In this paper, the effect of urban heat island is analyzed using the Landsat TM data and ASTER data in 2005 as a case study in Hong Kong. Two algorithms were applied to retrieve the land surface temperature (LST) distribution from the Landsat TM and ASTER data. The spatial pattern of LST in the study area is retrieved to characterize
their local effects on urban heat island. In addition, the correlation between LST and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), the normalized difference build-up index (NDBI) is analyzed to explore the impacts of the green land and the build-up land on the urban heat island by calculating the ecological evaluation index of sub-urban areas. The results indicate that the effect of urban heat island in Hong Kong is mainly located in three sub-urban areas, namely, Kowloon Island, the northern Hong Kong Island and Hong Kong International Airport. The correlation between LST and NDVI, NDBI also indicates that the negative correlation of LST and NDVI suggests that the green land can weaken the effect on urban heat island, while the positive correlation between LST and NDBI means that the built-up land can strengthen the effect of urban heat island in our case study. Although satellite data (e.g., Landsat TM and ASTER thermal bands data) can be applied to examine the distribution of urban heat islands in places such as Hong Kong, the method still needs to be refined with in situ
measurements of LST in future studies.