Remote sensing data from both Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 systems were utilized to assess urban area thermal characteristics in Tampa Bay watershed of west-central Florida, and the Las Vegas valley of southern Nevada. To quantitatively determine urban land use extents and development densities, sub-pixel impervious surface areas were mapped for both areas. The urban-rural boundaries and urban development densities were defined by selecting certain imperviousness threshold values and Landsat thermal bands were used to investigate urban surface thermal patterns. Analysis results suggest that urban surface thermal characteristics and patterns can be identified through qualitatively based urban land use and development density data. Results show the urban area of the Tampa Bay watershed has a daytime heating effect (heat-source), whereas the urban surface in Las Vegas has a daytime cooling effect (heat-sink). These thermal effects strongly correlated with urban development densities where higher percent imperviousness is usually associated with higher surface temperature. Using vegetation canopy coverage information, the spatial and temporal distributions of urban impervious surface and associated thermal characteristics are demonstrated to be very useful sources in quantifying urban land use, development intensity, and urban thermal patterns. ?? 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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An analysis of urban thermal characteristics and associated land cover in Tampa Bay and Las Vegas using Landsat satellite data