Third Symposium on the Urban Environment


Affects of Urban Growth and Sprawl on Local Meteorology and Air Quality: Some Results from Project ATLANTA


Dale A. Quattrochi, MSFC, Huntsville, AL; and J. C. Luvall, M. G. Estes, S. Q. Kidder, C. P. Lo, R. D. Bornstein, H. Taha, R. R. Gillies, and K. P. Gallo

Project ATLANTA (ATlanta Land use ANalysis: Temperature and Air quality) has been a NASA-funded research effort with the overall goal of deriving a better scientific understanding of how land cover changes associated with urbanization, have affected local and regional meteorology, surface energy, and air quality characteristics of the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area. To this end, we have been successful in achieving new insights on how remote sensing data, in concert with modeling of regional to local scale meteorology and air quality, can be used to more robustly quantify and understand land surface-boundary layer interactions over urban areas.

This paper presents an overview of some of the scientific and applications results achieved from Project ATLANTA, as focused on the following:

1. Analysis of Urbanization Dynamics of the Atlanta Metropolitan Region Through Time - Analysis of urbanization dynamics of the Atlanta metro area through time using sequential Landsat MSS and TM data from 1973-1998, production of surface temperature maps to investigate Atlanta’s urban heat island effect, and mapping changes in NDVI over Atlanta as a function of land cover changes.

2. Analysis and Quantification of Urban Surface Thermal Energy Fluxes from High Resolution Aircraft Data - Acquisition and analysis of high spatial resolution multispectral thermal infrared aircraft data over Atlanta, with particular reference to mapping the distribution of surface thermal energy responses across the urban landscape.

3. Regional-Scale Analysis of Urban Land Cover Change as it has Impacted Thermal Processes, NDVI and Soil Moisture - Use of AVHRR data to determine spatially-distributed heat fluxes at the regional scale, commensurate with analysis of mesoscale meteorological data for the Atlanta metropolitan area.

4. The Role of Clouds in Relationship Between Land Cover/Land Use and Urban Meteorology and Air Quality - Use of GOES visible images in conjunction with meteorological and air quality data to assess the affects of the urban surface on clouds, and the mesoscale numerical modeling of cloud production.

5. Analysis and Modeling of Urban Effects on Thunderstorms - Mesoscale analysis of the UHI, surface wind velocity, convergence, and precipitation data for Atlanta case studies that documented urban impacts on the movement and initiation of summertime convective storms.

6. Improved Modeling of Urban Meteorology and Air Quality - Development of a bulk parameterization scheme to “urbanize” a mesoscale meteorological model to better simulate anthropogenic and storage heat fluxes in urban areas. Simulations of the impacts of land cover changes on the UHI, regional meteorology, and implications on photochemistry, along with the extensive air quality modeling to quantify and assess the implications of the changes in surface characteristics on ozone production over Atlanta.

7. Translation of the Science Results From the Project to Local Community - Collaboration with local, regional, and state governmental entities, as well as non-profit groups, to make decision-makers, planners and the public at large aware of the implications of Atlanta’s urban growth and sprawl on the city’s UHI, and ultimately, on the region’s meteorology and air quality.

Session 12, Urban air quality 2
Thursday, 17 August 2000, 10:45 AM-11:57 AM

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