Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 186, Issue 12, pp 8161–8173 | Cite as

Analysis of multi-temporal landsat satellite images for monitoring land surface temperature of municipal solid waste disposal sites

  • Wai Yeung Yan
  • Prathees Mahendrarajah
  • Ahmed Shaker
  • Kamil Faisal
  • Robin Luong
  • Mohamed Al-Ahmad


This studypresents a remote sensing application of using time series Landsat satellite images for monitoring the Trail Road and Nepean municipal solid waste (MSW) disposal sites in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Currently, the Trail Road landfill is in operation; however, during the 1960s and 1980s, the city relied heavily on the Nepean landfill. More than 400 Landsat satellite images were acquired from the US Geological Survey (USGS) data archive between 1984 and 2011. Atmospheric correction was conducted on the Landsat images in order to derive the landfill sites’ land surface temperature (LST). The findings unveil that the average LST of the landfill was always higher than the immediate surrounding vegetation and air temperature by 4 to 10 °C and 5 to 11.5 °C, respectively. During the summer, higher differences of LST between the landfill and its immediate surrounding vegetation were apparent, while minima were mostly found in fall. Furthermore, there was no significant temperature difference between the Nepean landfill (closed) and the Trail Road landfill (active) from 1984 to 2007. Nevertheless, the LST of the Trail Road landfill was much higher than the Nepean by 15 to 20 °C after 2007. This is mainly due to the construction and dumping activities (which were found to be active within the past few years) associated with the expansion of the Trail Road landfill. The study demonstrates that the use of the Landsat data archive can provide additional and viable information for the aid of MSW disposal site monitoring.


Municipal solid waste Landfill Landfill gas Land surface temperature Multi-temporal Landsat Remote sensing 



This paper is an extended version of the paper “Trail Road Landfill Site Monitoring Using Multi-Temporal Landsat Satellite Data” presented at the Geomatics Conference 2010 and ISPRS COM I Symposium, Calgary, Canada. The research was supported by a discovery grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). We acknowledge Mr. Peter Filipowich from the city of Ottawa Government, who provided the Nepean and Trail Road landfill monitoring reports. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wai Yeung Yan
    • 1
  • Prathees Mahendrarajah
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ahmed Shaker
    • 1
  • Kamil Faisal
    • 1
    • 3
  • Robin Luong
    • 1
  • Mohamed Al-Ahmad
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Geomatics, College of Environmental DesignKing AbdulAziz UniversityMakkahSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Environment Public AuthoritySafatKuwait

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