UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Complete urban surface temperatures Voogt, James A.; Oke, Timothy R.


An observation program using ground and airborne thermal infrared radiometers is used to estimate the surface temperature of urban areas, taking into account the total active surface area. The authors call this the complete urban surface temperature. This temperature is not restricted by the viewing biases inherent in remote sensors used to estimate surface temperature over rough surfaces such as cities. Two methods to estimate the complete surface temperature are presented. Results for three different land-use areas in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, show significant differences exist between the complete, nadir, and off-nadir airborne estimates of urban surface temperature during daytime. For the sites and times studied, the complete surface temperature is shown to agree with airborne off-nadir estimates of the apparent surface temperature of the most shaded walls. Some implications of using the complete surface temperature to estimate screen level air temperature and to calculate surface sensible heat flux are given. Copyright 1997 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at (http://www.ametsoc.org/) or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or copyright@ametsoc.org.

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