GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (5): 1182-1199.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020190368

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Spatial pattern and influencing factors of oasis rural settlements in Xinjiang, China

LIN Jinping1,2, LEI Jun1(), WU Shixin1, YANG Zhen1,2, LI Jiangang1,2   

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS, Urumqi 830011, China
    2.College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-05-13 Revised:2020-01-06 Online:2020-05-20 Published:2020-07-20
  • Contact: LEI Jun


The study of rural settlements is the core content of rural geography. It is of great theoretical and practical significance to explore the spatial characteristics and influencing factors of regional rural settlements. Based on the remote sensing interpretation data, the spatial pattern and influencing factors of rural settlements in Xinjiang oasis areas were analyzed by using the methods of spatial analysis and geographical detector technique. To reveal the rural settlement spatial influencing mechanism, and explore the rural settlement space reconstruction and optimization approaches, we selected Altay area, north slope of Tianshan Mountains area, Turpan Basin area and Kashgar area as sample areas for further analysis. The results show that: the oasis rural settlements in Xinjiang are small both in density and in scale, and are mainly concentrated in the distribution mode, characterized by a spatial distribution pattern of "dense plain, sparse mountain, no village desert", which presents two major density core belts of oasis on the north and south slopes of Tianshan Mountains. Firstly, rural settlements are mainly distributed in middle- and high-altitude areas (500-3500 m), flat and gentle slope areas (<15 °) and warm areas (annual average temperature 0-10 ℃). Secondly, rural settlements are distributed near the center of towns, which are less affected by the radiation from the center of cities and counties. Finally, rural settlements obviously gather along the roads and rivers, with the feature that the closer they are to the roads and rivers, the larger the number and scale of rural settlements. The spatial distribution of rural settlements in Xinjiang is mainly influenced by factors such as the accessibility of roads to towns, the accessibility of roads to counties, slope, proximity to rivers, temperatures and elevations. In other words, under these extreme geographical and ecological environment conditions in arid areas, the natural environment and geographical conditions are still the main influencing factors, and the traffic factors play an important guiding role, while the influence of economic and social factors are not significant. There are obvious differences in natural conditions and social-economic development levels in the four sample areas, and so do the dominant factors of the distribution of rural settlements. The north slope of Tianshan Mountains area and Kashgar area are affected by road accessibility factors, while Altay area and Turpan Basin area by terrain and water source, respectively. Road accessibility factors have different influences on the spatial distribution of rural settlements in various areas. In the future, the optimization and development of rural settlements should focus on the strengthening of the planning of transportation lines and the improvement of transportation infrastructure, so as to promote the flow and sharing of urban-rural elements, as well as the integration and sustainable development of urban and rural areas.

Key words: rural settlements, spatial distribution, influencing factor, sample area, Xinjiang