Environmental Modeling & Assessment

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 197–210 | Cite as

The Effect of Urban Expansion on Urban Surface Temperature in Shenyang, China: an Analysis with Landsat Imagery

  • Dongmei Lu
  • Kaishan Song
  • Shuying Zang
  • Mingming Jia
  • Jia Du
  • Chunying Ren


Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM)/Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) images were used to assess the urban expansion dynamics and the corresponding thermal characteristics in Shenyang City, China. Unsupervised classification (ISODATA) and a hierarchy decision tree were applied to eight scenes of the Landsat images to derive the land use/land cover (LULC) around the Shenyang metropolitan region from 1986 to 2007. Landsat TM/ETM+ thermal infrared (TIR) images (band 6) were used to investigate the urban surface thermal patterns by retrieving land surface temperature (LST) using a mono-window algorithm. Results reveal that the built-up area has doubled from 1986 (20.2 %) to 2007 (42.3 %), most of which is converted from croplands around the urban fringe area. The built-up area has close association with the population increase (R 2 = 0.89), the gross domestic production (R 2 = 0.94), and fixed asset investments (R 2 = 0.95). These illustrate the contributions of socioeconomic factors to the rapid urban expansion in Shenyang. Three urban heat island (UHI) indices [i.e., heat effect contribution index (H i ), weighted heat unit index (D 1), and regional weighted heat unit index (D 2)] were used to characterize the urban thermal patterns for removing the phenological effects and to confirm the linkage between UHI and urban expansion. Results show that urban areas have an obvious daytime heating effect (heat source) that is strongly correlated with urban expansion, wherein a higher percentage of an impervious surface is usually associated with a higher surface temperature. Further analyses indicate that urban expansion is fairly correlated to H i ' (R 2 = 0.63) but strongly to D 2 (R 2 = 0.91). Additional research is needed to further quantify the inner urban area to gain a better understanding of UHI resulting from various heat fluxes and urban components.


Indicators Remote sensing Shenyang Urban heat island Urban expansion 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41030743) and the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2013CB430401). The authors would also like to thank Jin Cui for her assistance in image processing. We like to thank anonymous referees for their valuable comments that strengthened the manuscript. The last but not the least, we would like to thank Professor Lin Li from Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, for the language editing of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dongmei Lu
    • 1
  • Kaishan Song
    • 2
  • Shuying Zang
    • 3
  • Mingming Jia
    • 2
  • Jia Du
    • 2
  • Chunying Ren
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Computer ScienceJilin Jianzhu UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, CASChangchunChina
  3. 3.Geography Science CollegeHarbin Normal UniversityHarbinChina

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