地理学报 ›› 2017, Vol. 72 ›› Issue (7): 1316-1327.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201707015

• • 上一篇    


CHEN Jiyu1, WU Chaoyu2(), SITU Shangji3, 陈吉余1, 吴超羽2(), 司徒尚纪3   

  1. 1. 华东师范大学 河口海岸国家重点研究室,上海 200062
    2. 中山大学 近岸海洋科学与技术研究中心,广州 510275
    3. 中山大学地理系,广州 510275
  • 收稿日期:2017-02-11 修回日期:2017-03-23 出版日期:2017-08-07 发布日期:2017-08-07
  • 作者简介:

    作者简介:陈吉余, 男, 江苏灌云人, 教授, 中国工程院院士, 中国地理学会会员(S110004279H), 主要从事河口海岸研究。E-mail: jychen@sklec.ecnu.edu.cn

Wu Shangshi: One of the outstanding founders of Chinese modern geography

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China;
    2. Center for Coastal Ocean Science and Technology Research, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
    3. School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2017-02-11 Revised:2017-03-23 Published:2017-08-07 Online:2017-08-07


吴尚时(1904-1947)是中国近代地理学重要开创者之一。1928年吴尚时获金牌毕业于中山大学,次年考取公费前往法国学习地理学。他先后就读于里昂大学和格日诺布尔大学,授业于A. 阿历克斯,M.巴尔台和R.布朗夏尔等,布氏是维达尔·布拉什知名弟子。1934年吴氏学成归国,任中山大学地理系教授,1939-1945年任地理系主任。时逢日军侵华,学校不断搬迁逃避战火,华南、西南千里迁徙之途成为先生的野外考察路线,这需要非同一般的坚毅意志和对科学的献身精神。先生学术文稿泰半完成于此艰危时期,过度的劳累和极度困苦的环境严重损害了他的健康。1947年,先生去世,年仅43岁。

关键词: 吴尚时, 近代地理学, 法国地理学派, 中山大学


Wu Shangshi (1904-1947) is considered one of the outstanding modern geographers emerging in the early 20th century in China. It is partly a result of the introduction of modern sciences from the West. Wu graduated as a gold medalist in Sun Yat-sen University (SYU) in 1928. He was then granted scholarship to study geography in France. He studied at the University of Lyon and the University of Grenoble under the supervision of A. Allix, M. Pardé and R. Blanchard,who was one of the best known students of V. de la Blanche. In 1934, Wu finished his study in France and returned to SYU to serve as a professor of geography. He was head of the department in 1939-1945, the most difficult and perilous period during the Japanese invasion. The university moved constantly to flee the flames of war. The thousands of miles across south and south-west China became Wu's research field. To continue one's work under such circumstances required an extraordinary determination and dedication to science. Excessive hard work in tough environments ruined his health. Wu died in 1947 at the age of 43.
Among the second generation of Chinese modern geographers, Wu was a rare example of an integrated geographer. He combined comprehensive and complex geographic thought with a balanced approach between holistic perspective and detailed research. In addition, he possessed an outstanding ability to conduct field work. As such, many of his research findings have withstood the test of time and remain relevant to this day. For instance, Wu proposed "one belt and three arcs" to summarize the distribution of the mountain ranges in China. On the long debates of the stratigraphic sequence of the red bed formations "Danxia" and "Nanxiong", Wu suggested an alternative viewpoint that the two formations could be deposited at approximately the same time but in different faces and it has been confirmed by modern geologic investigation some 50 years later. Both contributions were listed on the "Great Geographical Discoveries of China in 100 Years". Wu's pioneering work covered a wide range of disciplines of geography: geomorphology, hydrography, climatology, cartography,regional geography, etc. Most of his research involved a combination of keen observation, incisive logical deduction, broad knowledge and professional instinct. The present paper summarizes Wu's major accomplishments which are scientifically significant to the establishment of modern and contemporary geography in China. It also reveals that Wu's scientific thought and practice can be traced to the French schools of geography and other Western countries.
However, his accomplishments cannot be fully appreciated without understanding of the significant role that traditional Chinese culture played in his consciousness. Wu's social connections and educational background could have easily allowed him to move within the power circles and become part of it. Yet he remained upright and forwent opportunities for fame and fortune, choosing Geography as his life's work. Wu was also a renowned educator whose list of students features names such as Luo Kaifu, Zeng Zhaoxuan, Xu Junming etc. The Geography Department in SYU has been being one of the important bases of China's modern geography science, to which Wu's crucial contributions cannot be left unrecognized.
A scientific park is under construction by the City Hall of Guangzhou at the site where Wu identified an ancient wave-cut cliff in 1937. Wu' statue placed in the park was designed by the well-known sculptors

Key words: Wu Shangshi, modern geography, Sun Yat-sen University, France, Chinese culture