PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (8): 1086-1095.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.08.008

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Distance-decay pattern and spatial differentiation of expressway flow: An empirical study using data of expressway toll station in Fujian Province

Zhuo CHEN1,2,3, Fengjun JIN1,2, Yu YANG1,2,*(), Wei WANG1,2,3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2017-09-25 Revised:2018-07-31 Online:2018-09-04 Published:2018-09-04
  • Contact: Yu YANG;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41771134;Project of Transportation Strategic Planning Policy, No.2017-14-14


As the basic law of geography, the law of distance-decay is of great significance to the formation and evolution of spatial order. Using the data of Fujian expressway toll stations in October 2016, an expressway flow origin-destination matrix was identified with county areas as the basic unit. Cumulative proportion curve, spectrum analysis, and null model were used to simulate the distance-decay effect of expressway flow on the provincial and county scales. Then, combining spatial analysis and correlation analysis, the spatial differentiation characteristics and the distance-decay effect of expressway flow were discussed. The results show that: (1) The expressway flow is mainly concentrated in the 0~200 km and 0~200 min sections, which is in line with the economic radius of road transportation and the temporal and spatial fracture characteristics of traffic flow. (2) The expressway flow has a significant decreasing tendency on the provincial scale with the increase of distance. When using the road distance and power-law decay function, the distance decay coefficient is 2.674, which is significantly higher than the conventional value of 2. (3) The distance-decay rates of the expressway flow in different counties show a clear zonal pattern, corresponding well with the spatial distribution of expressway flow. (4) The law of distance-decay not only influences the evolution of spatial order, but also is influenced by the evolution of spatial order, and it is endogenous to the spatial patterns of socioeconomic activities. Under certain conditions, the strength of socioeconomic spatial connections will form a self accelerating feedback process with the increase of node size, population, and economic density, and the optimization of location conditions.

Key words: expressway flow, distance-decay, spatial differentiation, null model, correlation analysis, Fujian Province