The Spatial Variation of the Urban Heat Island in Melbourne, Australia

Cheryl Hickman

The study analysed the evolution of Melbourne’s urban heat island (UHI) over time, through comparing observed temperatures from 1965 – 2001. It was found that the UHI was particularly distinct throughout minimum winter temperatures. The project also examined the spatial distribution of the UHI through analyses of weather station data, satellite imagery and transect selection methodologies, with the resulting data demonstrating air temperatures across Melbourne to be increasing horizontally. Based on 2004 (March) data, this horizontal increase in temperature could be seen as an easterly directed gradient, in addition to an elongation of the UHI towards the western region. It was concluded that the spatiotemporal characteristics of the UHI observed across Melbourne is related to synoptic conditions, anthropogenic land use and land cover change, as well as natural land cover alteration.

Prof Jason Beringer