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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(1), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10010112

Comparative Analysis of Responses of Land Surface Temperature to Long-Term Land Use/Cover Changes between a Coastal and Inland City: A Case of Freetown and Bo Town in Sierra Leone

1
School of Resources and Environment, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, China
2
School of Inoformation Science and Engineering, Hebei University of Science and Technology, Shijiazhuang 050000, China
3
Department of Physics, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP197, Mount Pleasant, Harare 263, Zimbabwe
4
Discipline of Geography, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, P/Bag X01, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Learning to Understand Remote Sensing Images)
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Abstract

Urban growth and its associated expansion of built-up areas are expected to continue through to the twenty second century and at a faster pace in developing countries. This has the potential to increase thermal discomfort and heat-related distress. There is thus a need to monitor growth patterns, especially in resource constrained countries such as Africa, where few studies have so far been conducted. In view of this, this study compares urban growth and temperature response patterns in Freetown and Bo town in Sierra Leone. Multispectral Landsat images obtained in 1998, 2000, 2007, and 2015 are used to quantify growth and land surface temperature responses. The contribution index (CI) is used to explain how changes per land use and land cover class (LULC) contributed to average city surface temperatures. The population size of Freetown was about eight times greater than in Bo town. Landsat data mapped urban growth patterns with a high accuracy (Overall Accuracy > 80%) for both cities. Significant changes in LULC were noted in Freetown, characterized by a 114 km2 decrease in agriculture area, 23 km2 increase in dense vegetation, and 77 km2 increase in built-up area. Between 1998 and 2015, built-up area increased by 16 km2, while dense vegetation area decreased by 14 km2 in Bo town. Average surface temperature increased from 23.7 to 25.5 °C in Freetown and from 24.9 to 28.2 °C in Bo town during the same period. Despite the larger population size and greater built-up extent, as well as expansion rate, Freetown was 2 °C cooler than Bo town in all periods. The low temperatures are attributed to proximity to sea and the very large proportion of vegetation surrounding the city. Even close to the sea and abundant vegetation, the built-up area had an elevated temperature compared to the surroundings. The findings are important for formulating heat mitigation strategies for both inland and coastal cities in developing countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban heat island; land surface temperature; climate change; land use; land cover; Landsat; remote sensing urban heat island; land surface temperature; climate change; land use; land cover; Landsat; remote sensing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Tarawally, M.; Xu, W.; Hou, W.; Mushore, T.D. Comparative Analysis of Responses of Land Surface Temperature to Long-Term Land Use/Cover Changes between a Coastal and Inland City: A Case of Freetown and Bo Town in Sierra Leone. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 112.

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