Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 72 ›› Issue (1): 135-147.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201701011

• Principle and Application of Geodetector • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Delineation of the northern border of the tropical zone ofChina's mainland using Geodetector

Yuxiang DONG1,2(), Qian XU1(), Ren YANG1, Chengdong XU3, Yuying WANG1   

  1. 1. Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Urbanization and Geo-simulation, School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2. Xinhua College of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510520, China
    3. LREIS, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2016-09-22 Revised:2016-11-28 Online:2017-01-20 Published:2017-03-23
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41371030


The northern border of the tropical zone of China has been the focus of studies on comprehensive physical regionalization. Based on different indexes and methods, the border was delineated by different scholars, but their results varied greatly. Based on the Geodetector model and regionalization thought of spatial stratified heterogeneity, the northern border of the tropical zone of China's mainland was investigated. Climatic elements were used as dominant demarcation partitioning indexes, combined with auxiliary indexes such as soil and multiple cropping types. The key results were as follows: (1) Using Geodetector, the northern border of the tropical zone was delineated. From west to east, the border goes through Lincang, Simao, Yuxi and Gejiu in Yunnan, Baise, Mashan, Guigang and Wuzhou in Guangxi, Zhaoqing, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Heyuan and Meizhou in Guangdong, and Zhangzhou, Quanzhou and Putian in Fujian. It generally agrees with the 12℃ isotherm of the coldest monthly mean temperature, soil border between lateritic red soil and red soil, and border of double cropping rice or its continuous thermophile dry framing and single (double) cropping rice or its continuous chimonophilous dry framing. (2) The q average value of all indexes for the border was 0.40. Using this model, regionalization principles—homogeneity of the within-strata value and heterogeneity of the between-strata value—were satisfied. The border meets the requirements of zonal heterogeneity between tropical and subtropical zones. Therefore, it is reasonable to use Geodetector in studies of comprehensive physical regionalization, and it can provide high-precision technical support.

Key words: Geodetector, the northern border of tropical zone, comprehensive physical regionalization, China