Sky view factor calculations and its application in urban heat island studies

M. Dirksen*, R.J. Ronda, N.E. Theeuwes, G.A. Pagani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The sky view factor (SVF) is essential to describe the urban climatology at scales below 100m. This proxy for net radiation depends on the height of the obstacles in its surroundings. The SVF was calculated from a rasterized point cloud height dataset (with 6 − 10 points per m2). The resulting SVF depends on grid-resolution, search radius and number of directions. Previous research related the diurnal maximum urban heat island (UHI) of the canopy layer to the diurnal temperature range, solar irradiance, wind speed, vegetation fraction and SVF. The goal of this study is to determine the sensitivity of the SVF and the impact on the UHI. Within the Netherlands a test area of 70km2 was selected, including: urban areas, meadows and forests. There is a high sensitivity for grid-resolution. Therefore the impact of the SVFs grid resolution on the maximum UHI is explored. Results show that the fourth largest city within the Netherlands, Utrecht, has a mean diurnal maximum UHI of 3.1 °C using a 1m SVF resolution. But, with a 3m SVF resolution the UHI is on average 0.6 °C lower. This highlights the significance of a fine grid resolution which can capture houses, alleys and trees.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100498
JournalUrban Climate
Volume30
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Netherlands
  • Sky view factor
  • UHI
  • Urban planning

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