PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (1): 121-129.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.013

• Comprehensive Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

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   

  1. Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, Ministry of Education, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2018-01-01 Revised:2018-01-15 Online:2018-01-28 Published:2018-01-28
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.L1624026;Research Project on the Development Strategy of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.2016-DX-C-02


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.

Key words: terrestrial system regionalization, dynamic regionalization, scheme optimization, boundary demarcation, research progress