Original Paper

Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 96, Issue 1, pp 145-153

The July urban heat island of Bucharest as derived from modis images

  • S. ChevalAffiliated withDepartment of Climatology, National Meteorological Administration Email author 
  • , A. DumitrescuAffiliated withDepartment of Climatology, National Meteorological Administration

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The urban heat island (UHI) of the city of Bucharest (Romania) is analyzed in terms of its extension, geometry, and magnitude using the surface thermal data provided by the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors. An objective method is developed that allows to delineate the UHI. The study focuses on the months of July from the 2000–2006 time interval. The average surface temperatures obtained for each pixel (1 km resolution) were analyzed on cross-profiles that helped us to determine the outline of the UHI. The shifting points identified by the Rodionov test in the temperature series of each profile were considered as possible limits of the UHI. Seemingly, the land cover has a major influence on the extension and the geometry of the Bucharest UHI in July. The magnitude of the heat island was calculated by comparing the average temperature inside its limits and the average temperature of the 5 km (a) and of the 10 km (b) buffers around it. The thermal difference between the UHI and the surrounding area of Bucharest is higher and more variable during the daytime, and is noticeably related to the land cover.