Quantifying stream thermal regimes at management-pertinent scales: combining thermal infrared and stationary stream temperature data in a novel modeling framework.

Water Resources Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

Accurately quantifying stream thermal regimes can be challenging because stream temperatures are often spatially and temporally heterogeneous. In this study, we present a novel modeling framework that combines stream temperature data sets that are continuous in either space or time. Specifically, we merged the fine spatial resolution of thermal infrared (TIR) imagery with hourly data from 10 stationary temperature loggers in a 100 km portion of the Big Hole River, MT, USA. This combination allowed us to estimate summer thermal conditions at a relatively fine spatial resolution (every 100 m of stream length) over a large extent of stream (100 km of stream) during during the warmest part of the summer. Rigorous evaluation, including internal validation, external validation with spatially continuous instream temperature measurements collected from a Langrangian frame of reference, and sensitivity analyses, suggests the model was capable of accurately estimating longitudinal patterns in summer stream temperatures for this system Results revealed considerable spatial and temporal heterogeneity in summer stream temperatures and highlighted the value of assessing thermal regimes at relatively fine spatial and temporal scales. Preserving spatial and temporal variability and structure in abiotic stream data provides a critical foundation for understanding the dynamic, multiscale habitat needs of mobile stream organisms. Similarly, enhanced understanding of spatial and temporal variation in dynamic water quality attributes, including temporal sequence and spatial arrangement, can guide strategic placement of monitoring equipment that will subsequently capture variation in environmental conditions directly pertinent to research and management objectives.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Quantifying stream thermal regimes at management-pertinent scales: combining thermal infrared and stationary stream temperature data in a novel modeling framework.
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1002/2014WR015588
Volume 51
Issue 1
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 16 p.
First page 31
Last page 46
Country United States
State Montana
Other Geospatial Big Hole River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N