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Relationship between settlement location and morphological landform : a GIS method applied to Çankırı province

Sürmeli, Biricik Gözde
This study aims to develop a method to investigate the relationship between settlement locations and the morphological landforms using geographical information systems (GIS). The method is applied to Çankiri province, a mountainous terrain, which is covered in seventy-seven sheets of topographic maps at 1:25.000 scale. Three databases are created and used in this study: 1) Settlement database comprising various topographic and landform attributes of 891 settlements, 2) Morphological landform database composed of 4042 landform polygon elements digitized from 1:25.000 topographic maps, and 3) Topographic database containing the digital elevation model of the area and its derivatives. The first step in the algorithm is to classify the area into four main landform classes, namely, valley, slope, flood and top. Unsuitable landforms are then clipped out based on the thresholds derived from three topographic properties (elevation, slope and aspect). Accordingly, about 2 % of the settlements and 12 % of the area are removed. The relationship is investigated using the percentages of remaining settlements and landform classes. Further analyses such as position of the settlement within the landform polygon and type of the nearest landforms are carried out for final interpretation. Following conclusions are reached on the relationship between settlement location and morphological landforms: - Percentages of settlements for flood, valley, slope and top are 8.37, 27.52, 58.60 and 5.50, respectively. Considering the percentages of the landforms provided in the area, however, valley is the most preferred landform followed by flood type. Slope and top landforms are less preferred. About 86 % of the settlements are concentrated along valley-slope boundary. - Morphological boundaries of flood and top landforms are consistent with the settlement zones. The valley-slope boundary, on the