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Canadian Water Resources Journal

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The Influence of Air Temperature on Water

Temperature and the Concentration of Dissolved
Oxygen in Newfoundland Rivers

Richard Harvey , Leonard Lye , Ali Khan & Renee Paterson

To cite this article: Richard Harvey , Leonard Lye , Ali Khan & Renee Paterson (2011) The
Influence of Air Temperature on Water Temperature and the Concentration of Dissolved Oxygen
in Newfoundland Rivers , Canadian Water Resources Journal, 36:2, 171-192, DOI: 10.4296/

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The Influence of Air Temperature on Water Temperature
and the Concentration of Dissolved Oxygen in
Newfoundland Rivers

Richard Harvey, Leonard Lye, Ali Khan and Renee Paterson

Abstract: In this paper regression models are developed for predicting water temperature and the
concentration of dissolved oxygen in rivers monitored by the Newfoundland and Labrador Real-Time
Water Quality Monitoring (RTWQM) network. The developed models can be used to predict mean,
maximum and minimum water temperatures and dissolved oxygen at the monthly, weekly and daily
time scales. A nonlinear logistic model is found to best represent the S-shaped relationship between
water temperature at the real-time stations and air temperature collected from meteorological stations
5-50 kilometers away. There is a clear tendency for monthly and weekly models to be more accurate for
prediction than the daily models. Both linear and nonlinear exponential decay models were found to best
represent the relationship between water temperature and dissolved oxygen at the real-time stations. A
novel graphical method of linking air temperature to water temperature and dissolved oxygen has been
developed and may prove to be a valuable simple tool in the assessment of the health of the rivers in the
real-time network.

Résumé : Ce papier décrit des modèles de régression qui prédisent la température de l’eau et la concentration
d’oxygène dissous dans les rivières surveillées par le réseau Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador Real-Time Water
Quality. On peut utiliser les modèles développés pour prédire les températures d’eau moyennes, maximales et
minimales et les niveaux d’oxygène dissous dans l’eau aux échelles mensuelles, hebdomadaires et quotidiennes.
Un modèle non-linéaire logistique représente mieux la relation entre la température de l’eau aux stations
en temps réel et la température de l’air provenant des stations météorologiques de 5 à 50 kilomètres de
distance. Il y a une tendance claire pour les modèles mensuels et hebdomadaires d’être plus précis pour la
prédiction que les modèles quotidiens. Les modèles linéaires et non-linéaires de décroissance exponentielle
représentent mieux la relation entre la température de l’eau et l’oxygène dissous aux stations en temps réel. Une
nouvelle méthode graphique de relier la température de l’air à la température de l’eau et l’oxygène dissous a
été développée; cette méthode devrait se révéler un outil précieux et simple pour évaluer la santé des rivières
dans le réseau en temps réel.

Richard Harvey1, Leonard Lye1, Ali Khan2 and Renee Paterson2

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland A1B 3X5
Water Resources Management Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, Government
of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s, Newfoundland A1B 4J6

Submitted May 2010; accepted February 2011. Written comments on this paper will be accepted until
December 2011.

Canadian Water Resources Journal Vol. 36(2): 171–192 (2011) © 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association
Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques doi:10.4296/cwrj3602849
172 Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques

