||Urban nighttime light hotspot is an ideal representation of the spatial heterogeneity of human activities within a city, which is sensitive to regional urban expansion pattern. However, most of previous studies related to nighttime light imageries focused on extracting urban extent, leaving the spatial variation of radiance intensity insufficiently explored. With the help of global radiance calibrated DMSP-OLS datasets (NTLgrc), we proposed an innovative framework to explore the spatio-temporal trajectory of polycentric urban nighttime light hotspots. Firstly, NTLgrc was inter-annually calibrated to improve the consistency. Secondly, multi-resolution segmentation and region-growing SVM classification were employed to remove blooming effect and to extract potential clusters. At last, the urban hotspots were identified by a Gaussian volume model, and the resulting parameters were used to quantitatively depict hotspot features (i.e., intensity, morphology and centroid dynamics). The result shows that our framework successfully captures hotspots in polycentric urban area, whose Ra2 are over 0.9. Meanwhile, the spatio-temporal dynamics of the hotspot features intuitively reveal the impact of the regional urban growth pattern and planning strategies on human activities. Compared to previous studies, our framework is more robust and offers an effective way to describe hotspot pattern. Also, it provides a more comprehensive and spatial-explicit understanding regarding the interaction between urbanization pattern and human activities. Our findings are expected to be beneficial to governors in term of sustainable urban planning and decision making.