PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2023, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (4): 687-700.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2023.04.006

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Evaluation of road accessibility in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau regionconsidering seasonality

LIU Qingfang1(), LU Wenqing1, DAI Teqi1,*(), SONG Jinping1, LIU Yufan1, LI Jie2   

  1. 1. Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2. China International Engineering Consulting Corporation, Beijing 100048, China
  • Received:2022-08-27 Revised:2022-11-17 Online:2023-04-28 Published:2023-04-27
  • Contact: DAI Teqi;
  • Supported by:
    The Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program(2019QZKK0406)


Accessibility is one of the most important concepts in transportation geography. Accurate evaluation of accessibility is of great significance for transportation planning and development. However, there is a lack of literature on accessibility assessment that considered seasonal variation and mountainous terrain influence. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is characterized by distinct rainy season and snow season, as well as high altitude and complex terrain. Therefore, this study fully considered seasonal and terrain influences in the evaluation of accessibility. Combined with multi-source data, the cost-distance model was adopted in this study to evaluate the road accessibility in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau region. The results are as follows: 1) The shortest time to basic service facilities in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau region during the rainy season considering the influence of precipitation had little change compared with the situation without considering the influence of precipitation. In the rainy season, the average value of the total accessibility of the whole region increased by 0.011 hours, and more than 0.021% of the areas could not reach the nearest service facilities within 8 hours because of the impact of rainfall. 2) Affected by snow cover, the total accessibility of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau region became worse, and the minimum road accessibility time in the snow season increased by 2.04 hours on average. Given the effect of snowfall, more than 5.41% of the areas could not reach the nearest service facility within 2 hours, and more than 5.54% of the areas could not reach the nearest service facility within 2-4 hours. 3) According to the seasonal change of accessibility affected by precipitation and snow cover in the rainy season and snow season, the fluctuation range of accessibility in the snow season was larger. The areas with the greatest impact on accessibility by precipitation mainly concentrated near the Mount Qomolangma and the Yarlung Zangbo River Grand Canyon, while the areas that were most seriously affected by snow cover mainly concentrated in the eastern part of Tibet Autonomous Region, the southern part of Qinghai Province, and the western part of Sichuan Province, which are mainly distributed in the Hengduan Mountainous area, Tanggula Mountains range, Bayan Har Mountains range, and other topographic areas.

Key words: road accessibility, rainy season and snow season, cost-distance model, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau region