Table of Content

    28 January 2018, Volume 37 Issue 1 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Thoughts on the recent development of physical geography
    Bojie FU
    2018, 37 (1):  1-7.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.001
    Abstract ( 1505 )   HTML ( 23 )   PDF (3426KB) ( 2825 )   Save

    Physical geography is the cornerstone of comprehensive study in geography. On the basis of reviewing the main research progress of physical geography, this article discussed the new research directions of physical geography. Driven by global environmental changes, physical geography and its branches have achieved significant progress. Recent progress in physical geography mainly includes research on the synthesis of physical geographic processes, land surface system integration, land-sea interaction, and physical geography application for regional ecological or environmental management. Physical geography needs to face the global climate change and human needs, explore new methods of technology application, carry out integrated multi-factor and multi-process research, develop geographical models, model future environmental dynamics and sustainable development, and serve the national priorities. In the process of physical geography development, we should pay more attention to the following frontier areas and directions: (1) geomorphology needs to focus on the study of geomorphology and global environmental change, and geomorphology and human activities; (2) biogeography needs to focus on the exploration of frontier fields such as attribute geography, global change biogeography, and to connect spatial distribution in biogeography and human needs under the background of change; (3) hydrology needs to integrate the multi-factor, multi-process, and multi-scale research, and to promote the development of ecological hydrology, social hydrology, and hydrological morphology; (4) physical geography needs to play a key role in the research of climate change, and serve major international research projects in climate change; (5) comprehensive physical geography research needs to meet national priority demands, focusing on the coupling of human-land system, resource and environment carrying capacity assessment, ecological security pattern, and ecological civilization construction; (6) physical geography needs to merge the natural and human elements and processes, develop complex system simulation models, and analyze the coupling mechanism of natural and human factors and the dynamic change of land surface system.

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    Progress in geomorphology and future study:A brief review
    Huayu LU
    2018, 37 (1):  8-15.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.002
    Abstract ( 791 )   HTML ( 2 )   PDF (4756KB) ( 1123 )   Save

    The formation and evolution of landform and landscape on Earth follow unique rules with specific forcing mechanisms. Earth surface processes have affected human environment, resource exploitation, and natural hazards and disasters. As an important branch of geography, geomorphology is an interdisciplinary field with important theoretical and practical values. With the application of remote sensing, geographical information system, digital elevation models, and sediment dating techniques, detection and tracing techniques of geophysics and geochemistry, and numerical simulation, the scope of geomorphology has been expanded and deepened over the past 10 years. Study on geomorphological process modulated by tectonic movement, climatic changes, gravity forcing, and human activities has greatly moved forward. New geomorphological processes and forcing mechanisms have been unraveled, and these recent achievements have significantly improved our understanding of Earth surface processes. In this new era of research, in addition to strengthening the study in traditional areas such as investigating different geomorphological processes at various temporal and spatial scales, bridging geomorphological research with global environment change and Future Earth programs is recommended. In particular, geomorphologists should pay much more attention to human activities, which is a vital agent that modulates Earth surface in the Anthropocene. Quantitatively reconstructing and modeling geomorphological processes are also an important area to explore. In China, to train geography students with more extensive and in-depth geological knowledge and practices, develop quantitative geomorphology and planetary geomorphology, and strengthen research on human impact on landform and topography will improve the quality of research, and promote geomorphology as a key discipline in Earth system science.

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    Recent progress of climate change research in physical geography studies from China
    Jingyun ZHENG, Xiuqi FANG, Shaohong WU
    2018, 37 (1):  16-27.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.003
    Abstract ( 940 )   HTML ( 7 )   PDF (6402KB) ( 2091 )   Save

    As a key subfield in climatology, the study of climate changes is the research focus of physical geography in China. In this article, we review recent progress in such study, which focused on past climate changes and climate change impacts and adaptations in the context of present global warming. The highlights and results of the studies are summarized, especially on the following issues: reconstruction of past climate in China, analysis of the spatiotemporal patterns of climate changes and their impacts during historical times in China, characteristics of changes on climate regionalization in China under global warming since 1950, regional difference of impacts of recent global warming on natural ecosystems, water resources, and agriculture in China, and comprehensive climate change risk regionalization of China. These results provided a solid scientific basis for forming disciplinary development strategies and further studies of related issues in the field of physical geography in China.

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    Climate change risk and methodology for its quantitative assessment
    Shaohong WU, Jiangbo GAO, Haoyu DENG, Lulu LIU, Tao PAN
    2018, 37 (1):  28-35.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.004
    Abstract ( 711 )   HTML ( 2 )   PDF (6494KB) ( 1505 )   Save

    Risk assessment is a core area of climate change research. Quantitative assessment methods have been developed particularly due to the needs for theory of mitigation and adaptation strategies, and have been applied to a great number of specific assessments. However, there have been different viewpoints of the risk composition of climate change, and overall, integrated classification by coupling risk causing factors and risk bearing bodies is lacking. This article illuminates the risk composition of climate change, including the danger of risk causing factors, the exposure and vulnerability of risk bearing bodies, and their interrelations. The emergence and change of risk were clarified. Based on the integrated analysis of risk causing factors and risk bearing bodies, this study divided the climate change risk quantitative assessment methods into sudden onset hazard risk and slow onset hazard risk assessment methods, then the theoretical elaboration and case analysis were conducted for the two types of risks respectively. Finally, according to the current status and needs, this article proposes the future development directions of climate change risk research, including risk assessment under different warming amplitude, vulnerability curve construction, and adaptation.

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    Progress and prospect of hydrological sciences
    Dawen YANG, Zongxue XU, Zhe LI, Xing YUAN, Lei WANG, Chiyuan MIAO, Fuqiang TIAN, Lide TIAN, Di LONG, Qiuhong TANG, Xingcai LIU, Xuejun ZHANG
    2018, 37 (1):  36-45.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.005
    Abstract ( 1102 )   HTML ( 13 )   PDF (629KB) ( 4313 )   Save

    Hydrology is the science that describes the continuous movement of water, the related biogeochemical and geophysical processes, and their interactions with the environment. Hydrology research has evolved from experience-based to theories, from single process to complex systems, and from qualitative interpretations to quantitative models. The progress and evolution of hydrology has been intimately intertwined with the scientific and technological progresses and socioeconomic development, which creates many branches and interdisciplinary areas of hydrology, such as ecohydrology, hydrometeorology, cryosphere hydrology, hydrologic remote sensing, isotope hydrology, urban hydrology, and socio-hydrology. Hydrology research has made notable progress in the fields of multi-scale observations, coupled land surface-hydrology-society modeling, and multi-source data and model assimilation techniques, which further expands the connotation of hydrological study. In the future, hydrology research will focus on the characteristics and mechanism of the changes of water cycle, prediction of the changes of water cycle, and natural and social impact assessment of the changes of water cycle, in order to offer sustainable solutions to water security. In summary, the research paradigm of hydrology would shift from the traditionally self-focused approaches to the emerging integrated approaches that focus on all the water-related processes across multiple scales and sectors in the earth system.

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    A review on socio-hydrology and urban hydrology
    Fuqiang TIAN, Tao CHENG, You LU, Zongxue XU
    2018, 37 (1):  46-56.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.006
    Abstract ( 876 )   HTML ( 6 )   PDF (637KB) ( 1775 )   Save

    The impact of human activities on hydrological processes becomes remarkable in Anthropocene, and many problems go beyond the scope of traditional hydrology. As two important sub-disciplines in hydrology that focus on human interventions, socio-hydrology and urban hydrology have attracted increasingly more attention. With the strengthened interactions between human and water, hydrological and human systems are becoming tightly coupled, and socio-hydrology emerged to investigate the feedbacks between the two systems and their coevolution processes. Cities are places where human activities and the natural system interact most intensively, and the hydrological processes in urban regions are becoming more complicated, therefore urban hydrology has been developed. The two disciplines are of great importance for the medium- and long-term planning and management of water resources and related socioeconomic development, as well as for guiding urban planning and construction, enhancing urban water security, and improving urban water environment. This article reviewed the patterns of development and characteristics of research of the two disciplines. It also analyzed the research status and development trends, including the study of social factors, case study in representative basins, comparative study of different cases, and model simulation in socio-hydrology, as well as the impact of urbanization on precipitation and flood, and the response relationship between urbanization and environment in urban hydrology. Key study areas in the two disciplines are discussed. For socio-hydrology, the key study areas include constitutive relation study, comparative socio-hydrology, and interdisciplinary study while the key study areas of urban hydrology include the mechanism and simulation of urbanization impact on hydrological processes, monitoring and forecasting technology of urban rainstorm and flood, and urban rain-flood management and resource utilization technology.

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    Progress and future prospect of soil geography
    Ganlin ZHANG, A-Xing ZHU, Zhou SHI, Qiubing WANG, Baoyuan LIU, Xingchang ZHANG, Zhihua SHI, Jinling YANG, Feng LIU, Xiaodong SONG, Huayong WU, Rong ZENG
    2018, 37 (1):  57-65.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.007
    Abstract ( 1021 )   HTML ( 3 )   PDF (673KB) ( 1638 )   Save

    Soil geography is the sub-discipline of soil science and geography dealing with the spatiotemporal changes of soil, and is a part of the earth surface system science. The research topic of soil geography is gradually changing from soil body to critical zone from the perspective of the earth surface system, meanwhile the research methodology develops toward "digital". Based on an introduction of the theoretical and technical backgrounds, this article reviewed the recent progress of soil geography including on soil genesis, soil morphology, soil classification, soil survey, and digital soil mapping. Future development of soil geography needs to expand the theoretical research, innovate the investigation technology, and simulate the spatiotemporal variations of soil. Furthermore, the main opportunities, trends, and challenges in the future were discussed.

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    The review and outlook of digital soil mapping
    A-Xing ZHU, Lin YANG, Naiqing FAN, Canying ZENG, Ganlin ZHANG
    2018, 37 (1):  66-78.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.008
    Abstract ( 1019 )   HTML ( 8 )   PDF (687KB) ( 1707 )   Save

    The spatial distribution of soil reflects its formation and development. Digital soil mapping is a new and efficient technique to represent the spatial distribution of soil, which has experienced a rapid development over the last three decades. The theoretical bases are the soil forming factor theory and the first law of geography. Researchers have done significant work on the generation of environmental covariates, soil sampling methods, mapping methods, and production and evaluation of soil maps. The application cases are from small areas to big regions, even at the global scale. Future directions for digital soil mapping include: new techniques for depicting environmental covariates, especially for expressing human activities; efficient use of new data and legacy data; the reconciling of pedometric knowledge and mathematic models; and new computation ways supporting the use of big data.

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    Soil information acquisition based on remote sensing and proximal soil sensing: Current status and prospect
    Zhou SHI, Dongyun XU, Hongfen TENG, Yueming HU, Xianzhang PANG, Ganlin ZHANG
    2018, 37 (1):  79-92.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.009
    Abstract ( 691 )   HTML ( 5 )   PDF (3674KB) ( 1933 )   Save

    Soil as an important study object of physical geography, acts as the essential link between geographical elements such as water, atmosphere, organisms, and so on. Therefore, research on accurate and efficient acquisition of soil information has great significance in the development of modern geography. In this article, the operation principles of various sensors equipped on satellite, aviation, and unmanned aerial vehicle platforms and ground devices for soil information acquisition were introduced. Then the authors summed up the findings on the methods and techniques of rapid acquisition of soil information based on remote sensing and proximal soil sensing and their applications in soil mapping and soil attribute prediction. Applications of soil information acquisition in soil geography were also explained. Finally, this article discussed the prospect of development of remote and proximal soil sensing.

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    Advances and prospects of plant trait biogeography
    Yongmei HUANG, Huiying CHEN, Jinghui ZHANG, Zhilu SHENG, En'gui LI, Hongyan LIU
    2018, 37 (1):  93-101.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.010
    Abstract ( 638 )   HTML ( 3 )   PDF (602KB) ( 2953 )   Save

    Plant trait biogeography is an emerging field in plant geography and it is about the geographical distribution of plant traits. At present, there are three hotspots in plant trait research, including performance of traits at multiple levels, trade-offs among traits and the relationship between trait diversity (functional diversity) and ecosystem functioning. Important traits include, for example, specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, leaf nitrogen concentration, seed mass, plant height and stem density. Traits are measured with individual plants and can be scaled up to the community level (community weighted means and trait diversity). Trade-offs contain not only the leaf economics spectrum, but also relationships between traits and the environment. The development of global trait database largely enhances the progress of plant trait biogeography. Mapping plant traits mainly relies on the global database and spatial statistical modeling techniques, but a new method using combined laser scanning and imaging spectroscopy has been developed recently to map regional patterns of plant trait diversity. Spatial pattern analysis is an important part of plant trait biogeography. It helps to explain the distribution of plants, plant adaptability and patterns of community assembly, and then provides evidence to predict how global climate changes would influence plants. By examining plant traits instead of species, the physiological mechanisms behind plant adaptability and distribution can be better explained. Therefore, replacing species with plant traits in global vegetation models would bring new opportunities and challenges for global carbon cycle models and land surface models under global climate changes.

