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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2015, 4(4), 2728-2741; doi:10.3390/ijgi4042728

Fractal Characterization of Settlement Patterns and Their Spatial Determinants in Coastal Zones

1
School of Remote Sensing and Information Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
2
Institute of Urban Studies, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China
3
Hubei Provincial Department of Water Resources, Wuhan 430071, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wolfgang Kainz
Received: 25 September 2015 / Revised: 23 November 2015 / Accepted: 30 November 2015 / Published: 3 December 2015
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Abstract

Using box-counting and spatial regression, this paper analyzes the morphological characteristics of coastal settlement patterns and their spatial determinants, with a case of the Wen-Tai region on the Chinese eastern coast. Coastal settlement patterns, which reflect the interactions between people and the surrounding environment, can indicate the anthropogenic pressure sustained in the coastal zones. Characterization of settlement patterns in coastal zones is definitely needed for coastal management. Results indicate that coastal settlement patterns in the Wen-Tai region present significant fractal characteristics, and exhibit obvious spatial variations. The morphological characteristics of settlement patterns are significantly correlated with the standard deviation value of elevation and slope, as well as percentage of loam soils. In particular, cities with greater relief amplitude, higher slope variability, and higher percentage of loam soils would present more complexity in form. Proximity to roads and rivers are insignificant determinants. Our study contributes to the understanding of the spatial determinants of the morphological characteristics of settlement patterns in coastal zones. We argue that fractal dimension provides a useful tool to facilitate the identification of vulnerability hotspots for coastal studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: fractal dimension; settlement patterns; coastal zone; spatial determinants; spatial regression fractal dimension; settlement patterns; coastal zone; spatial determinants; spatial regression
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, Z.; Yang, X.; Xiao, R. Fractal Characterization of Settlement Patterns and Their Spatial Determinants in Coastal Zones. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2015, 4, 2728-2741.

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