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Article

Assessment of Changes in Land Use/Land Cover and Land Surface Temperatures and Their Impact on Surface Urban Heat Island Phenomena in the Kathmandu Valley (1988–2018)

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Geographic Information System (GIS) Cell, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology Allahabad, Prayagraj 211004, India
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College of Applied Sciences (CAS)-Nepal, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu 44613, Nepal
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The State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
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Environmental Future Research Institute, Griffith School of Environment, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, 170, Kessels Road, Nathan, QLD 4111, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(12), 726; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9120726
Received: 28 October 2020 / Revised: 17 November 2020 / Accepted: 23 November 2020 / Published: 6 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geo-Information for Developing Urban Infrastructures)
More than half of the world’s populations now live in rapidly expanding urban and its surrounding areas. The consequences for Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) dynamics and Surface Urban Heat Island (SUHI) phenomena are poorly understood for many new cities. We explore this issue and their inter-relationship in the Kathmandu Valley, an area of roughly 694 km2, at decadal intervals using April (summer) Landsat images of 1988, 1998, 2008, and 2018. LULC assessment was made using the Support Vector Machine algorithm. In the Kathmandu Valley, most land is either natural vegetation or agricultural land but in the study period there was a rapid expansion of impervious surfaces in urban areas. Impervious surfaces (IL) grew by 113.44 km2 (16.34% of total area), natural vegetation (VL) by 6.07 km2 (0.87% of total area), resulting in the loss of 118.29 km2 area from agricultural land (17.03% of total area) during 1988–2018. At the same time, the average land surface temperature (LST) increased by nearly 5–7 °C in the city and nearly 3–5 °C at the city boundary. For different LULC classes, the highest mean LST increase during 1988–2018 was 7.11 °C for IL with the lowest being 3.18 °C for VL although there were some fluctuations during this time period. While open land only occupies a small proportion of the landscape, it usually had higher mean LST than all other LULC classes. There was a negative relationship both between LST and Normal Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and LST and Normal Difference Moisture Index (NDMI), respectively, and a positive relationship between LST and Normal Difference Built-up Index (NDBI). The result of an urban–rural gradient analysis showed there was sharp decrease of mean LST from the city center outwards to about 15 kms because the NDVI also sharply increased, especially in 2008 and 2018, which clearly shows a surface urban heat island effect. Further from the city center, around 20–25 kms, mean LST increased due to increased agriculture activity. The population of Kathmandu Valley was 2.88 million in 2016 and if the growth trend continues then it is predicted to reach 3.85 million by 2035. Consequently, to avoid the critical effects of increasing SUHI in Kathmandu it is essential to improve urban planning including the implementation of green city technologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: Land Use/Land Cover; NDBI; NDVI; NDMI; SUHI; urban–rural gradient; Kathmandu Valley; Nepal Land Use/Land Cover; NDBI; NDVI; NDMI; SUHI; urban–rural gradient; Kathmandu Valley; Nepal
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sarif, M.O.; Rimal, B.; Stork, N.E. Assessment of Changes in Land Use/Land Cover and Land Surface Temperatures and Their Impact on Surface Urban Heat Island Phenomena in the Kathmandu Valley (1988–2018). ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9, 726. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9120726

AMA Style

Sarif MO, Rimal B, Stork NE. Assessment of Changes in Land Use/Land Cover and Land Surface Temperatures and Their Impact on Surface Urban Heat Island Phenomena in the Kathmandu Valley (1988–2018). ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2020; 9(12):726. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9120726

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sarif, Md. O., Bhagawat Rimal, and Nigel E. Stork 2020. "Assessment of Changes in Land Use/Land Cover and Land Surface Temperatures and Their Impact on Surface Urban Heat Island Phenomena in the Kathmandu Valley (1988–2018)" ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 9, no. 12: 726. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi9120726

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