Caluculation of the in-use stock of materials in urban with nocturnal light image

Material in-use stock, which represents a future potential of material recovery and waste, is an important factor in analysis of resources recycling. In-use stock is usually estimated using some statistics. In developing countries, however, such statistical data is not usually available to estimate in-use stock of materials. Therefore an alternative method is required in these countries. In this paper, a novel approach was shown to estimate a distribution of material, e.g. copper, etc. stock in the world, using above ground light images taken from space. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) / Operational Linescan System (OLS) nocturnal images are converted into the cloud-free visible light distribution image on all over the earth. The visible light is used exclusively in residential, commercial, industrial, public facilities and roadways. In previous studies, the relation between the strength of nocturnal light and human activity (e.g. population, GDP, energy utilization) has been studied. If we assumed that wherever the light exists the conducting material, such as copper should be used, the in-stock of materials can be estimated from the net of the light. In this study, the cloud-free DMSP composites of 1 km spatial resolution data generated by National Geophysical Data Center in U.S.A were applied on mapping a distribution of material stock. The net of light in an area were calculated from the image data, as an Illuminated Urban Area (IUA) dome volume. As a result, IUA dome volume shows strong correlation with copper stock. DMSP images may prove to be a useful tool to know in-use stock distributions in regions. This method is more suitable for the analysis concerning to developing countries where statistics may not be available.


Published in: 2009 Joint Urban Remote Sensing Event, Shanghai, China