THE SPATIAL PATTERN OF GROTTOES IN CHINA AT THE COUNTY SCALE: A CASE STUDY OF ANYUE COUNTY
Keywords: Chinese Grottoes, Spatial Pattern, Spatial Analysis, GIS, Anyue County
Abstract. Grottoes in China are crucial components of immovable cultural heritage. According to the 2020 national survey conducted by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the Sichuan-Chongqing region boasts a total of 2,850 grottoes and rock carvings, accounting for approximately half of the national total. Among these, Anyue County, situated in the central part of Sichuan Province, stands out as one of the most concentrated and distinctive areas for grottoes in the Sichuan-Chongqing region. Therefore, conducting a spatial pattern analysis of grottoes holds significant theoretical and practical value for the protection and cultural dissemination of cultural heritage in Anyue County. Building upon the spatial distribution of grottoes in Anyue County, this study integrates multiple geospatial data sources, such as water systems and elevation. By employing methods such as buffer analysis, kernel density analysis, and standard deviation ellipse analysis, it delineates the spatial distribution pattern in Anyue County and preliminarily identifies their Spatial distribution rules. The findings of this study are as follows: (1) Within the administrative boundaries of Anyue County, grottoes exhibit a distribution pattern characterized by "less in the west and more in the east" and "one belt with three cores." (2) Grottoes and rock carvings in Anyue County primarily concentrate within a 1500-meter range on both sides of rivers, with the number decreasing as the distance from the rivers increases. Moreover, there are significantly fewer sites near inward-flowing rivers compared to outward-flowing rivers. (3) Natural factors influence the distribution of grottoes, with the number of grottoes being much lower in higher-altitude areas than in lower-altitude areas.