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01.09.2015 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2015

Environmental Earth Sciences 5/2015

The influences of topographic relief on spatial distribution of mountain settlements in Three Gorges Area

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 5/2015
Autoren:
Yu Hui, Luo Yong, Liu Shaoquan, Wang Yong, Yang Yong, Liu Weidong

Abstract

Topographic analysis is an important component of research on geomorphologic and surface process. The threshold value method was used to obtain the topographic relief of the study area based on 1:100,000 digital elevation model (DEM). Through mean change-point analysis method, the optimal statistical unit of topographic relief was determined as 0.15 km2. The swath profile method was used to analyze topographic and geomorphological characteristics of the Three Gorges Area. Combined with geosciences research method, the spatial analysis technique was applied to quantitatively analyze the relationship between topographic relief and settlements as well as settlement density (SD) in the Three Gorges Area. The results show that: (1) The Three Gorges Area is mainly covered by hilly regions, accounting for 58.93 % of the study area. The cascade structure of planation surface is very significant. Northeast undulating mountains have greater topographic relief. The peaks are generally located at the elevation from 1500 to 2000 m, i.e., high planation surface; southwest low mountain valley regions have greater topographic relief. The summit level is generally located at the elevation from 500 to 1500 m, i.e., low planation surface with an elevation from 1200 to 1500 m, pediment with an elevation from 500 to 1200 m; the general elevation gradually decreases from east to west, showing a geomorphological shape as narrow ridge and wide valley. (2) Topographic relief is a key factor influencing the spatial distribution of mountain settlements. In the vertical direction, the mountain settlements have significant change characteristics. In the horizontal direction, the mountain settlements have significant spatial aggregation characteristics.

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