Assessing land surface temperature and land use change through spatio-temporal analysis: a case study of select major cities of India

  • Bharath H. AithalEmail author
  • Chandan M C
  • Nimish G
Original Paper


Globalisation and opening up of markets has seen large-scale unplanned urbanisation in previous decade especially in developing countries like India. Dynamic changing policies influenced by global entities to set up profitable, industry-oriented cities have powered extensive migration with population upwelling contributing to the fast-growing urban expansion that needs monitoring and planning to design urban cities of the future. Research agenda here is to understand the change in land use (LU) temporally and model the land use change based on cellular automata through slope, land use, excluded, urban, transport and hillshade (SLEUTH) approach. Scientific studies carried out to address LU, its linkage with rising surface temperature and prediction of urban growth are limited or conducted only for smaller geographical extents and lack study especially in the most active and diverse country like India. This paper proposes implementation of integrated method of LU, land surface temperature dynamics, and urban modelling for four major cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Of the four cities, Delhi, the capital of India, has shown enormous change in terms of increasing paved surface from 21.63% in 2003 to 31.56% in 2017 with corresponding mean surface temperature surge of 25.93 °C and 36.51 °C, respectively, suggesting one of the worst affected cities. Predicted LU envisions the possibility of a spurt in unplanned growth across the city boundary that would hinder developing basic amenities and would cause increased thermal discomfort amongst residents. This was understood through analysis of land surface temperature in relation to changing land use, indicating a need for sustainable development strategies to be implemented to avoid business-as-usual scenario. The analysis aims to help planners and city managers to understand region-specific issues in urban growth and to improve the cityscape with specific interventions.


Urban growth model Sleuth modelling Pattern analysis Cellular automata Surface temperature 



We thank (i) the United States Geological Survey and (ii) the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC Hyderabad) for providing temporal remote sensing data and Project Gigalopolis for SLEUTH code.

Funding information

This work received financial and infrastructure support from the Science and Engineering Research Board, India; the Ministry of Science and Technology; Government of India; Ranbir and Chitra Gupta School of Infrastructure Design and Management; Sponsored Research in Consultancy Cell, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and West Bengal Department of Higher Education (WBDST).


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ranbir and Chitra Gupta School of Infrastructure Design and ManagementIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

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