Analysis of urban heat island effect in Visakhapatnam, India, using multi-temporal satellite imagery: causes and possible remedies

Abstract

The thermal data sets of Landsat for the years 2014 and 2019 are used to assess the transients of land surface temperature (LST) in Visakhapatnam, India. The variation in estimated temperature fields is compared with the land use pattern to validate temperature with reference to land use land cover (LULC). During the considered period, the built-up area in the study region increased by 63%. The aerial extent of water bodies has come down by 12.5%, and there is a significant drop in vegetation cover. The LST of the regions with the densely built-up area is high compared to the other types of land use. A mean rise of 4.8 °C in the LST has been noticed over the study area during this period. Few monitoring points representing rural areas within the proximity of the study region have been established, and the LST is monitored explicitly. As a result, it has been observed that the temperature in rural areas is relatively lower than the city region, which confirms the urban heat island effect. A micro-level study has been conducted by dividing the study area into four zones as per administrative boundaries. Statistical analysis using the zonal attributes affirms a positive correlation of 0.55 between LST and the built-up area. In contrast, a negative correlation of 0.52 between LST and vegetation cover is observed. The LULC results are validated using Google Earth Images captured at a finer resolution. Being selected as one of the cities under the smart city mission by the Urban Development Ministry of Govt. of India, it is expected that the land use pattern in Visakhapatnam will change drastically in the coming years. The findings of this study foster the relationship between LST and LULC, and the conclusions thus drawn would help planners for the sustainable development of Visakhapatnam.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.URB.TOTL.IN.ZS.

  2. 2.

    https://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/.

  3. 3.

    https://www.usgs.gov/land-resources/nli/landsat/landsat-8.

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Acknowledgement

Authors acknowledge the support provided by Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani in facilitating the resources.

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This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Correspondence to Harish Puppala.

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Puppala, H., Singh, A.P. Analysis of urban heat island effect in Visakhapatnam, India, using multi-temporal satellite imagery: causes and possible remedies. Environ Dev Sustain (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-020-01122-0

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Keywords

  • Urban heat island (UHI)
  • Land use land cover (LULC)
  • Green spaces
  • Land surface temperature (LST)