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Open AccessArticle

Longitudinal, Lateral, Vertical, and Temporal Thermal Heterogeneity in a Large Impounded River: Implications for Cold-Water Refuges

1
U.S. Geological Survey, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Cascadia Field Station, Seattle, WA 98195-2100, USA
2
Kalispel Tribe of Indians Natural Resources Department, Usk, WA 99180, USA
3
Fish Ecology Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Seattle, WA 98112, USA
4
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment, Pacific Ecological Systems Division, Corvallis, OR 97333, USA
5
FreshwaterMap, Bigfork, MT 59911, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(9), 1386; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12091386
Received: 15 February 2020 / Revised: 23 April 2020 / Accepted: 26 April 2020 / Published: 28 April 2020
Dam operations can affect mixing of the water column, thereby influencing thermal heterogeneity spatially and temporally. This occurs by restricting or eliminating connectivity in longitudinal, lateral, vertical, and temporal dimensions. We examined thermal heterogeneity across space and time and identified potential cold-water refuges for salmonids in a large impounded river in inland northwestern USA. To describe these patterns, we used thermal infrared (TIR) imagery, in situ thermographs, and high-resolution, 3-D hydraulic mapping. We explained the median water temperature and probability of occurrence of cool-water areas using generalized additive models (GAMs) at reach and subcatchment scales, and we evaluated potential cold-water refuge occurrence in relation to these patterns. We demonstrated that (1) lateral contributions from tributaries dominated thermal heterogeneity, (2) thermal variability at confluences was approximately an order of magnitude greater than of the main stem, (3) potential cold-water refuges were mostly found at confluences, and (4) the probability of occurrence of cool areas and median water temperature were associated with channel geomorphology and distance from dam. These findings highlight the importance of using multiple approaches to describe thermal heterogeneity in large, impounded rivers and the need to incorporate these types of rivers in the understanding of thermal riverscapes because of their limited representation in the literature. View Full-Text
Keywords: water temperature; salmonids; Pend Oreille River; thermal infrared (TIR); acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP); channel bathymetry; flow velocity; cold-water refuge; dam; remote sensing water temperature; salmonids; Pend Oreille River; thermal infrared (TIR); acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP); channel bathymetry; flow velocity; cold-water refuge; dam; remote sensing
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  • Supplementary File 1:

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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5066/P9U5HJH9
    Link: https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/item/5c9d0e2ee4b0b8a7f62e0903
    Description: Figure S1: Patterns of water temperature at selected confluences (C7, C8, and C14 (August 9 – September 13, 2017). Scripts S2: R code to generate graphics in Figure 4 for interactive visualization in three-dimensional space. Data S3: Data to generate graphics in Figure 4.
MDPI and ACS Style

Mejia, F.H.; Torgersen, C.E.; Berntsen, E.K.; Maroney, J.R.; Connor, J.M.; Fullerton, A.H.; Ebersole, J.L.; Lorang, M.S. Longitudinal, Lateral, Vertical, and Temporal Thermal Heterogeneity in a Large Impounded River: Implications for Cold-Water Refuges. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 1386.

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