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    Theory, practice and development of urban physical geography
    Min LIU, Shiyuan XU, Lijun HOU, Yi YANG, Limin ZHOU, Ruishan CHEN, Yanping HUANG, Shixue WU
    2018, 37 (1):  102-108.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.011
    Abstract ( 744 )   HTML ( 3 )   PDF (1745KB) ( 1471 )   Save

    Due to the rapid urbanization in recent decades, globally cities have become the regions loaded with highly developed economy, dense population, and intensive human-environment interactions. Because of the formation of “the second pattern” in artificial environment and effects of intensive urban land use and land cover change, the discipline of urban physical geography has significant theoretical and practical values in the research of intricate urban systems. In this article, we reviewed the origin and disciplinary development of urban physical geography, and the theoretical framework, research contents, and outlooks for frontier research areas are clarified. We aimed to extend and enrich the research contents of urban physical geography, and promote its further development. In the future, prospective studies on urban physical geography should focus on the following areas: (1) theoretical studies for facilitating disciplinary development; (2) inter-disciplinary research for extending the knowledge base of urban surface system changes; (3) the giant urban physical-human system for revealing the coupling relationships and driving mechanisms of multiple urban elements; (4) applications in urban service research for supporting decisions of sustainable urban development.

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    Comprehensive Research
    A review of geographical system models
    Shushi PENG, Shilong PIAO, Jiashuo YU, Yongwen LIU, Tao WANG, Gaofeng ZHU, Jinwei DONG, Chiyuan MIAO
    2018, 37 (1):  109-120.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.012
    Abstract ( 909 )   HTML ( 7 )   PDF (1430KB) ( 2853 )   Save

    The geographical system is a complex system including multiple spheres and their interactions. A geographical system model is a coupled human and environmental system model for understanding and predicting changes in patterns and processes of the system. Geographical system models are important tools for supporting sustainable development policy making, and thus is a key scientific research area. During the past decades, geographical system models have been developed to examine global environmental problems such as global change and sustainable development. However, the existing geographical system models have limited ability to simulate and project changes in the complex coupled human-environmental system. This study reviewed the history of development of geographical system models, which is characterized by transitions from single process to multiple process, statistics-based to process-based, static to dynamic, and site level to regional and global scale simulations. We also summarized two important development trends of geographical system models: toward coupled human and natural processes and their interactions, and model-data synthesis. To support policy making for sustainable development in China and globally, developing geographical system models is urgent for the Chinese physical geography research community.

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    Research frontier and challenges of terrestrial system regionalization in China
    Jian PENG, Qi MAO, Yueyue DU, Chong SU, Tian ZHANG, Yi'na HU, Yanglin WANG
    2018, 37 (1):  121-129.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.013
    Abstract ( 693 )   HTML ( 7 )   PDF (1212KB) ( 1152 )   Save

    Regionalization is a fundamental way for geographers to cognize the world. As an important part of integrated physical geography, terrestrial system regionalization aims at revealing rules of regional differentiations of terrestrial system features and their interaction processes, supporting the development of reasonable land management policies. The topics and methods of terrestrial system regionalization are constantly changing and innovated with the development of society and economy. After a brief review of research on terrestrial system regionalization in China, this study summarized the progress of Chinese scholars in the research frontier, i.e., dynamic regionalization, quantitative optimization of multi-regionalization schemes, and automatic demarcation. The study of dynamic regionalization could effectively depict the pattern and process of terrestrial system, with important guidance for regional sustainable development in the context of global change, while the study of quantitative optimization of multi-regionalization schemes and automatic demarcation might offer significant theoretical and technical supports for automatic regionalization. Furthermore, this study discussed the research challenges faced today, including the challenges of undertaking terrestrial regionalization for coupled human and natural systems, integrating qualitative and quantitative methods, and carrying out regionalization from the global to local scales.

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    Progress and prospects of research on integrated carrying capacity of regional resources and environment
    Yihe LV, Wei FU, Ting LI, Yuanxin LIU
    2018, 37 (1):  130-136.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.014
    Abstract ( 698 )   HTML ( 8 )   PDF (639KB) ( 1245 )   Save

    The integrated carrying capacity of regional resource and environment systems is an important foundation for the harmonious and sustainable development of the human-environment system, and thus has become a hot topic of integrated physical geography research. Great progress has been made in the study on the carrying capacity of regional integrated resource and environment systems. The main achievements include the establishment of a comprehensive and extensive evaluation index system, a focus on the coordination of human-environment relationships, development and application of comprehensive research methods, and a focus on the spatial and temporal dynamics of the integrated carrying capacity of resource and environment systems. At present, study on integrated carrying capacity of resource and environment systems are applied to regional economic development program management, such as spatial development, industrial planning, post-disaster reconstruction, and resource and environment monitoring and early warning. Future research, however, still needs to improve the evaluation index system and strengthen research on appropriate scale of analyses and dynamic changes of the integrated carrying capacity of resource and environment systems, in order to deepen the theoretical and empirical studies of integrated physical geography. This will provide supports for the research on the sustainability of regional resources, society, and ecological environment.

