Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (6): 1190-1204.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201906009

• Transport Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evolution of accessibility spatial pattern of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in 1976-2016

GAO Xingchuan1,CAO Xiaoshu2,3(),LI Tao2,3,LV Minjuan1   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
    2. Northwest Land and Resource Research Centre, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
    3. Key Laboratory for Urbanization and Land Environment Geo-simulation in Northwest China, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
  • Received:2018-08-22 Revised:2019-03-05 Online:2019-06-25 Published:2019-06-20
  • Contact: CAO Xiaoshu
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41831284);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41671160);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41501120)


The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is a unique geography-ecology-population-traffic region on the earth. The characteristics and regularities of the transport network development are an important breakthrough for the coordinated development of man-land relationship, which is of great significance to the research in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Accordingly, this paper analyzes the evolution of transport network in this region between 1976 and 2016, and explores its accessibility using a temporal distance calculation model based on network analysis by taking provincial capitals, prefecture-level cities and counties as transport nodes. Results suggest that, first, transport network is more complex and the regional connectivity is gradually enhanced in the plateau, preliminarily forming a grid-like transport network; second, the average minimum accessibility time between anchor cities and between counties has been vastly reduced to 11.89 hours and 18.84 hours, manifesting a gradually growing spatial pattern from east to west and remarkable effects of time-space convergence; third, anchor cities are the poles of regional development, with average accessibility time to around cities reduced to 16.49 hours, indicating that anchor cities tied with others have been improved; fourth, the traffic circles of anchor cities and counties are evolving consistently, accessibility time from various places in the study area to their nearest cities or counties are decreasing, presenting a contiguous pattern of short-time traffic circle with 4-hour access to central cities and 2-hour access to counties along important arterial roads, thus improving external transport connection of towns. And traffic corridors are gradually formed in the Huangshui River Valley, and the Middle Region of "One River and Two Streams" in Tibet.

Key words: transport network, accessibility, spatial pattern, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau