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Urban Heat Mapping of Adelaide Metropolitan Area

The severity of heat experienced in cities during hot weather  varies across the urban landscape. In particular,  areas with a larger thermal mass of non-climate-sensitive structures, such as concrete or bitumen, result in higher surface temperatures compared to parklands or vegetated areas.

The Urban Heat Mapping Viewer enables the exploration of high-resolution surface temperature data for the Adelaide metropolitan area. This is the product of three separate mapping projects, commissioned by the four metropolitan local government climate change adaptation groups of Resilient South, Adapt West, Resilient East and Adapting Northern Adelaide.   

The data presented can be used to:

  • evaluate how urban infrastructure choices affect the temperature characteristics and extents of urban heat islands,
  • help plan activities to mitigate high temperatures in the urban environment, and      
  • improve the resilience of communities and assets to extreme heat and prolonged heat events.

Periodic updating of  the heat maps will enable evaluation of the effectiveness of climate change adaptation measures and investments in urban greening and climate-sensitive infrastructure.

The thermal, social vulnerability and NDVI datasets are provided through this map viewer with the permission of the local government authorities party to the Resilient South, Adapt West, Resilient East and Adapting Northern Adelaide climate change adaptation groups.

Data available

The colour scale used in the heat maps represents surface temperatures recorded on the day of data capture, from coolest (blue) to hottest (red). The data were captured on three separate dates, each selected for being a day of above average summer temperature. It is not valid to compare the indicated surface temperatures across different capture zones (delineated by boundary lines in the mapping viewer), due to different ambient temperatures on each of the three days.

Data that can be explored through the Urban Heat Mapping Viewer is identified in the following table:


Resilient South area

Adapt West area

Resilient East area

Northern Adelaide (City of Salisbury)

  Date of data capture

22 Feb 2016

9 Feb 2017

23 Mar 2018

23 Mar 2018

  Kent Town BoM temperature  maximum

39.5 oC

41.0 oC

33.8 oC

33.8 oC

  Kent Town BoM temperature  minimum

22.2 oC

24.2 oC

21.3 oC

21.3 oC

  Surface temperature day





  Surface temperature night





  Social vulnerability index* - day





  Social vulnerability index* - night










  Administrative area boundaries





* The social vulnerability index indicates locations where urban heat islands intersect with areas in which vulnerable members of the community live. Social vulnerability indicators were identified as:
  • elderly population (>75 years old);
  • people who need assistance due to disabilities;
  • people who speak English as a second language not well or not at all;
  • median rent paid by residents; and
  • Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas of Disadvantage (SEIFA Score).

** Normalised differential vegetation index (NDVI) is an indicator of vegetation greenness.