Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program

Long Term Resource Monitoring



 Effects of air temperature and discharge on Upper Mississippi River summer water temperatures

Gray, B.R., D.M. Robertson, J.T. Rogala.  2018. Effects of air temperature and discharge on Upper Mississippi River summer water temperatures. On-Line First, River Research and Applications https://doi.org/10.1002/rra.3278


Recent interest in the potential effects of climate change has prompted studies of air temperature and precipitation associations with water temperatures in rivers and streams. We examined associations between summer surface water temperatures and both air temperature and discharge for 5 reaches of the Upper Mississippi River during 1994–2011. Water–air temperature associations at a given reach approximated 1:1 when estimated under an assumption of reach independence but declined to approximately 1:2 when water temperatures were permitted to covary among reaches and were also adjusted for upstream air temperatures. Estimated water temperature–discharge associations were weak. An apparently novel feature of this study is that of addressing changes in associations between water and air temperatures when both are correlated among reaches.


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