Comparing Landsat 8-derived surface temperatures and field-collected air temperatures in the City of Richmond, Virginia.

Authors: ADELINE HADJIOSIF*, University of Richmond, Jackson Voelkel, Portland State University
Topics: Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Geography and Urban Health
Keywords: Urban Heat Island Effect, Landsat8, GIS, Remote Sensing, Vulnerable Populations, Heat Waves, Climate Change, Richmond VA, Urban Planning, Geographies of Health
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Satellite data is a cost-effective and easily accessible information source that is widely used in a variety of applications. When it comes to temperature data, satellites receive thermal electromagnetic energy emitted by the earth’s surface from which surface temperature is empirically derived. Despite such data being a relatively accurate representation of surface temperature, it does not necessarily replicate the true air temperature patterns of a place. Depending on the type of data used, research studies can arrive at considerably different outcomes, and subsequently induce different public policies related to heat extremes, especially in cities. In this project, relations between surface temperature and air temperature during unusually hot summer days are examined for the City of Richmond, Virginia, a mid-sized city located in the Southeast Climate Region. This is achieved by comparing satellite-derived surface temperatures from Landsat 8 imagery retrieved on 22nd August 2017 to air temperatures collected in the field (from thermistors mounted on bicycles and cars) and modeled on 13th July 2017. Further comparison of those variables’ relationship with land cover variations within the city aids understanding of the limitations of Landsat8-derived temperatures. Subsequently, this will help further research seeking to inform the identification of populations vulnerable to the Urban Heat Island effect within the City of Richmond. This is an important contribution to the development of public policy responses to Urban Heat Island phenomena.



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