GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (4): 692-702.doi: 10.11821/dlyj201604008

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The landscape evolution and mechanism analysis of rural settlements in the oasis of arid region

Manjiang SHI1(), Yaowen XIE1(), Qi CAO2   

  1. 1. College of Earth Environment Science, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
    2. College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, Sichuan, China
  • Received:2015-12-03 Revised:2016-03-10 Online:2016-04-20 Published:2016-04-27


Rural settlements are the main landscape type in arid region, and is an important component of population-land relationship research. What is more, the change of landscape pattern of rural settlements is deeply influenced by development policies, population size, cultivated land resources, water resources and others factors in oases. The Heihe River Basin(HRB) is the second largest inland river basin in Northwest China and it is also a hotspot region where there is a complex relationship between population and land use. Recently, many scholars have studied the relationships between population and water and land use in the HRB, however, there was less research on quantitative landscape description and driving mechanism analysis of rural settlements. Therefore, this paper takes the midstream area of the HRB as our study area, using 1987, 2002, 2013 Landsat TM / ETM + and OLI remote sensing images to extract the spatio-temporal distributed information of rural settlements. Taking advantage of GIS spatial analysis, landscape index analysis and multiple linear regression methods it reveals the rural settlement landscape evolution and driving mechanism. The main conclusions are as follows: ① The oases is the main concentrated region of rural settlements. Then, around cities and along rivers and roads are obvious agglomeration areas of rural settlements; ② Landscape index changes show that area growth is more significant than shape change of rural settlements from 1987 to 2013. The main reason for remarkable growth of rural settlements is the expansion of rural settlement land and newly-built rural settlements, which presents different spatial and temporal patterns in the study area. And rectangle, band and nearly round are the main shapes of rural settlements; ③ The distance to cities, rivers, and roads is the primary factor that affects the landscape changes of rural settlements, followed by population size, and the last is regional economic development.

Key words: rural settlements, landscape evolution, GIS spatial analysis, landsat images, oasis in arid area