This study examines the impact of spatial landscape configuration (e.g., clustered, dispersed) on land‐surface temperatures (LST) over Phoenix, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. We classified detailed land‐cover types via object‐based image analysis (OBIA) using Geoeye‐1 at 3‐m resolution (Las Vegas) and QuickBird at 2.4‐m resolution (Phoenix). Spatial autocorrelation (local Moran's I) was then used to test for spatial dependence and to determine how clustered or dispersed points were arranged. Next, we used Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data acquired over Phoenix (daytime on 10 June and nighttime on 17 October 2011) and Las Vegas (daytime on 6 July and nighttime on 27 August 2005) to examine day‐ and nighttime LST with regard to the spatial arrangement of anthropogenic and vegetation features. Local Moran's I values of each land‐cover type were spatially correlated to surface temperature. The spatial configuration of grass and trees shows strong negative correlations with LST, implying that clustered vegetation lowers surface temperatures more effectively. In contrast, clustered spatial arrangements of anthropogenic land‐cover types, especially impervious surfaces and open soil, elevate LST. These findings suggest that city planners and managers should, where possible, incorporate clustered grass and trees to disperse unmanaged soil and paved surfaces, and fill open unmanaged soil with vegetation. Our findings are in line with national efforts to augment and strengthen green infrastructure, complete streets, parking management, and transit‐oriented development practices, and reduce sprawling, unwalkable housing development.
Urban forestry is an important component of the urban ecosystem that can effectively ameliorate temperatures by providing shade and through evapotranspiration. While it is well known that vegetation abundance is negatively correlated to land surface temperature, the impacts of the spatial arrangement (e.g. clustered or dispersed) of vegetation cover on the urban thermal environment requires further investigation. In this study, we coupled remote sensing techniques with spatial statistics to quantify the configuration of vegetation cover and its variable influences on seasonal surface temperatures in central Phoenix. The objectives of this study are to: (1) determine spatial arrangement of green vegetation cover using continuous spatial autocorrelation indices combined with high-resolution remotely-sensed data; (2) examine the role of grass and trees, especially their spatial patterns on seasonal and diurnal land surface temperatures by controlling the effects of vegetation abundance; (3) investigate the sensitivity of the vegetation–temperature relationship at varying geographical scales. The spatial pattern of urban vegetation was measured using a local spatial autocorrelation index—the local Moran’s Iv. Results show that clustered or less fragmented patterns of green vegetation lower surface temperature more effectively than dispersed patterns. The relationships between the local Moran’s Iv and surface temperature are evidenced to be strongest during summer daytime and lowest during winter nighttime. Results of multiple regression analyses demonstrate significant impacts of spatial arrangement of vegetation on seasonal surface temperatures. Our analyses of vegetation spatial patterns at varying geographical scales suggest that an area extent of ˜200 m is optimal for examining the vegetation–temperature relationship. We provide a methodological framework to quantify the spatial pattern of urban features and to examine their impacts on the biophysical characteristics of the urban environment. The insights gained from our study results have significant implications for sustainable urban development and resource management.
Abstract:We quantified the spatio-temporal patterns of land cover/land use (LCLU) change to document and evaluate the daytime surface urban heat island (SUHI) for five hot subtropical desert cities (Beer Sheva, Israel; Hotan, China; Jodhpur, India; Kharga, Egypt; and Las Vegas, NV, USA). Sequential Landsat images were acquired and classified into the USGS 24-category Land Use Categories using object-based image analysis with an overall accuracy of 80% to 95.5%. We estimated the land surface temperature (LST) of all available Landsat data from June to August for years 1990, 2000, and 2010 and computed the urban-rural difference in the average LST and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for each city. Leveraging non-parametric statistical analysis, we also investigated the impacts of city size and population on the urban-rural difference in the summer daytime LST and NDVI. Urban expansion is observed for all five cities, but the urbanization pattern varies widely from city to city. A negative SUHI effect or an oasis effect exists for all the cities across all three years, and the amplitude of the oasis effect tends to increase as the urban-rural NDVI difference increases. A strong oasis effect is observed for Hotan and Kharga with evidently larger NDVI difference than the other cities. Larger cities tend to have a weaker cooling effect while a negative association is identified between NDVI difference and population. Understanding the daytime oasis effect of desert cities is vital for sustainable urban planning and the design of adaptive management, providing valuable guidelines to foster smart desert cities in an era of climate variability, uncertainty, and change.
scite is a Brooklyn-based organization that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.