Assessing Local Climate Zones in Arid Cities: The Case Study of Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada

Authors: Chuyuan Wang*, Arizona State University, Soe W. Myint, Arizona State University, Ariane Middel, Temple University, Shai Kaplan, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Anthony Brazel, Arizona State University, Jonas Lukasczyk, University of Kaiserslautern
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Remote Sensing, Urban Geography
Keywords: local climate zone, land use land cover, sky view factor, land surface temperature, Phoenix, Las Vegas
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Studio 10, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The local climate zone (LCZ) classification scheme is a newly developed standardization framework to describe the form and function of cities for urban heat island (UHI) studies. This study classifies and evaluates LCZs for two arid desert cities in the Southwestern United States - Phoenix and Las Vegas following the World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools (WUDAPT) method. Both cities are classified into seven built type LCZs and seven land-cover type LCZs at 100-m resolution using Google Earth, Saga GIS, and Landsat 8 imagery. Surface cover properties and land surface temperature (LST) of classified LCZs are then evaluated and compared to pre-defined LCZ representative ranges from literature, and their implications on the surface UHI effect are explained. Results suggest that observed LCZ properties in an arid desert environment do not always match the proposed value ranges from the literature, especially with regard to sky view factor (SVF) upper boundaries. Although the LCZ classification scheme was originally designed to describe local climates with regard to air temperature, our analysis shows that much can be learned from investigating LST in these zones. This study serves as a substantial new resource laying a foundation for assessing the surface UHI in cities using the LCZ scheme, which could inform climate simulations at local and regional scales.

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