The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type




Degree Name

Geography - Geographic Information Science: M.S.


Geography and Planning


School of Public Affairs

First Advisor

Dr. Feilin Lai

Second Advisor

Dr. Mikhail Blinnikov

Third Advisor

Dr. Anthony Hansen

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Land surface temperature (LST), Urban Heat Islands (UHIs), big geodata, Google Earth Engine, Minnesota State


Rapid urban expansion has given rise to Urban Heat Islands (UHIs), characterized by elevated land surface temperatures (LST) in urban areas, leading to environmental and health concerns along with increased energy consumption. Recent advancements in remote sensing have facilitated the exploration of spatiotemporal LST patterns and their relationship with factors like vegetation, built-up land, and soil moisture. However, limited research has investigated whether these relationships differ between urban and rural areas. Leveraging the power of cloud computational resources such as Google Earth Engine and Microsoft Azure, researchers can now delve into these topics on a larger scale and over an extended period. This study addresses existing gaps by analyzing the spatial and temporal patterns of LST, considering the impact of vegetation and built-up land in both urban and rural settings over the past decade. Focusing on Minnesota, a state known for its diverse landscape and recent urban growth, Specifically, we calculated the grid-level annual mean and seasonal mean LST, conducted an urban-rural gradient analysis, examined the relationship between LST with vegetation and built-up land in urban and rural areas separately, and analyzed how LST is associated with land cover types in MN. By utilizing Google Earth Engine for geospatial analysis, the study sheds light on critical aspects such as the relationship between LST and various land cover types. The findings contribute valuable insights into understanding LST dynamics across seasons in a complex landscape, exploring variations in the relationship between LST and land characteristics in urban and rural areas, and providing essential information for sustainable urban planning and environmental management.


I am writing to express my sincere gratitude for the invaluable support and guidance that I have received throughout the process of researching and writing my thesis, titled "Grid-level Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Land Surface Temperature and the Association with Land Use and Land Cover: A Case Study of Minnesota, USA between 2013 – 2022." I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the Program of Geography, my advisor, Dr. Feilin Lai, and the members of my thesis committee.

First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to Dr. Feilin "Falina" Lai, who has been a constant source of support, knowledgeable counsel, and constructive feedback during the whole thesis process. Her knowledge and commitment have greatly influenced the focus and quality of my research. I would also like to express my gratitude to the members of my thesis committee, Dr. Mikhail Blinnikov (2nd Committee Member) and Dr. Anthony Hansen (3rd Committee Member), for their valuable insights, thoughtful suggestions, and rigorous examination of my work.

Once again, thank you for your support and encouragement throughout this academic journey. I am honored to have been a part of the Geography Program at St. Cloud State University. I am proud to have had the chance to work with such distinguished individuals.

Available for download on Tuesday, May 06, 2025