Effect of Land Use Changes on the Urban Surface Temperature in Umuahia Town, Southeast, Nigeria

Ike F.1,*, Mbah I. C.2, Ottah, C.R.3, Babington J.4, and Chikwendu L.5

1,2 Department of Geography and Planning, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria
3 Department of Geography, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
4 Department of Environmental Resource Management, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria
5 Department of Geography and Environmental Management, Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria

*Corresponding Author: chiemzy@yahoo.com

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 Vol. 5 No. 2  | October 2021 | Pages 433 – 443 |   Cite this article




The land surfaces of hot-humid tropical urban areas are exposed to significant levels of solar radiation. Increased heat gain adds to different land surface temperature profiles in cities, resulting in different thermal discomfort thresholds. Using multi-temporal (1986, 2001, and 2017) landsat data, this study examined the impact of land use change on urban temperature profiles in Umuahia, Nigeria. The findings revealed that over time, built-up regions grow in surface area and temperature at the expense of other land use. The transfer matrix, showed that approximately 59.88 percent of vegetation and 8.23 percent of bareland were respectively changed into built up during the course of 31 years. The highest annual mean temperature in built-up regions was 21.50°C in 1986, 22.20°C in 2001, and 26.01°C in 2017. Transect profiles across the landuses reveals that surface Temperature rises slowly around water/vegetation and quickly over built-up and bare land area. The study observed drastic changes in land cover with a corresponding increase in surface temperature for the period between 1986 and 2017 with consistent decrease in water bodies and bare land in the study area. Overall, the spatio-temporal distribution of surface temperature in densely built up areas was higher than the adjacent rural surroundings, which is evidence of Urban Heat Island. The impact of landuse change on urban surface temperature profiles could provide detailed data to planners and decision makers in evaluating thermal comfort levels and other risk considerations in the study area.

Keywords: Humid tropics, Urban heat island, Remote sensing, Land use

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Cite this article as:

Ike F., Mbah I. C., Ottah, C.R., Babington J., and Chikwendu L. 2021. Effect of Land Use Changes on the Urban Surface Temperature in Umuahia Town, Southeast, Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Environmental Sciences and Technology, 5(2), pp. 433-443. https://doi.org/10.36263/nijest.2021.02.0291

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