SPATIOTEMPORAL MONITORING OF THERMAL ENVIRONMENT IN ISFAHAN METROPOLITAN AREA
Urban Heat Island (UHI) phenomenon is regarded as one of the most critical issues in cities caused by unsustainable urban development. UHI has significant effects on air quality and energy consumption of urban buildings and it directly affects life quality the citizens. The current study aims to analyze and evaluate the spatiotemporal changes of thermal environment in Isfahan Metropolitan Area (IMA), Iran, during 1998-2014 time profile. A mono-window algorithm was applied to extract Land Surface Temperature (LST) values from Landsat thermal bands (TM and OLI sensors). Temporal and spatial changes in IMA’s thermal environment were then analyzed using statistical methods, Mann-Kendall analysis and Urban-Heat-Island Ration Index (URI). Results indicated LST in IMA is of an increasing trend and the intensity of this trend is mainly concentrated in northwest and northeast of the city and around Zayandeh-Rood River in the south. This arrangement of UHI distribution is primarily due to compact and high-density patterns of city development in its boundaries, destruction of Zayandeh-Rood riverine ecosystem and its drying up during the last decade as well as excessive consumption of green covers by urban structures. Finally, it was concluded that the URI has witnessed an increasing trend from 0.25 in 1998 to 0.312 in 2014, which is in line with the spatiotemporal dynamics of thermal environment in the study location. The results of this study provide practical planning implications for identifying UHI hotspots in growing cities and optimization of green cover plantations to alleviate UHI effects in urban environments.