Development of a CE-QUAL-W2 temperature model for Crystal Springs Lake, Portland, Oregon

Open-File Report 2016-1076
Prepared in cooperation with City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
By:  and 



During summer 2014, lake level, streamflow, and water temperature in and around Crystal Springs Lake in Portland, Oregon, were measured by the U.S. Geological Survey and the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services to better understand the effect of the lake on Crystal Springs Creek and Johnson Creek downstream. Johnson Creek is listed as an impaired water body for temperature by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), as required by section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. A temperature total maximum daily load applies to all streams in the Johnson Creek watershed, including Crystal Springs Creek. Summer water temperatures downstream of Crystal Springs Lake and the Golf Pond regularly exceed the ODEQ numeric criterion of 64.4 °F (18.0 °C) for salmonid rearing and migration. To better understand temperature contributions of this system, the U.S. Geological Survey developed two-dimensional hydrodynamic water temperature models of Crystal Springs Lake and the Golf Pond. Model grids were developed to closely resemble the bathymetry of the lake and pond using data from a 2014 survey. The calibrated models simulated surface water elevations to within 0.06 foot (0.02 meter) and outflow water temperature to within 1.08 °F (0.60 °C). Streamflow, water temperature, and lake elevation data collected during summer 2014 supplied the boundary and reference conditions for the model. Measured discrepancies between outflow and inflow from the lake, assumed to be mostly from unknown and diffuse springs under the lake, accounted for about 46 percent of the total inflow to the lake.

Model simulations (scenarios) were run with lower water surface elevations in Crystal Springs Lake and increased shading to the lake to assess the relative effect the lake and pond characteristics have on water temperature. The Golf Pond was unaltered in all scenarios. The models estimated that lower lake elevations would result in cooler water downstream of the Golf Pond and shorter residence times in the lake. Increased shading to the lake would also provide substantial cooling. Most management scenarios resulted in a decrease in 7-day average of daily maximum values by about 2.0– 4.7 °F (1.1 –2.6 °C) for outflow from Crystal Springs Lake during the period of interest. Outflows from the Golf Pond showed a net temperature reduction of 0.5–2.7 °F (0.3–1.5 °C) compared to measured values in 2014 because of solar heating and downstream warming in the Golf Pond resulting from mixing with inflow from Reed Lake.

Suggested Citation

Buccola, N.L., and Stonewall, A.J., 2016, Development of a CE-QUAL-W2 temperature model for Crystal Springs Lake, Portland, Oregon: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016‒1076, 26 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Methods and Data
  • Model Calibration
  • Scenarios
  • Potential Future Studies
  • Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Development of a CE-QUAL-W2 temperature model for Crystal Springs Lake, Portland, Oregon
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2016-1076
DOI 10.3133/ofr20161076
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Oregon Water Science Center
Description Report: vi, 26 p.; Tables 1-9
Country United States
State Oregon
City Portland
Other Geospatial Crystal Springs Lake
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details