Contributions of urban traffics to increase in road surface temperature – A case study in New York City

  • YEAR
    Yu, Zhou
    Li, Qi
    2020 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Simulation, Prediction & Evaluation


Vehicular waste heat discharge is one of the major sources that alter the urban thermal environment. Existing analytical studies or the observational temperature differences between urban roads and its rural counterpart have confirmed the influence of traffic-related energy use on road surface temperature (RST). However, a direct estimation of vehicle-induced RST increase from the perspective of surface energy balance (SEB) has received relatively little attention. This study proposes a new method to quantify the RST by applying a perturbation analysis of the SEB aided by satellite-derived urban surface properties. The method is subsequently applied to New York City (NYC) using satellite remote sensing image for a selected day during spring in 2017. The results indicate that the average increase in RST attributable to vehicular waste heat (Δ RST) in NYC is 1.39 °C. The high values of Δ RST correspond well to expressways connecting different parts of NYC. Overall, this study highlights that by combining satellite imagery and traffic data, this physically-based method can be a viable approach for a quick diagnostic of the spatially explicit Δ RST, thus a practical way to quantify the impact of vehicular waste heat to the urban thermal environment.

Keywords: vehicular waste heat; road surface temperature (RST); surface energy balance (SEB); satellite remote sensing.


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