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Stream temperature modeling and monitoring

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


Thermal regimes are important to aquatic ecosystems because they strongly dictate species distributions, productivity, and abundance. Inexpensive digital temperature loggers (thermographs, such as the TidbiT data logger), geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing technologies, and new spatial analyses are facilitating the development of temperature models and monitoring networks applicable at broad spatial scales.

Key Findings:

  • Thermal regimes are a fundamental attribute of stream ecosystems and the ability to monitor and model these regimes are rapidly advancing.
  • Extensive monitoring infrastructures are being built to increase our knowledge of stream temperatures across National Forest lands.
  • Advances in GIS and remote sensing technologies make it possible to model stream temperatures from landscape features. Using these new spatial statistical models provides strong predictive ability.
  • Temperature models can be used to predict suitable habitats for aquatic species, determine compliance with water quality standards, or optimize stream temperature sampling.

For more information, visit the Stream temperature modeling and monitoring website

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