Stream Segment Temperature Model (SSTEMP) Version 2.0




SSTEMP is a much-scaled down version of the Stream Network Temperature Model (SNTEMP) by Theurer et al. (1984). SSTEMP may be used to evaluate alternative reservoir release proposals, analyze the effects of changing riparian shade or the physical features of a stream, and examine the effects of different stream withdrawals and returns on instream temperature. Unlike the large network model, SNTEMP, this program handles only single stream segments for a single time period (e.g., month, week, day) for any given “run”. Initially designed as a training tool, SSTEMP may be used satisfactorily for a variety of simple cases that one might face on a day-to-day basis. It is especially useful to perform sensitivity and uncertainty analysis.

The program requires inputs describing the average stream geometry, as well as (steady-state) hydrology and meteorology, and stream shading. SSTEMP optionally estimates the combined topographic and vegetative shade as well as solar radiation penetrating the water. It then predicts the mean daily water temperatures at specified distances downstream. It also estimates the daily maximum and minimum temperatures, and unlike SNTEMP, handles the special case of a dam with steady-state release at the upstream end of the segment.

With good quality input data, SSTEMP should faithfully reproduce mean daily water temperatures throughout a stream reach. If it does not, there is a research opportunity to explain why not. One should not expect too much from SSTEMP if the input values are of poor quality or if the modeler has not adhered to the model’s assumptions.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Unnumbered Series
Stream Segment Temperature Model (SSTEMP) Version 2.0
Version 2.0, Revised August 2002
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Fort Collins, CO
29 p.
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Larger Work Subtype:
Other Report