Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (9): 1484-1493.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201609002

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Continuation and innovation of integrated studies in physical geography

Shaohong WU(), Dongsheng ZHAO, Yunhe YIN, Qinye YANG, Xueqin ZHANG   

  1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences andNatural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2016-08-15 Revised:2016-08-31 Online:2016-11-25 Published:2016-11-28
  • Supported by:
    Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41530749


A key characteristic of physical geography is the integrated study, which regards key physical factors of land surface, such as geomorphology, climate, hydrology, vegetation and soil, as a whole to examine interaction mechanism of the factors and land surface pattern caused by the interaction. As an outstanding geographer and Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor Zheng Du has long been endeavoring to promote the studies of theory and practice on integrated physical geography and obtained initiative achievement. In the research on spatial pattern and differentiation of physio-geographical regions of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, he established a vertical zonality system on plateau's montane area, announced the law of three-dimensional zonality on the plateau, clarified the developing mechanism of unique geo-ecological landscapes of the plateau and their spatial pattern, identified altitudinal cold and dry core region on the earth and developed regionlizational scheme of physio-geographical of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In the research on physical geographical regionalization, he constructed principle and methodology of physio-geographical regionalization on plateau and mountain, and proposed a novel scheme of China's eco-geographical regionalization. His theory and methods was widely applied to guide ecological construction. He placed emphasis on observing differential regulation of physio-geographical regions and respecting natural law in ecological construction, and further pointed out that harmonious relationship between economic development and environmental protection should be paid more attention in use of water and land resources in developing arid regions of northwest China. Based on ideal of harmony between man and nature, he strived to promote research and practice of environmental ethics in regional sustainable development. In this paper, the authors review Professor Zheng Du's studies and practices in integrated physical geography over the last 50 years or more in order to understand his systematic theories and innovative research methodology in this field.

Key words: Professor Zheng Du, integrated studies in physical geography, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China's eco-geographical regionalization, environmental ethics