Introduction decomposition of aquatic plants particularily at the end

of the growing season and low streamflow conditions
Water temperature is an important indicator of water (Water on the Web, 2010). Concentrations during
quality that regulates a wide range of biological the summer months can be forced even lower by the
processes in a river system. Temperature influences addition of oxygen-demanding organic matter to the
spawning periods, growth rates and mortality rates of river system (e.g. sewage, agricultural runoff, lawn
a river’s aquatic inhabitants – the majority of which clippings, etc.). As a general rule, the concentration of
tend to be cold-blooded organisms that can only thrive DO in a healthy river will be in the range of 8-12 mg/L,
when water temperatures are within their preferred while concentrations in the 0-8 mg/L range have been
thermal range. Shifts in water temperature outside of shown to adversely affect the feeding, reproduction and
that preferred thermal range can adversely affect the mortality of aquatic fish species (Lloyd, 1961; Silver et
overall health of the aquatic ecosystem. High water al., 1963; Burton et al., 1980; Kramer, 1987).
temperatures in the range of 23-25°C have been The ability to effectively model water temperature
shown to increase the mortality rates of a number of and DO is an essential component in water resource
fish species (Lee and Rinne, 1980; Bjorn and Reiser, management. Regression models are developed in
1991; Hodgson and Quinn, 2002). Lund et al. (2002) this paper to provide for the effective assessment
showed high summer water temperatures to be the and prediction of these two important water quality
cause of a heat-shock response in juvenile salmonids. parameters for rivers in the Newfoundland and
The temperature of a river is governed by the Labrador Real-time Water Quality Monitoring
interaction of natural environmental processes (e.g. (RTWQM) network.
air temperature, solar radiation, conduction from
soil, etc.) and anthropogenic disturbances of the
natural thermal regime such as deforestation and The Newfoundland and Labrador RTWQM
hydroelectric development (Gras, 1969; Beschta et al., Network
1987; Benyahya et al., 2008). In recent years a number
of studies have identified global warming as another The Newfoundland and Labrador RTWQM network
major influence of water temperature (Sinokrot et was established by the Water Resources Management
al., 1995; Webb, 1996; Mohseni et al., 1998, 1999; Division (WRMD) of the Newfoundland and Labrador
Pedersen and Sand-Jensen, 2007). Eaton and Scheller Department of Environment and Conservation in
(1996) suggest that cold water fish densities in the 2001. To date, there are currently twenty eight (28)
United States could decline by as much as 50 percent stations throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
if river temperatures rise due to an increase carbon Regression models are developed for the four stations in
dioxide levels in the atmosphere. the network solely managed by the WRMD - Humber
Another important indicator of a river’s water River - NF02YL0012, Peter’s River - NF02YO0121,
quality is the concentration of dissolved oxygen (DO) Leary’s Brook - NF02ZM0178, and Waterford River -
present in the water. The oxygen required by all aquatic NF02ZM0009 (Figure 1).
organisms for survival is produced during daylight Real-time station Humber River (48°58’58” N,
hours through photosynthesis and consumed 24 hours 57°45’38” W) is located approximately 12.5 kilometers
a day through respiration and the decomposition of from the outlet of the Humber River on the west coast
organic matter by bacteria and fungi. As a result, the of the island. The Humber River is the second largest
concentration of DO in a river will be highest during river system in the province. The headwaters of the
the day and lower during the night – with the lowest river flow all the way from the highlands of the Long
levels occurring just before sunrise. The concentration Range Mountains on the west coast through the deep
of DO is also known to be influenced by water and heavily forested river valley into a wide marshy
temperature - where oxygen has a greater solubility flood plain where the river drains the surrounding
in colder water than it does in warmer water. As a mountainous areas. The drainage area of the river is
result DO levels in a river are higher during the winter over 7000 square kilometers with forest comprising
months than during summer. Lower concentrations the largest portion of this area (62.59%) followed
during the summer months also result from increased by lakes (12.47%), wetlands (.9.69%), barren land

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

Harvey, Lye, Khan and Paterson 173

Figure 1. Location of observation stations [solid circles] in Newfoundland and Labrador used in this study.
Shaded areas indicate watershed boundaries.

