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Spatial statistical modeling tools for streams

Posted date: January 23, 2015
Publication Year: 
Authors: Isaak, Daniel J.;
Document type: Briefing Papers


Stream network structure, connectivity, and flow direction strongly affect spatial patterns in stream attributes. Most statistical analyses ignore network structure and may provide biased results for stream data.

Key Findings:

  • Statistical stream models accurately represent spatial patterns on stream networks by incorporating statistical programs that account for the direction of flow and changes at tributary junctions.
  • Spatial Stream Network (SSN) & Spatial Tools for the Analysis of River Systems (STARS) are powerful tools for spatial statistical modeling of stream networks.
  • STARS is an ArcGIS toolset used in conjunction with the Functional Linkage of Waterbasins and Streams (FLoWS) toolbox.
  • STARS is capable of generating and formatting the data needed to fit spatial statistical models to streams data in Program R.
  • The eight tools STARS provides are designed to analyze, reformat, and export the spatial data as a Spatial Stream Network (SSN) object.
  • An SSN object contains all of the spatial, topological, and attribute information needed to fit a spatial statistical model to stream data.
  • The SSN object can be directly imported to R statistical software using the SSN package.
  • The SSN package for Program R provides a powerful set of  functions for spatial statistical modeling of stream networks and can be used to fit spatial models to stream network data.

For more information, visit the Tools for Spatial Statistical Modeling on Stream Networks website.

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