Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 112, Issue 3–4, pp 647–658 | Cite as

Assessment of urban heat island effect for different land use–land cover from micrometeorological measurements and remote sensing data for megacity Delhi

  • Manju Mohan
  • Yukihiro Kikegawa
  • B. R. Gurjar
  • Shweta Bhati
  • Narendra Reddy Kolli
Original Paper


Urban heat island intensities (UHI) have been assessed based on in situ measurements and satellite-derived observations for the megacity Delhi during a selected period in March 2010. A network of micrometeorological observational stations was set up across the city. Site selection for stations was based on dominant land use–land cover (LULC) classification. Observed UHI intensities could be classified into high, medium and low categories which overall correlated well with the LULC categories viz. dense built-up, medium dense built-up and green/open areas, respectively. Dense urban areas and highly commercial areas were observed to have highest UHI with maximum hourly magnitude peaking up to 10.7 °C and average daily maximum UHI reaching 8.3 °C. UHI obtained in the study was also compared with satellite-derived land surface temperatures (LST). UHI based on in situ ambient temperatures and satellite-derived land surface temperatures show reasonable comparison during nighttime in terms of UHI magnitude and hotspots. However, the relation was found to be poor during daytime. Further, MODIS-derived LSTs showed overestimation during daytime and underestimation during nighttime when compared with in situ skin temperature measurements. Impact of LULC was also reflected in the difference between ambient temperature and skin temperature at the observation stations as built-up canopies reported largest gradient between air and skin temperature. Also, a comparison of intra-city spatial temperature variations based UHI vis-à-vis a reference rural site temperature-based UHI indicated that UHI can be computed with respect to the station measuring lowest temperature within the urban area in the absence of a reference station in the rural area close to the study area. Comparison with maximum and average UHI of other cities of the world revealed that UHI in Delhi is comparable to other major cities of the world such as London, Tokyo and Beijing and calls for mitigation action plans.


Skin Temperature Land Surface Temperature Urban Heat Island Urban Canopy Urban Heat Island Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The present study is a part of a research project “Implementation and Validation of Numerical Models for Heat Island Studies in Mega-city Delhi” conducted jointly by Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi and Roorkee) and Meisei University, Tokyo. We thank The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan for the partial financial support. We also wish to thank Mr. Yasuto Ishizaka (Meisei University), Mr. Koichi Ogawa (Meisei University), Mr. Anurag Kandya (IIT Delhi), Mr. Ajay Nagpure (IIT Roorkee) and other students from IIT Roorkee and M.Tech batch (2009–2011), IIT Delhi for their active support and participation in the field campaign for this study. The authors would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manju Mohan
    • 1
  • Yukihiro Kikegawa
    • 2
  • B. R. Gurjar
    • 3
  • Shweta Bhati
    • 1
  • Narendra Reddy Kolli
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Atmospheric SciencesIndian Institute of Technology-DelhiDelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SystemsMeisei UniversityHinoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyRoorkeeIndia
  4. 4.Intergraph Consulting Private LimitedSecunderabadIndia

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