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Thesis (M.A)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1978. Department of Geography.


Copyright 1978, the author. Used by permission.

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The primary objective of this study is to demonstrate the scientific validity of using airborne and satellite thermal infrared sensing as a technique for detecting the urban heat islands of selected towns and cities in eastern Nebraska. Emphasis is on the development of the technique, rather than on specific applications of its methodology.Two objectives of application include ascertaining the relationship between: 1) large structural density index values and high density renditions; and 2) increasing city size and increased density ranges.Several instruments and techniques were used to determine the feasibility of thermal infrared sensing. Density renditions were obtained by use of the point densitometer and the spatial data system and digitized to produce computer isodensity and trend surface maps. The structural density index values for Lincoln were regressed with density renditions to illustrate that a strong relationship exists between these variables. Regression was also employed to indicate a similar correlation between city size and density values.Likewise, color slicing reveals a strong relationship between various land use types and their thermal patterns. However, a qualitative analysis of satellite thermal imagery indicated that current problems in resolution and distance from target render satellite technology incapable of determining intra-urban thermal patterns.

Advisor: Merlin P. Lawson