This study is based on five Landsat TM remote sensing images obtained in Nanjing City in 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 respectively. With landscape index method, fans analysis method and some other spatial analysis methods, the expansion characteristics of Nanjing City and its evolution were analyzed quantitatively, which revealed urban expansion in Nanjing City and morphological evolution feature in time and space. The results show that, during the period of 2004—2016, the construction land expansion of Nanjing City was mainly realized through occupying large areas of cultivated, and the speed of city expansion was faster than population growth, which was not conducive to the sustainable development of Nanjing City structure. In the growth of the construction of the city area, city expansion rate increases year by year, city expansion first strong expands and then the expansion tends to slow down, regional differences of city space growth are significant. The internal structure of Nanjing City tends to be stable, the external contour tends to be compacted, and urban area expansion is weakened. Expansion mode is mainly along the river, Nanjing City gradually forms urban spatial structure, exhibiting the pattern of the “two belts and one axis”, and is in a multi center development trend. Urban expansion in Nanjing City forms a non-differential balanced state space, and the city expansion is mainly concentrated in the north, southwest and southeast of of Nanjing, and shows obvious characteristics of various stages.
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