Urban Pollution

Janet E. Nichol, Muhammad Bilal, Majid Nazeer, Man Sing Wong

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


This chapter depicts the state of the art in remote sensing for urban pollution monitoring, including urban heat islands, urban air quality, and water quality around urban coastlines. Recent developments in spatial and temporal resolutions of modern sensors, and in retrieval methodologies and gap-filling routines, have increased the applicability of remote sensing for urban areas. However, capturing the spatial heterogeneity of urban areas is still challenging, given the spatial resolution limitations of aerosol retrieval algorithms for air-quality monitoring, and of modern thermal sensors for urban heat island analysis. For urban coastal applications, water-quality parameters can now be retrieved with adequate spatial and temporal detail even for localized phenomena such as algal blooms, pollution plumes, and point pollution sources. The chapter reviews the main sensors used, and developments in retrieval algorithms. For urban air quality the MODIS Dark Target (DT), Deep Blue (DB), and the merged DT/DB algorithms are evaluated. For urban heat island and urban climatic analysis using coarse- and medium- resolution thermal sensors, MODIS, Landsat, and ASTER are evaluated. For water-quality monitoring, medium spatial resolution sensors including Landsat, HJ1A/B, and Sentinel 2, are evaluated as potential replacements for expensive routine ship-borne monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Book Series
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameUrban Book Series
ISSN (Print)2365-757X
ISSN (Electronic)2365-7588

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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