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Title: A spatially distributed model for the assessment of land use impacts on stream temperature in small urban watersheds

Stream temperatures in urban watersheds are influenced to a high degree by anthropogenic impacts related to changes in landscape, stream channel morphology, and climate. These impacts can occur at small time and length scales, hence require analytical tools that consider the influence of the hydrologic regime, energy fluxes, topography, channel morphology, and near-stream vegetation distribution. Here we describe a modeling system that integrates the Distributed Hydrologic Soil Vegetation Model, DHSVM, with the semi-Lagrangian stream temperature model RBM, which has the capability to simulate the hydrology and water temperature of urban streams at high time and space resolutions, as well as a representation of the effects of riparian shading on stream energetics. We demonstrate the modeling system through application to the Mercer Creek watershed, a small urban catchment near Bellevue, Washington. The results suggest that the model is able both to produce realistic streamflow predictions at fine temporal and spatial scales, and to provide spatially distributed water temperature predictions that are consistent with observations throughout a complex stream network. We use the modeling construct to characterize impacts of land use change and near-stream vegetation change on stream temperature throughout the Mercer Creek system. We then explore the sensitivity of stream temperaturemore » to land use changes and modifications in vegetation along the riparian corridor.« less
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Publication Date:
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Report Number(s):
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Hydrological Processes, 29(10):2331-2345
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
stream temperature; distributed modeling; DHSVM; land use change; urban watershed; climate change; mitigation; shading