Original Articles

Studies of Analogies of Fractal Structure between River Networks and Systems of Central places: A Theoretical Approach to the Symmetry between Physical and Human Geographical Systems

  • 1. Department of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871 China;
    2. Department of Geography, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, 130024 China

Received date: 2000-09-01

  Revised date: 2001-01-01

  Online published: 2001-01-24


It is demonstrated in the paper that the cascade structure of river networks is analogous to that of urban systems or systems of central places, i.e.,the two kind of systems have the same fractal recurrence. Where mathematical models are concerned, the first and second ones of Horton’s laws of drainage composition is same to Beckmann’s models of city hierarchies which are based on central place theory; Hack’s law, which can be derived from the second and third Horton’s models, is same to allometric relationships between area and population of urban systems, the latter is connected with Beckmann’s models and thereby with central place theory. A conclusion can be drawed as follows: urban systems as well as central places are symmetrical with river networks, as is generalized, we have a conclusion that human geographical systems are symmetrical with physical geographical systems, with the symmetry breaking to some extent in some aspects.

Cite this article

CHEN Yan guang, LIU Ji sheng . Studies of Analogies of Fractal Structure between River Networks and Systems of Central places: A Theoretical Approach to the Symmetry between Physical and Human Geographical Systems[J]. PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY, 2001 , 20(1) : 81 -88 . DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2001.01.011


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