Local warming of groundwaters caused by the urban heat island effect in Istanbul, Turkey

Yalcin T., Yetemen Ö.

HYDROGEOLOGY JOURNAL, vol.17, no.5, pp.1247-1255, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10040-009-0474-7
  • Title of Journal : HYDROGEOLOGY JOURNAL
  • Page Numbers: pp.1247-1255


The urban heat island (UHI) is a result of urbanization, causing local microclimatologic changes such as increase in ambient temperature. Factors causing the UHI effect are anthropogenic energy release, energy absorption by concrete, tarmac structures and traffic, although the main factor is the replacement of vegetation with man-made structures. These factors cause heating of not only local air but also subsurface and groundwater. Observations of groundwater temperatures from the urban, southern part of Istanbul (Turkey) and the rural, northern part of Istanbul revealed that the urban groundwater temperatures were 3.5A degrees C higher than the rural. Urbanization is a direct consequence of improvements in technology and modern life. However, this comes at the cost of an ever-increasing demand for energy. Exploitation of low-enthalpy geothermal energy is an attractive alternative to fossil fuel based energies. From the environmental point of view, clean and cheap energy is the most preferable, with heat pumps being the best choice for recovery purposes. Usage of elevated groundwater temperature in the heat pumps in urban areas increases the efficiency of the heat pump system and yields more thermal energy than that of rural groundwater. This system may be applicable to Istanbul.