Assessing Moisture Content and Its Mitigating Effect in an Urban Area Using the Land Surface Temperature–Vegetation Index Triangle Method

Karol Michał Przeździecki, Jarosław Zawadzki

Nowadays, climate change and heat extremes are becoming highly challenging problems in many cities across the globe. One of the solutions to overcome this problem is the use of vegetation, and, in particular, extending the range of overgrown areas, which are sometimes referred to as “urban green areas.” In this paper, the moisture condition and its mitigating effect on Land Surface Temperature in urban areas were examined in Warsaw, Poland, using satellite data. To do so, the so-called “Triangle Method” was employed. The triangle method is based on a Land Surface Temperature–Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (LSTNDVI) scatterplot to calculate the Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index (TVDI) and its modification–quadratic Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index (qTVDI). This article discusses, in detail, the usefulness of the triangle method for the analyses of built-up areas. The drought satellite indices TVDI and qTVDI compared with those of LST, NDVI, and NDBI (Normalized Difference Building Index). The study shows that the triangle method based on LSTNDVI scatterplot analysis is a promising tool for establishing moisture conditions over urban areas and for studying the effect of vegetation impact on urban heat islands. Detailed analysis shows that over an urban area, qTVDI shows better agreement with LST than classic TVDI.

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