The Spatio-Temporal Dynamic Pattern of Rural Residential Land in China in the 1990s Using Landsat TM Images and GIS
Through interpreting Landsat TM images, this study analyzes the spatial distribution of rural settlements in China in 2000. It calculates rural residential land percentage for every 1-km2 cell. The entire country is divided into 33 regions to investigate the spatio-temporal dynamic patterns of rural residential land during the 1990s. According to the remote sensing survey, the rural residential land increased by 7.88 × 105 ha in the 1990s. The increment of rural residential land was 0.55 million ha in 1990 1995 and 0.23 million ha in 1995 2000. In 1990 1995, rural residential land increased dramatically in the eastern regions such as the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, and North China Plain, accounting for 80.80% of the national growth; the expansion in the western regions was much more moderate. In 1995 2000, the expansion of rural residential land in eastern regions slowed, accounting for only 58.54% of the increase at the national level, whereas the expansion in the western regions accelerated. Rapid rural residential development resulted from increasing home construction and the limited control on rural land. The great regional disparity reflected the regional economic development and land-use policy change. Our finding shows that nearly 60% of the rural residential area came from cropland.