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Using underwater epoxy to install temperature sensors

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


Thermal regimes in rivers and streams are fundamental determinants of biological processes and are often monitored for regulatory compliance. Climate change and other factors associated with human development and land management pose significant threats to the thermal integrity of many streams and rivers. Our ability to quantify those threats with accurate measurements of temperature dramatically increased in the early 1990s with the advent of inexpensive, miniature temperature sensors.

Key Findings:

  • Thermal regimes are fundamentally important to aquatic biotas and the advent of inexpensive, miniature digital sensors has resulted in widespread temperature monitoring efforts in recent decades.
  • With a simple protocol that uses underwater epoxy to attach sensors, more than 500 new monitoring sites were established from 2010 to 2012 in rivers and streams across the Rocky Mountains.
  • Revisits to 179 sites indicate good sensor retention rates, with 88 - 100 percent of sensors retained after one year in low gradient streams (<3 percent) and 70 - 78 percent retained in high gradient streams (>3 percent).

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