Joshua S. Rice, William P. Anderson, Jr. and Christopher S. Thaxton
Release Date: April 16, 2011
Urbanization influences on stream temperature behavior within low-discharge headwater streams
Joshua S. Rice1), William P. Anderson, Jr.2) and Christopher S. Thaxton3)
1) Environmental Science Program, College of Arts and Sciences, Appalachian State University
2) Department of Geology, Appalachian State University
3) Department of Physics and Astronomy, Appalachian State University
(Received: November 4, 2010)
(Accepted for publication: April 2, 2011)
Urbanization has compromised water quality globally, especially stream temperature, by reducing shading and converting natural landscapes to impermeable surface coverage (ISC). We analyze stream-air temperature relationships in a low-order, moderate-gradient urban stream using three years of stream temperature data collected at nine monitoring sites. At the sub-catchment scale, ISC increases from 13.7% to 24.3% among sites, causing mean summer temperatures to increase 4–5°C or 0.37°C for each 1% increase in ISC. ISC at these spatial scales influences stream-air temperature relationships at daily-, weekly-, and monthly-averaged time scales. ISC at smaller spatial scales within a 25-m buffer of the stream, which ranges from 1% to 75%, does not correlate with mean stream temperatures at any temporal scale; however, buffer ISC does correlate with short-term temperature surge events, which we define as an increase of at least 1°C within 15 minutes. Mean surge amplitudes range from 1.90°C to 3.27°C in areas with low and high buffer ISC, respectively. Our results show that ISC influences stream temperatures at stream buffer and sub-catchment spatial scales and daily, weekly, and monthly temporal scales, and may render the concept of equilibrium temperature obsolete for predicting stream temperatures, especially in low-order, headwater streams.
To cite this article:
Joshua S. Rice, William P. Anderson, Jr. and Christopher S. Thaxton: “Urbanization influences on stream temperature behavior within low-discharge headwater streams”, Hydrological Research Letters, Vol. 5, pp.27-31, (2011) .
Copyright (c) 2011 Japan Society of Hydrology and Water Resources