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    Ecosystem services for coupled human and environment systems
    Wenwu ZHAO, Yue LIU, Qiang FENG, Yaping WANG, Siqi YANG
    2018, 37 (1):  139-151.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.015
    Abstract ( 1009 )   HTML ( 8 )   PDF (2278KB) ( 2603 )   Save

    Ecosystem services bridge the natural environment and human well-being, and are the key content of coupled human-environment system research. This article puts forward a framework of research on ecosystem services for coupled human-environment systems, and systematically reviews the research hotspots of ecosystem services evaluation, ecosystem services trade-offs, ecosystem services driving factors, ecosystem supply-flow-demand, and identifies the key areas for future ecosystem services research. This article argues that: (1) international research on ecosystem services models have experienced a rapid development, and SAORES model is the outstanding representative of ecosystem service evaluation model in China; (2) ecosystem service trade-off analyses are relatively complex, and its mechanism depends on distinguish the relationships among ecosystem structure-process-function-service at multiple spatial and temporal scales; (3) natural factors are the basis of ecosystem services distribution, land use change can modify ecosystem structure, function, and services, and social and economic factors can lead to differences in ecosystem services trade-off and demand; (4) in order to clarify the coupling relationship between ecosystem service supply and demand, it is urgently needed to further identify the pathes of ecosystem service flowes; (5) future research of ecosystem services should include strengthening the analyses on the response of ecosystem services to global change, ecosystem services supply and demand flow focusing on the sustainable development aspect, integration and optimization of the dynamic evaluation of ecosystem services, the coupling of ecosystem services and human-environment systems, and the integration of ecosystem services and big data.

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    Review on land change modeling approaches
    Erfu DAI, Liang MA
    2018, 37 (1):  152-162.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.016
    Abstract ( 676 )   HTML ( 4 )   PDF (862KB) ( 1265 )   Save

    Land change has long been the research hot-spot of geography, and is also the focus of multiple disciplines including resource and environment economics, ecology, and urban planning. Land change models and simulations are an effective approach for understanding the mechanism of human-environment interactions. The modeling results are also valuable for the government to make resource management and environmental policies. Researchers of different fields have applied various approaches based on their theories to develop land change models. Attention has evolved from modeling land cover types to representation of human decision-making behaviors. The methods have shifted from statistical to cellular automata that can better characterize spatial patterns, and to economic methods and agent-based methods that can better represent the processes and mechanisms of land change. Future land change models should focus coupling multiple methods cross scales. Land change processes should be better represented. The complexity of the human-environment system can be better explained by a combination of land change models and other earth system models. The application of models to support policymaking also needs more attention.

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    Contemporary Chinese physical geography in the context of change:Review of the 2017 National Physical Geography Conference
    Yanxu LIU, Siqi YANG, Wenwu ZHAO, Bojie FU
    2018, 37 (1):  163-171.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.017
    Abstract ( 820 )   HTML ( 10 )   PDF (6116KB) ( 1155 )   Save

    In the face of the changing global environment and disciplinary hot spots, the first National Physical Geography Conference —with the topic of "New Development and New Challenges of Physical Geography in the Context of Change"— was held in Nanjing on 20-22 November 2017. The forefront contents of contemporary physical geography research, namely combination of geography and sustainable development, integration of physical geographical elements and processes, and system decision with spatial data mining have been the focus. At present, Chinese physical geographers have made the subject theories more concise; deepened the physical geographical process studies; achieved preliminary integration of physical geographical processes in critical regions and basins based on theoretical and methodological innovations; and practically supported decision making for the sustainable development of the coupled social-ecological system. In future research, we should deepen the process research of subdisciplines in physical geography, promote the development of a comprehensive physical geography, and improve the observation and simulation of the land surface system. These will further consolidate the position of physical geography as a foundation in geographical sciences, and make important contributions to global sustainable development and meet the demands of national key development strategies.

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