transfer and canals, had jointly influenced the spatial and temporal distribution of cities in the Yellow River Basin.

Key words: historical period, cities spatio-temporal distribution, continous stable region of administrative cities, influencing factor, Yellow River Basin