Tan, J; Cherkauer, KA (2013). Assessing stream temperature variation in the Pacific Northwest using airborne thermal infrared remote sensing. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, 115, 206-216.
The objective of this paper is to evaluate the temporal and spatial variability of stream temperatures and how stream temperatures are affected by land use through the use of airborne thermal infrared (TIR) imagery. Both five-meter and fifteen-meter MODIS/ASTER (MASTER) imagery were acquired along the main channel of the Green-Duwamish River in Washington State, U.S. in multiple straight line passes with image overlaps occurring at time intervals of between 3 and 45 min. Five- and fifteen-meter data were collected on August 25th, 2001, with a few additional five-meter images collected on August 27th. Image overlaps were studied to evaluate the time dependence between acquisition time and observed water temperature. Temperature change between adjacent images over the course of a few minutes was found to be negligible, but became significant at times greater than 45 min, with an estimated increase in water temperature of 2-3 degrees C between the first and last image collected for the complete five-meter resolution survey. Images captured from different days help identify persistent localized temperature differences. While accounting for temperature changes that occurred during the acquisition process, we still found that average stream reach temperatures increased with urbanization, while variability decreased. The same occurred in the immediate presence of a reservoir. This study suggests that urbanization affects stream temperature not only through the removal of riparian zone vegetation, but also through changes to sources in in-stream variability including the presence of rocks, woody debris and sandbars. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.