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Hydrology 2019, 6(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6010006

Eye in the Sky: Using UAV Imagery of Seasonal Riverine Canopy Growth to Model Water Temperature

University of California, Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, Davis, CA 95616, USA
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Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
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Abstract

Until recently, stream temperature processes controlled by aquatic macrophyte shading (i.e., the riverine canopy) was an unrecognized phenomenon. This study aims to address the question of the temporal and spatial scale of monitoring and modeling that is needed to accurately simulate canopy-controlled thermal processes. We do this by using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery to quantify the temporal and spatial variability of the riverine canopy and subsequently develop a relationship between its growth and time. Then we apply an existing hydrodynamic and water temperature model to test various time steps of canopy growth interpolation and explore the balance between monitoring and computational efficiencies versus model performance and utility for management decisions. The results show that riverine canopies modeled at a monthly timescale are sufficient to represent water temperature processes at a resolution necessary for reach-scale water management decisions, but not local-scale. As growth patterns were more frequently updated, negligible changes were produced by the model. Spatial configurations of the riverine canopy vary interannually; new data may need to be gathered for each growth season. However, the risks of inclement field conditions during the early growth period are a challenge for monitoring via UAVs at sites with access constraints. View Full-Text
Keywords: water temperature; thermal regime; UAV; riverine canopy; management; model; aquatic vegetation water temperature; thermal regime; UAV; riverine canopy; management; model; aquatic vegetation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Willis, A.; Holmes, E. Eye in the Sky: Using UAV Imagery of Seasonal Riverine Canopy Growth to Model Water Temperature. Hydrology 2019, 6, 6.

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