A diagnostic equation for the maximum urban heat island effect of a typical Chinese city: A case study for Xi'an

Xi Zhang*, Gert-Jan Steeneveld, Dian Zhou, Chengjiang Duan, Albert A.M. Holtslag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


To reduce the vulnerability of urban areas facing high temperatures, it is useful to develop methods to obtain the urban heat island (UHI)intensity. However, it is hard to equip all cities with extensive measurement networks and alternative UHI diagnostic methods are needed. Accordingly, in this paper we evaluate and revise the diagnostic equation designed by Theeuwes et al. (2017)and analyze its application for Xi'an (China), based on long-term summer meteorology data. The evaluation of the default diagnostic equation shows that limited accuracy for Xi'an is caused by the sum of morphological parameters being used outside the original range of calibration. Subsequently, we propose an extended equation, which adds the building fraction to express the morphology of additional spatial categories. This new equation is calibrated against a 3-year dataset and independently validated with data from another year. In addition, a class prediction with three spatial categories is proposed, and verified by independent data of 20 stations in Xi'an in 2018, which enables this formula to be applied in more cities. Altogether, the extended diagnostic equation is an effective method to evaluate the daily maximum UHI intensity (UHI max )on neighborhood-scale, which can be generalized for a whole city area and presents internal intensity differences with multi-points.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-50
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • China
  • Diagnostic equation
  • Neighborhood-scale
  • Urban heat island
  • Urban morphology
  • Xi'an


Dive into the research topics of 'A diagnostic equation for the maximum urban heat island effect of a typical Chinese city: A case study for Xi'an'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this