Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Choi, Jinmu

Committee Member

Dixon, Grady

Committee Member

Ambinakudige, Shrindhi

Committee Member

Cooke III, William

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect is a function of excess heating of man-made impermeable surfaces and structures. Using Landsat satellite imagery along with its Thermal-Infrared (TIR) band, the UHI of Starkville, MS; Birmingham, AL; and Atlanta, GA were analyzed. Unsupervised classification of the Landsat imagery and temperature extraction from the TIR band revealed city size and amount of high-density urban land use are directly related to UHI intensity and higher than average surface temperatures. Vegetation analysis within the three study area cities, however, revealed an average surface temperature reduction of 2 °C with only 15% forest coverage within a 1km2 area. Results obtained can be useful as a potential monitoring tool that can characterize relationships between amount and percentage of urban tree cover and surface temperature. The information can be utilized by city planners and others who are interested in mitigating UHI effects in the ever- increasing urban America.