Water temperature of streams in the Cook Inlet basin, Alaska, and implications of climate change

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2001-4109

Prepared as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program



Water-temperature data from 32 sites in the Cook Inlet Basin, south-central Alaska, indicate various trends that depend on watershed characteristics. Basins with 25 percent or more of their area consisting of glaciers have the coldest water temperatures during the open-water season, mid-May to mid-October. Streams and rivers that drain lowlands have the warmest water temperatures. A model that uses air temperature as input to predict water temperature as output was utilized to simulate future trends in water temperature based on increased air temperatures due to climate warming. Based on the Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient, the model produced acceptable results for 27 sites. For basins with more than 25 percent glacial coverage, the model was not as accurate. Results indicate that 15 sites had a predicted water-temperature change of 3 degrees Celsius or more, a magnitude of change that is considered significant for the incidence of disease in fish populations.

Suggested Citation

Kyle, R.E., and Brabets, T.P., 2001, Water Temperature of Streams in the Cook Inlet Basin, Alaska, and Implications of Climate Change: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 01-4109, 24 p.

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Description of the Study Area
  • Water-Temperature Characteristics
  • Future Trends in Water-Temperature Characteristics
  • Summary
  • References Cited

Additional Publication Details

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USGS Numbered Series
Water temperature of streams in the Cook Inlet basin, Alaska, and implications of climate change
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
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Contributing office(s):
Oregon Water Science Center
24 p.; 14 illus.; 6 tables
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