RMRS Air, Water, & Aquatic Environments Science Program USFS RMRS Boise Lab Stream Temperature Modeling and Monitoring

US Forest Service Research and Development

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Stream Temperature Modeling and Monitoring
 Air Temp Based Model
 Spatial Statistical Model
 Multiple Regression Model
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Boise, ID 83702

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Rocky Mountain Research Station Home > Science Program Areas > Air, Water and Aquatics > Boise Lab Stream Temperature Modeling and Monitoring > Spatial Statistical Stream Temperature Model > Study Overview


Spatial Statistical Stream Temperature Model

Landscape Scale Model - Map of the Boise Basin Retrospective Project


study Overview

Spatial Statistical Stream Temperature Model

Many natural resource agencies routinely collect digital stream temperature data.  However, a lack of coordinated sampling efforts typically results in temperature observations within a stream network that are spatially clustered, non-random, and autocorrelated. Recently, a new class of spatial statistical models that account for network topology (i.e., flow direction and volume) has been developed to address these issues (Ver Hoef et al. 2006).


To test the application of these models, we assembled a large stream temperature database (n = 780 records) spanning a 14-year period from 1993 2006 for the 6,900 km2 Boise River basin in central Idaho. Predictor variables that potentially affected stream temperature were quantified using automated GIS routines to obtain measurements of geomorphic features (e.g., elevation, channel slope, and valley confinement), satellite imagery to estimate solar radiation changes from wildfire, and climate stations to provide information on stream flow and air temperatures. Spatial models with four fixed-effect predictors and a mixed model spatial error structure accounted for 93% and 86% of the variation in summer mean and maximum stream temperatures, respectively, during the 14-year study period.


The spatial temperature models yield more accurate parameter estimates than traditional, non-spatial models and offer much improved predictive ability. These models are being used to map past and future thermal conditions and suitable habitat distributions for native salmonid species in this basin, but could also be used to better understand factors that affect stream temperature, determine compliance with water quality standards, or optimize temperature sampling designs. Preliminary results from this project have been presented at several scientific meetings and a peer-reviewed manuscript has been drafted for publication. 


Ver Hoef, J.M., E. Peterson, and D. Theobald. 2006. Spatial statistical models that use flow and stream distance. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 13:449-464.



other links - SSN & STARS: Tools for Spatial Statistical Modeling on Stream Networks


Rocky Mountain Research Station - Air, Water and Aquatic Environments Sciences Program
Last Modified:  Monday, 25 August 2014 at 13:29:48 CDT

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