Assessment of air pollution at Greater Cairo in relation to the spatial variability of surface urban heat island

Mohamed Hereher*, Rasha Eissa, Abduldaem Alqasemi, Ahmed M. El Kenawy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Greater Cairo, Egypt, which lies in the apex of the Nile Delta, is one of the most populated regions in the world. Air pollution is a profound environmental issue prevailing in the urban/rural landscapes of this crowded megacity. The objectives of the present study were to utilize remotely sensed data in order to address the seasonal variations of the nocturnal surface urban heat island intensity (SUHII) as extracted from the American Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite and the related seasonal distribution of selected air pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and carbon monoxide (CO) as extracted from the European TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) for the period from 2018 to 2021. It is observed that there is clear nocturnal urban heat island over Greater Cairo, particularly at the administrative districts dominated by urban land use with high density of population and at the industrial and power generation locations. The highest SUHII is observed during winter. On the other hand, the selected pollutants also represent an urban pollution island (UPI) capping the regions of high SUHII. At the seasonal level, the highest NO2 correlation with the SUHII occurs during spring (R2 = 0.59), while the CO correlates maximum during winter (R2 = 0.51). Nonetheless, the seasonal SO2 distribution is poorly related to the SUHII as this specific pollutant is significantly associated with the industrial land use. Climatic and topographic factors could intensify the distribution of air pollution in the study area. Results of this study demonstrate the significance of geospatial technology tools in the subtle analysis and addressing regional air pollution. The outputs are also of a paramount implication on the management of urban environment and the adaptation of urban air quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21412-21425
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • CO
  • Cairo
  • NO
  • SO
  • Spatial technologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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