Chinese Geographical Science

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 949–961 | Cite as

Siting of Dark Sky Reserves in China Based on Multi-source Spatial Data and Multiple Criteria Evaluation Method

  • Ye Wei
  • Zuoqi ChenEmail author
  • Chunliang Xiu
  • Bailang Yu
  • Hongxing Liu


With the rapid development of population and urbanization and the progress of lighting technology, the influence of artificial light sources has increased. In this context, the problem of light pollution has attracted wide attention. Previous studies have revealed that light pollution can affect biological living environments, human physical and mental health, astronomical observations and many other aspects. Therefore, organizations internationally have begun to advocate for measures to prevent light pollution, many of which are recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). In addition to improving public awareness, legal protections, technical treatments and other means, the construction of Dark Sky Reserves (DSR) has proven to be an effective preventive measure. So far, as a pioneer practice in this field, the IDA has identified 11 DSRs worldwide. Based on the DA requirements for DSRs, this paper utilizes NPP-VIIRS nighttime light data and other multi-source spatial data to analyze possible DSR sites in China. The land of China was divided into more than ten thousand 30 km × 30 km fishnets, and constraint and suitable conditions were designated, respectively, as light and cloud conditions, and scale, traffic and attractiveness conditions. Using a multiple criteria evaluation, 1443 fishnets were finally selected as most suitable sites for the construction of DSRs. Results found that less than 25% of China is not subject to light pollution, and less than 13% is suitable for DSR construction, primarily in western and northern areas, including Tibet, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu and Inner Mongolia.


Dark Sky Reserves light pollution NPP-VIIRS siting multiple criteria evaluation China 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ye Wei
    • 1
  • Zuoqi Chen
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Chunliang Xiu
    • 4
  • Bailang Yu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hongxing Liu
    • 5
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Geographical Processes and Ecological Security in Changbai Mountains, Ministry of Education, School of Geographical SciencesNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science (Ministry of Education)East China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.School of Geographic SciencesEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.College of Jang Ho ArchitectureNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina
  5. 5.Department of GeographyUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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