Land surface temperature (LST) is essentially considered to be one of the most important indicators used for assessment of the urban thermal environment. It is quite evident that land-use/land-cover (LULC) and landscape patterns have ecological implications at varying spatial scales, which in turn influence the distribution of habitat and material/energy fluxes in the landscape. This article attempts to quantitatively analyse the complex interrelationships between urban LST and LULC landscape patterns with the purpose of elucidating their relation to landscape processes. The study employed an integrated approach involving remote-sensing, geographic information system (GIS), and landscape ecology techniques on bi-temporal Landsat Thematic Mapper images of Southwestern Sydney metropolitan region and the surrounding fringe, taken at approximately the same time of the year in July 1993 and July 2006. First, the LULC categories and LST were extracted from the bi-temporal images. The LST distribution and changes and LST of the LULC categories were then quantitatively analysed using landscape metrics and LST zones. The results show that large differences in temperature existed in even a single LULC category, except for variations between different LULC categories. In each LST zone, the regressive function of LST with fractional vegetation cover (FVC) indicated a significant relationship between LST and FVC. Landscape metrics of LULC categories in each zone in relation to the other zones showed changing patterns between 1993 and 2006. This study also illustrates that a method integrating retrieval of LST and FVC from remote-sensing images combined with landscape metrics provides a novel and feasible way to describe the spatial distribution and temporal variation in urban thermal patterns and associated LULC conditions in a quantitative manner.
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