Patterns of land change and their potential impacts on land surface temperature change in Yangon, Myanmar

Yi Chen Wang, Benjamin K.H. Hu, Soe Myint, Chen Chieh Feng, Winston T.L. Chow, Paul F. Passy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


This study used remote sensing imagery to characterize land use/cover patterns and to derive land surface temperature (LST) of Greater Yangon, the largest urban agglomeration in Myanmar, to provide insights into the association between land use/cover and seasonal, daytime, and nighttime LST change. Analysis of Landsat images from 1987 to 2015 showed urban expansion radiating from the city center and along prominent rivers, with major increases in built-up land (6.4%) and grassland (10.1%) and consequent decline in agricultural land (17%). Examination of MODIS LST showed that agricultural land was warmer than the city core during daytime in hot seasons, while in cold seasons, the city core was warmer than its rural surroundings during both daytime and nighttime. Correlation analysis revealed stronger association between built-up land and nighttime LST from 2000 to 2015, suggesting an increased surface urban heat island effect. Furthermore, this study highlighted two main differences from prior work on the influences of land use/cover on LST. First, the predominant land use/cover type that had great overall impact on LST was agricultural land, marked by its statistically significant correlation coefficients across all time periods of analysis. Such finding emphasized the influence of agriculture and related practices on the atmosphere and climate system. Second, the temporal analysis of LST highlighted a stronger and more complicated role water played because of its negative correlations with daytime LST and positive correlations with nighttime LST. The findings of this study underscored more complex effects of land use/cover on the spatial and temporal variations of LST in Yangon, compared to prior work that generally reported high LST in the urban areas. These insights improve the understanding of the land change consequences on the temporal dynamics of LST and can support sustainable land use planning for the better well-being of the inhabitants in Greater Yangon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)738-750
Number of pages13
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Greater Yangon
  • Land surface temperature
  • Land use land cover
  • Sustainability
  • Urban environment
  • Urban heat island

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Patterns of land change and their potential impacts on land surface temperature change in Yangon, Myanmar'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this