Fractal Analysis of Satellite-Detected Urban Heat Island Effect

This study reports on a study of the urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon in Guangzhou, China. In the study, surface radiant temperatures derived from Landsat TM thermal infrared images of December, 13, 1989, March 3, 1996, and August 29, 1997 were used. To examine the spatial distribution of surface radiant temperatures, transects were drawn and analyzed from each temperature image. The fractal dimensions of these transects were then computed using the divider method, to better understand the spatial variability of surface radiant temperatures caused by the thermal behavior of different land-cover types and landscape pattern characteristics. The effect of urban development on the geographical distribution of surface radiant temperatures and thus on the UHI was also investigated. The results revealed two major heat islands, one in the southwest and the other in the east of the city. The distribution of the UHIs was closely associated with industrial land uses but not with residential land uses. Changes in fractal dimension in different seasons were not only attributed to solar illumination and climatologic conditions relating to soil moisture and air temperature, but also to the topographic variation and the spatial arrangement and extent of different land cover types. Urban development increased the spatial variability of radiant temperatures, resulting in higher fractal dimension values.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 555-566
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01001827
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 9 2005 6:13AM