Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of LUCC change with climate and ecosystem simulation, but the result could only be determined precisely if a high-resolution underlying land cover map is used. While the efforts based satellites have provided a good baseline for present land cover, what the next advancement in the research about LUCC change required is the development of reconstruction of historical LUCC change, especially spatially-explicit historical dataset. Being different from other similar studies, this study is based on the analysis of historical land use patterns in the traditional cultivated region of China. Taking no account of the less important factors, altitude, slope and population patterns are selected as the major drivers of reclamation in ancient China, and used to design the HCGM (Historical Cropland Gridding Model, at a 60 km×60 km resolution), which is an empirical model for allocating the historical cropland inventory data spatially to grid cells in each political unit. Then we use this model to reconstruct cropland distribution of the study area in 1820, and verify the result by prefectural cropland data of 1820, which is from the historical documents. The statistical analyzing result shows that the model can simulate the patterns of the cropland distribution in the historical period in the traditional cultivated region efficiently.
approachgridding dataChinese historical cropland records