Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (3): 390-399.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201603003

• Geomorphology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The changing distribution of rocky desertification in the Guangxi Region, 1930s to 2000

Zhaoqing HAN1(), Youhua RAN2,3(), Junxiu LIU1, Jun LI1   

  1. 1. Center for Historical Geographic Studies, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
    2. Cold and Arid Region Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2015-06-23 Revised:2015-11-11 Online:2016-03-25 Published:2016-03-25


This article begins by defining the stony hills as places where light and more severe rocky desertification occurred in the Republic of China, based on an identification of stony hills found in a contemporary archive entitled Protection Regulations for Stony Hills and Forest in the Counties of Guangxi Province. We have digitized all of the stony hill areas that were depicted on 1:100 000 scale topographic maps of Guangxi by the Land Survey Bureau of General Staff Department of Nationalist Government of China in the 1930s, and we have compared them with the distribution of rocky desertification in 2000 in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region through a graphics overlaying operation, thus revealing the spatial change in the distribution of rocky desertification in Guangxi in the past 70 years. We conclude that: (1) The area of light and more severe rocky desertification in Guangxi in the 1930s comes to 31922.25 km2, which is 4799 km2 more than 27123.21 km2 in 2000. This shows that rocky desertification in the Republic of China covered a larger area than that of contemporary Guangxi. However, the spatial change varied in different areas: in some places rocky desertification increased while in others it declined. (2) The data of 2000 shows that the area of rock desertification declined in 47 counties, and that the total reduction is 9045.5 km2. The reduction was mainly observed in the western and central part of Guangxi. The most significant reduction occurred in Du'an County, being 894.8 km2. (3) The area of rocky desertification expanded in 30 counties, and the region of expansion is concentrated in northeastern Guangxi. The expansion is the greatest in Quanzhou, being 556.55 km2.

Key words: historical physical geography, rocky desertification, study of historical literature, Guangxi Area