We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

The Effect of Land Cover on the Air and Surface Urban Heat Island of a Desert Oasis

AL-ALI, ABDULRAHMAN,MUBARAK,H (2015) The Effect of Land Cover on the Air and Surface Urban Heat Island of a Desert Oasis. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Cities often experience a distinct climate compared to the surrounding area characterized by differences in air temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and amount of precipitation. Thus far, research on the urban heat island (UHI) effect has focused on cool temperate, Mediterranean and tropical climatic regions, whereas less attention has been given to the study of arid regions where the daytime surface temperature can be extremely high. This study concerns the Al Ahsa oasis, Saudi Arabia, which is a rapidly developing urban centre in an arid region. The aim of this study is to analyze the effect of land cover on the urban and sub-urban environment using ground data and multi-scale and multi-temporal satellite thermal imagery.

Land surface temperatures derived from satellite thermal imagery are compared with observations from ground-based fixed and mobile temperature and relative humidity logging stations for periods in February and July. Thermal radiometers from different sensors, Landsat 7 ETM+ and MODIS, were used to measure the outgoing radiation budget at specific locations within the urban landscape. Fieldwork was undertaken contemporary with satellite overpasses to measure the diurnal air temperatures and relative humidity across different land cover types including agriculture, urban, water, exposed rock surfaces, sabkha and sand dunes. These data provide the most complete experiment so far conducted to test and refine models of the thermal radiation budget of the arid zone at the sub-city scale.

The findings of this study have emphasized the effectiveness of combining the two methods, ground and satellite data, to investigate the relationship between land cover and UHI intensity. Results reveal a significant relationship between UHI spatial distribution and land cover using the two methods: mobile traverses and remote sensing. The UHI intensity is higher during the summer than the winter and at night-time than in the day. The highest UHI intensity, (10.5 °C), is located over the two major cities in the oasis (Al Hufuf and Al Mubarraz) while the lowest temperatures (- 6.4 °C below UHI), are recorded in the small villages and vegetated areas during summer at night. The outcome of this thesis will help future urban development and planning projects and provide a framework for implementing rules and regulations by local government agencies for a sustainable urban development approach.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Urban climate, remote sensing, urban heat island of a desert oasis
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:30 Oct 2015 11:49

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter