Technical note: Fourier approach for estimating the thermal attributes of streams

Masahiro Ryo, Marie Leys, Christopher T. Robinson
2016 Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions  
Temperature models that directly predict ecologically important thermal attributes across spatio-temporal scales are still poorly developed. This study developed an analytical method to estimate seasonal and diel periodicities as well as irregularities in stream temperature at data-poor sites based on Fourier analysis. We first quantified the thermal attributes of a glacier-fed stream in the Swiss Alps using 2-years of hourly-recorded temperature. Stream temperature was accurately decomposed to
more » ... ately decomposed to an average 3.8 °C, diel periodicity spanning 4.9 °C, seasonal periodicity spanning 7.5 °C, and an irregularity having an average of 0.0 °C but spanning 9.7 °C. These thermal attributes then were used to estimate thermal attributes at spot-measured sites along the river, resulting in a different relative contribution (weighting) of attributes among sites. The results confirm that the developed method can infer stochastic behaviors in stream thermal attributes at spot-measured sites. Additional ways to further improve the methodological approach are discussed.
doi:10.5194/hess-2016-238 fatcat:g43x4cq6w5dwxjo5o5gdldjabe