Tan, L.; Zhou, J.; Zhang, Y.; Liu, J., and Liu, H., 2020. Correlation between the construction of Zhejiang coastal military settlements in the Ming Dynasty and the natural terrain. In: Gong, D.; Zhang, M., and Liu, R. (eds.), Advances in Coastal Research: Engineering, Industry, Economy, and Sustainable Development. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 106, pp. 381–387. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
The military settlement for the coastal defense of Zhejiang Province in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) is representative of military settlements throughout ancient China. The distribution of military power was closely related to the natural terrain, and its military hierarchical structure conformed to fractal systems. Based on fractal theory, the box dimension method, which has been widely used in geography, was selected to calculate the geomorphic fractal dimension of coastal-defense settlements within a certain range. The traditional box-counting method was optimized by ArcGIS to obtain the geomorphic-complexity index. By analyzing the correlation between this index and the military-force scale data extracted from historical books, this article breaks through the qualitative conclusions of general studies and obtains the quantitative influence of the complexity of the natural terrain on military construction, especially on the distribution of the size of garrison troops. This method quantifies complex concepts through fractal dimensions and provides a new idea for research on the influence of the natural environment on the formation of traditional settlements.