Guide for Monitoring Stream Temperature

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Water temperature influences most physical and biological processes in streams and, along with stream flow, is a major driver of ecosystem processes.

Monitoring stream temperatures can help researchers quantify a stream’s relationship to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. While many stream temperature monitoring protocols exist, most are written for aquatic specialists. In a new USGS report, USGS and National Park Service scientists provide precise and easy-to-understand stream temperature monitoring protocols for non-specialists. The protocols include instructions for using a specific brand of data loggers (Onset), including launching, checking factory calibration prior to field use, installing in streams for year-round monitoring, downloading and retrieving from the field, and inputting project data into databases.

Heck, M.P., Schultz, L.D., Hockman-Wert, D., Dinger, E.C., and Dunham, J.B., 2018, Monitoring stream temperatures—A guide for non-specialists: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 3, chap. A25, 76 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm3A25.

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Date published: November 20, 2017
Status: Active

Aquatic & Landscape Ecology Team (FRESC)

Fresh waters are one of the most valuable and threatened resources worldwide. They supply critical services to society and harbor many of the world’s most imperiled species. We conduct research and provide technical assistance to address challenges to fresh waters. Our research focuses on ecological processes in freshwater and terrestrial systems and the effects of those processes on landscape...