Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. James A Voogt


This thesis presents a method for deriving time-continuous urban surface temperature and heat island assessments from hemispherical ground-based measurements of upwelling thermal radiation. The method, developed to overcome geometric and temporal biases inherent in traditional thermal remote sensing of urban surface climates, uses a sensor view model in conjunction with a radiative transfer code to derive atmospherically corrected, hemispherical radiometric urban surface temperatures. These are used to derive two long-term climatologies of surface urban heat island (sUHI) magnitudes for Basel, Switzerland and Vancouver, Canada. sUHI development shows significant variation based on time-of-day, season, and ambient and synoptic conditions. Results also show large differences in remote sensed sUHI from hemispherical, nadir and complete representations of the urban surface, with a nadir view overestimating seasonal sUHImax from a complete view by nearly a factor of two. In contrast, a hemispherical view provides significantly more representative, time-continuous urban surface temperature and sUHI analysis.

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