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Publication Date

Spring 2012

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Gary Pereira

Subject Areas

Remote sensing


This study focused on finding evidence of urban heat islands in the Prince William County region of Virginia. Satellite images of the area taken over a period of 25 years were analyzed by calculating Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, classifying land cover, and calculating surface temperature. The images were classified by unsupervised and supervised classification methods, and the surface temperature was extracted and calculated from the thermal infrared band six of Landsat TM data. The evaluation of these methods determines that with a successful land classification and surface temperature findings, urban areas within the county have shown effects of an urban heat island since 1985 but have not shown an increase in intensity in 2010.