Monday, September 14, 2015

Micro-Urban Heat Islands

In this article GIS was shown to be a helpful aid alongside satellite data (LANDSAT) and thermal data (TM band 6) to map micro-urban heat islands (MUHIs) in Dallas, Texas. Micro-urban heat islands are locations that produce “hot spots” within a city. Methods for studying urban heat islands are urban-rural meteorological station comparisons, auto-traverse methods, remote sensing, and computer modeling. This article focuses on a study done using satellite data to map MUHIs. The objective of this study is to test the usefulness of satellite data for classifying tree cover information and to use thermal mapping alongside GIS to locate micro-urban heat islands. 
The study area within Dallas is named White Rock Lake, the area contains a variety of landscapes with old and new neighborhoods proving to be a good test for satellite data.
Satellite data paired with thermal data and algorithms are used to produce a thermal pattern distribution map of White Rock Lake. With this the surface temperature can be determined at any pixel location.  

Map of White Rock Lake showing the tree canopy along with roads and neighborhoods.
GIS is then used to merge the layers needed to map MUHIs. Using the interactive GIS software MapFactory on a Macintosh  workstation the LANDSAT TM scene, the land use classification, and the color coded thermal map of White Rock Lake were able to be layered together to create a map.
The Results were that hot spots in the White Rock Lake area existed as heat island patterns around the center and cooled down the farther away from the center where the tree line was.

In conclusion the study demonstrated the usefulness of LANDSAT TM data for mapping micro-urban heat islands. And that yet again GIS can be applied to a variety of fields of work.

Aniello, C., Morgan, K., Busbey, A., & Newland, L. (1995). Mapping micro-urban heat islands using Landsat TM and a GIS. Computers & Geosciences21(8), 965-969.

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