Analysis of the Relationship between Urban Heat Island Effect and Urban Expansion in Chengdu, China

  • College of Environment and Resources, Institute of Remote Sensing Information Engineering, Fuzhou University, Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing of Soil Erosion and Disaster Protection, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350108, China

Received date: 2013-05-30

  Revised date: 2013-08-19

  Online published: 2014-01-05


To study the relationship between urban heat island (UHI) effect and urban expansion in Chengdu's main urban area, three Landsat images in the years of 1992, 2001 and 2009 were used to retrieve land surface temperature (LST), built-up land and vegetation coverage of the area. The three thermal images were normalized and scaled to several grades to reduce seasonal difference, then overlaid to produce a difference image by subtracting corresponding pixels in order to find out the change of the UHI among different dates. In the period of the 17-year study, the urban built-up area of Chengdu has increased significantly, which dramatically increased from 91.24 km2 in 1992 to 403.8 km2 in 2009. The extent of the UHI expansion through the study years was due to large scale urban sprawl and the pattern of the UHI has changed from single-center aggregation to polycentric annular distribution. The quantitative analysis of the UHI using Urban-Heat-Island Ratio Index (URI) reveals that the UHI effect in the area has been greatly mitigated in the past 17 years, as the URI has decreased from 0.72 in 1992 to 0.33 in 2009. Regression statistics indicate that the built-up land and vegetation coverage are critical factors for influencing on LST. The built-up land has a positive exponential relationship with LST rather than a simple linear one, which suggests that high percent built-up land could accelerate the rise of LST. The study also demonstrated that the vegetation coverage plays a distinct role on mitigating the UHI effect, which reduces the built-up land while increases vegetation covers, so as to reduce the LST effectively. The increase of vegetation coverage and reasonable planning are beneficial to the UHI mitigation of Chengdu's main urban area.

Cite this article

ZHANG Hao, XU HanQiu, LI Le, FAN YaPeng . Analysis of the Relationship between Urban Heat Island Effect and Urban Expansion in Chengdu, China[J]. Journal of Geo-information Science, 2014 , 16(1) : 70 -78 . DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1047.2014.00070


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