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Tabib Mahmoudi F. Investigation of the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on UHI in urban, industrial and green spaces of Tehran. Journal of Spatial Analysis Environmental Hazards 2022; 9 (3) :57-74
URL: http://jsaeh.khu.ac.ir/article-1-3326-en.html
1- Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University , fmahmoudi@sru.ac.ir
Abstract:   (732 Views)
Investigation of the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on UHI in residential, industrial and green spaces of Tehran

Rapid urbanization in recent decades has been a major driver of ecosystems and environmental degradation, including changes in agricultural land use and forests. Urbanization is rapidly transforming ecosystems into buildings that increase heat storage capacity. Loss of vegetation and increase in built-up areas may ultimately affect climate variability and lead to the creation of urban heat islands. The occurrence of natural disasters such as flood, earthquake … is one of the most effecting factors on the changes in intensity of urban heat islands. So far, a lot of research has been done on how it is affected by various types of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, droughts and tsunamis.
Two major environmental challenges for many cities are preventing flooding after heavy rains and minimizing urban temperature rise due to the effects of heat islands. There is a close relationship between these two phenomena, because with increasing air temperature, the intensity of precipitation increases. Drought is also a phenomenon that is affected by rainfall, temperature, evapotranspiration, water and soil conditions. One of the major differences between drought and other natural disasters is that they occur over a longer period of time and gradually than others that occur suddenly. Another natural disaster is the tsunami, which increases the area of water by turning wetlands into lakes, thereby increasing the index of normal water differences, which has a strong negative relationship with surface temperature. Ecosystems in urban areas play a role in reducing the impact of urban heat islands. This is because plants and trees regulate the temperature of their foliage by evaporation and transpiration, which leads to a decrease in air temperature.
Applying the locked down of the Covid-19 pandemic since the spring of 2020 has led to the global restoration of climatic elements such as air quality and temperature. In this study, the effects of Covid-19 locked down on the intensity of urban heat islands due to the limitations in industrial activities such as factories and power plants and the application of new laws to reduce traffic in Tehran were investigated. In this regard, the Landsat-8 satellite taken from a part of Tehran city has been used.

Materials and Methods
In order to investigate the effects of locked down in the spring of 2020 on the intensity of urban heat islands; the status of UHI maps in Tehran during the same period of locked down in three years before and one year after has been studied. The proposed method in this paper consists of two main steps. The first step is to generate UHI maps using land surface temperature (LST), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land use / land cover map analysis. In the second step, in order to analyze the behavioral changes in the intensity of urban heat islands during locked down and compare it with previous and subsequent years, changes in the intensity of UHIs are monitored.
UHI maps consist of three classes of high, medium and low intensities urban heat islands, which are based on performing the rule based analysis on land surface temperature characteristics and normal vegetation difference index derived from Landsat-8 satellite images as well as land use / land cover map. LULC maps are produced by support vector machine classification method consisting of three classes of soil, building and vegetation. In order to calculate the spectral features used in the rule based analysis, atmospheric and radiometric corrections must first be made on the red, near-infrared, and thermal spectral bands of the image captured by the Landsat-8 satellite. Then, vegetation spectral indices including NDVI and PV indices are generated.

Disscussion of Results
The capability of the proposed algorithm in this paper is first evaluated in the whole area covered by satellite images taken from the city of Tehran, and then in three areas including residential, industrial and green spaces. The data used in this article are images taken by the OLI sensor of Landsat-8 satellite in the spring of 2017-2021.
In the first step of the proposed method, maps of urban heat islands are generated based on multi-temporal satellite images of Landsat-8 taken in the years 2017to 2021 in the MATLAB programming software. Then, by comparing pairs of UHI maps in each of the residential, industrial and green space study areas, the trend of changes in the intensity of UHI is analyzed and the effects of locked down application in 2020 are evaluated.
The results of changes detection in urban heat islands in the period under consideration in this study showed that the percentage of areas that are in the class of high UHI in 2020 due to locked down of pandemic Covid-19 compared to the average of three years before that is 55.71%, has a decrease of 17.61%. The percentage of areas in the class of medium UHI intensity in 2020 due to locked down compared to the average of three years ago, which is 39%, increased by 4.8%, and in 2021 this amount again has decreased to less than the average. Also, the percentage of low intensity UHI class in 1399 compared to the average of three years ago, which is 5.3%, has increased by 12.8%.

In this study, the effect of locked down application due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic, which was applied in Iran in the spring of 2020 is investigated on the intensity of  urban heat islands in a part of Tehran city and three selected areas with residential, industrial and green space. Detection of changes in the intensity of urban heat islands was done based on the post-classification method and on the UHI classification maps related to the years 2017 to 2021. In order to produce UHI maps, in addition to the land surface temperature, the amount of vegetation index and the type of land use / land cover class were also used in the form of a set of classification rules.
Comparing the results of the study areas of residential, industrial and green spaces, it is important to note that the rate of reduction of the area of UHI with high intensity in the residential area is 5.25% more than the industrial area and 6.1% more than the green space. However, the reduction of locked down restrictions in 2021 had the greatest effect on the return of the area of ​​the high UHI class and caused the area of ​​this class to increase by 23% compared to 2020. These results indicate the fact that restrictions on the activities of industrial units such as factories and power plants and the application of new laws to reduce traffic, despite the same weather conditions in an area have been able to significantly reduce the severity of urban heat islands.

 Keywords: Urban Heat Islands, Land Surface Temperature, Vegetation Index, Change Detection, Covid-19

Full-Text [PDF 1397 kb]   (155 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Applicable | Subject: Special
Received: 2022/08/2 | Accepted: 2022/11/19 | Published: 2022/12/19

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