EGU21-16146, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A comparative study of urban heat island effects in two Belarusian cities from satellite and ground-based observations

Heorhi Burchanka1, Yahor Prakopchyk1, Tsimafei Schlender1,2, Aleh Baravik3, and Siarhei Barodka2
Heorhi Burchanka et al.
  • 1Faculty of Geography and Geoinformatics, Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus (E-mail:
  • 2National Ozone Monitoring Research and Education Center (NOMREC), Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus
  • 3Republican Center for Hydrometeorology, Control of Radioactive Contamination and Environmental Monitoring, Minsk, Belarus

This study is devoted to analysis of urban development effects on surface thermal characteristics for the case of Belarusian cities of Minsk and Mahiloŭ. Both cities being situated on the same latitude (53.90 N) and not far from each other (~180 km distance), while also sharing a number of similar features typical for cities in Belarus (and in some other former Eastern Bloc countries as well), Minsk and Mahiloŭ nevertheless differ significantly in terms of their population, size and structure. It is therefore of interest to perform urban climate studies for these two cities in parallel.

First, we use geoinformation systems (QGIS), centralized city planning databases and Open Street Maps (OSM) vector data to implement description of Minsk and Mahiloŭ urban territories in terms of functional zones, taking into account such features as buildings density and urban area category (industrial, residential, business, recreational and other types).

Furthermore, we perform analysis of surface temperature fields for both cities from satellite data (Landsat-8) and ground-based observations, the latter including both regular meteorological stations (in urban as well as surrounding rural areas) and a volunteer network of weather and air quality sensors distributed in both cities as part of the AirMQ project [1]. We analyze observations for several months in the 2019-2021 period (depending on data availability), paying special attention to days with specific weather conditions (e.g. blocking anticyclones).

Analysis demonstrates clear evidence of significant urban heat island effects in thermal regimes of both cities, with specific areas of increased temperature related to urban zoning, industrial and green areas, buildings heights and density. However, the selected method of surface urban heat island (SUHI) detection turns out to be somewhat limited for the purposes of studying the effects of blocking anticyclones on urban heat island phenomena development, thereby calling for application of atmospheric numerical modelling techniques.

[1] AirMQ project, URL:

How to cite: Burchanka, H., Prakopchyk, Y., Schlender, T., Baravik, A., and Barodka, S.: A comparative study of urban heat island effects in two Belarusian cities from satellite and ground-based observations, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16146,, 2021.


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