Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2021, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (6): 819-838.doi: 10.1007/s11442-021-1873-5

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effect of human settlements on urban thermal environment and factor analysis based on multi-source data: A case study of Changsha city

XIONG Ying1,2,3(), ZHANG Fang1   

  1. 1. College of Architecture, Changsha University of Science and Technology, Changsha 410076, China
    2. Hunan Key Lab of Land Resource Evaluation & Utilization, Changsha 410007, China
    3. Research Center of Resource Environment and Urban Planning, Changsha 410114, China
  • Received:2021-01-27 Accepted:2021-03-20 Published:2021-08-25
  • About author:Xiong Ying (1977-), Professor, specialized in land use and urban sprawl, regional and urban planning. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Social Science Foundation of China(15BJY051);Open Topic of Hunan Key Laboratory of Land Resources Evaluation and Utilization(SYS-ZX-202002);Research Project of Appraisement Committee of Social Sciences Research Achievements of Hunan Province(XSP18ZDI031)


In view of the lack of comprehensive evaluation and analysis from the combination of natural and human multi-dimensional factors, the urban surface temperature patterns of Changsha in 2000, 2009 and 2016 are retrieved based on multi-source spatial data (Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 satellite image data, POI spatial big data, digital elevation model, etc.), and 12 natural and human factors closely related to urban thermal environment are quickly obtained. The standard deviation ellipse and spatial principal component analysis (PCA) methods are used to analyze the effect of urban human residential thermal environment and its influencing factors. The results showed that the heat island area increased by 547 km2 and the maximum surface temperature difference reached 10.1℃ during the period 2000-2016. The spatial distribution of urban heat island was mainly concentrated in urban built-up areas, such as industrial and commercial agglomerations and densely populated urban centers. The spatial distribution pattern of heat island is gradually decreasing from the urban center to the suburbs. There were multiple high-temperature centers, such as Wuyi square business circle, Xingsha economic and technological development zone in Changsha County, Wangcheng industrial zone, Yuelu industrial agglomeration, and Tianxin industrial zone. From 2000 to 2016, the main axis of spatial development of heat island remained in the northeast-southwest direction. The center of gravity of heat island shifted 2.7 km to the southwest with the deflection angle of 54.9° in 2000-2009. The center of gravity of heat island shifted to the northeast by 4.8 km with the deflection angle of 60.9° in 2009-2016. On the whole, the change of spatial pattern of thermal environment in Changsha was related to the change of urban construction intensity. Through the PCA method, it was concluded that landscape pattern, urban construction intensity and topographic landforms were the main factors affecting the spatial pattern of urban thermal environment of Changsha. The promotion effect of human factors on the formation of heat island effect was obviously greater than that of natural factors. The temperature would rise by 0.293℃ under the synthetic effect of human and natural factors. Due to the complexity of factors influencing the urban thermal environment of human settlements, the utilization of multi-source data could help to reveal the spatial pattern and evolution law of urban thermal environment, deepen the understanding of the causes of urban heat island effect, and clarify the correlation between human and natural factors, so as to provide scientific supports for the improvement of the quality of urban human settlements.

Key words: thermal environment, natural-human factor, multi-source data, spatial PCA, Changsha city