Use of satellite images for observational and quantitative analysis of urban heat islands around the world

Kaufui V. Wong, Sarmad Chaudhry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Urban Heat Island Intensity (UHII) is calculated as the spatially-averaged temperature difference between an urban and its surrounding rural area. This concept, however, provides an umbrella for a range of diversified ideas that include the temperature difference between the densely developed urban area and least developed area or between two different built-up areas. There are also averages for the season, for the year, for multiple years, etc. and UHII quoted for the day and another for the night. The objective of this work is to examine the urban heat island effect for cities around the world, using readily available data. The innovation is in using data from the Landsat satellites for different cities previously not studied. Thermal images of the Earth were obtained and analyzed to produce surface temperature maps. These maps showed that the temperature in the urban environments were significantly higher than the temperature in the surrounding countryside, a defining characteristic of urban heat island. Furthermore, the urban and rural areas in the images were separated and analyzed individually to quantitatively measure the temperature difference. It was found that the UHII could be 0.3-5.1°C for the eleven cities investigated. Miami and Shenzen are two cities which seem to have been missed in previous studies because they were limited in their scope and responsibilities, and their methods required much more resources for the longer term studies. It is not the claim here that a UHI is definitively established by the analysis presented of the Landsat satellite data. The present work demonstrates the use of a possible planning tool in terms of understanding where urban areas may be subjected to additional heat. Our use of the method shows that a UHI is probably taking place at the time of observation, and precautionary notices should be sent out to the community to take preventative measures to ensure their health and wellbeing. The minimal resources required is the demonstration shown by our work of the usefulness of this method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2012
Pages661-674
Number of pages14
EditionPARTS A AND B
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
EventASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2012 - Houston, TX, United States
Duration: Nov 9 2012Nov 15 2012

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)
NumberPARTS A AND B
Volume6

Other

OtherASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2012
CountryUnited States
CityHouston, TX
Period11/9/1211/15/12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Wong, K. V., & Chaudhry, S. (2012). Use of satellite images for observational and quantitative analysis of urban heat islands around the world. In ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2012 (PARTS A AND B ed., pp. 661-674). (ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE); Vol. 6, No. PARTS A AND B). https://doi.org/10.1115/IMECE2012-93029