A REMOTE SENSING CLASSIFICATION FOR LAND-COVER CHANGES AND MICRO-CLIMATE IN KUWAIT
Free (open access)
Volume 5 (2010), Issue 4
367 - 377
S. UDDIN, A.N. AL GHADBAN, A. AL DOUSARI, M. AL MURAD & D. AL SHAMROUKH
The paper addresses the issue of micro-climatic variations due to changing land-cover in the study area. Kuwait has undergone a unique environmental catastrophe during 1991 Gulf war in the form of oil lakes and spills on land, which has left permanent scars on the desert surface. The region is experiencing large scale urban expansion with the growing population needs and political stability. New townships planned with expansion of existing ones, rapid development in petroleum sector, all these developments are resulting in Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect both over the city and the hydrocarbon contaminated sites. In this study the Landsat image of 1989, 1991 and 2000 are used to compute surface temperature and land-cover classification to understand the relationship between micro-climate and land-cover. The results have shown increased temperatures over both the built-up areas and hydrocarbon contaminated surface. The long term temperature trend in the area shows an incremental trend since 1980s, which increases sharply in post 1990s, probably due to cumulative effect of hydrocarbon pollution, urban-industrial development and increased carbon emission. The study utilized the novel approach of land-cover classification using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI), Normalized Difference Built-up Index (NDBI) and Normalized Difference Bareness Index (NDBare). These indices are related to the Land Surface Temperature (LST) computed using satellite datasets. Results show a negative correlation of NDVI, NDWI, and NDBare with surface temperature. NDBI is positively correlated with temperature. Although there are isolated instances where bare surfaces show increased temperature at places and these temperatures are comparable to built-up area, the most pertinent reason for this temperature hike is obliteration of emissive property of desert soil due to hydrocarbon leftovers and mixing of hydrocarbon leftovers with soil for bioremediation. These remediated soils are used in plantation and re-vegetation giving higher thermal signatures, mainly because of scanty vegetation cover.
hydrocarbon pollution, NDBare, NDBI, NDVI, NDWI