(7.23%), vegetation (6.88%). Monitoring activities Peter’s River station were available for the period June
at the station are of particular importance to the 2005 to February 2008 (this station is now permanently
WRMD as development pressure in the region is high offline).
– with hydroelectric power, municipal consumption, Leary’s Brook (47°33’51” N, 52°44’54” W) is
recreational purposes, solid waste disposal sites, and located on the east coast of Newfoundland. Leary’s
over fifty commercial farms in the area (Department Brook is an urban water system that runs through a
of Environment and Conservation, 2009a). Hourly developed section in the city of St. John’s. The total
measurements of water quality data were available for drainage area for the system is 19.6 square kilometers.
this station from December 2003 to April 2008. 74.36% of the total drainage area consists of forest
Peter’s River (49°6’13” N, 55°23’48” W) is located while the remainder is divided between barren land
in the central lowlands of the province near the small (12.31%), wetland (6.67%), vegetation (6.15%) and
town of Botwood. The protected water supply area lakes (0.51%) (Department of Environment and
for the river is approximately 224 square kilometers. Conservation, 2009b). The Leary’s Brook station is the
A number of public roads, resource roads, abandoned WRMD’s main testing station for real-time technology.
railway lines and old trails provide access to almost It was the first station brought online in the real-time
all areas of the Peter’s River Basin and the potential network and water quality records for the station date
for pollutant contamination to the watercourse has back to 2002. The equipment at the station is removed
been previously recognized (Khan, 1996). The river quite often for recalibration, experimentation and
originally supplied drinking water for the nearby towns testing – this has resulted in a rather non-continuous
of Botwood and Peterview but this was no longer record of data collection. Water quality measurements
the case after 2006 – after which those towns began collected at the station every 15 minutes for the period
relying on another nearby source of water. Hourly September 2004 to December 2007 were used in this
measurements of water quality data collected at the study.

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

174 Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques

Waterford River (47°31’46” N, 52°44’34” W) is • Maintenance and calibration procedures are

located in the city of St. John’s at a location roughly carried out for all sensors on a regular basis
thirteen kilometers from the headwaters of the (i.e. approximately every thirty days) using
Waterford River in the town of Paradise. The river certified standard solutions and manufacturer
flows through a moderately developed section of recommended methods.
St. John’s and has a total drainage area of roughly • Field readings are taken at the time of removal
52 square kilometers (57.89% forest, 19.36% barren and reinstallation for comparison purposes
land, 11.09% wetland, 10.71% vegetation, 0.75% lakes, using a freshly calibrated instrument. Raw data
and 0.19% other). Development pressure around the is then corrected using the values obtained
river is moderate with the majority of development from the freshly calibrated instrument at the
located in two industrial parks. Highways, city time of removal by applying a linear correction
streets and a number of access roads are dispersed over the deployment period.
throughout the basin (Department of Environment • A water quality grab sample is taken at the
and Conservation, 2009c). time of reinstallation and sent to an accredited
laboratory for analysis (the results from
this analysis are then used for comparison
Data Available for Model Development purposes).
• All field information is compiled on specified
RTWQM Data field sheets to allow easy access to information.
• Real-time raw data is retrieved and managed
Hydrolab Multiprobe Datasonde real-time monitors are in a specific Oracle database schema.
installed in the rivers so that water temperature, pH, • Transparency of the data is maintained
DO, specific conductance, and turbidity measurements through publishing in near real-time on the
can be recorded at regular intervals (once every hour Department web page. The Department
for Humber River, Peter’s River and Waterford River also publishes monthly deployment reports
and once every fifteen minutes for Leary’s Brook). for each station that include any issues with
These real-time monitors are capable of recording maintenance/calibration, QA/QC procedures,
water temperature from -5 to 50°C with an accuracy of data issues, time series graphs, summary
± 0.10°C at a resolution of 0.01°C and DO from 0 to statistics for each parameter, brief explanations
50 mg/L with an accuracy of ± 0.2 mg/L at a resolution for observed results and data qualification
of 0.01 mg/L (Campbell Scientific, 2009). statements.
The Newfoundland and Labrador RTWQM
program follows strict quality assurance/quality and
control/quality assessment procedures to ensure the Stage Level
integrity of the collected data. Some of these protocols
are outlined below: Each real-time station is located near Environment
• Sites are assessed on a case-by-case basis to Canada hydrometric monitoring equipment so that
determine the best possible locations and real-time stage level measurements can be paired to
deployment methods to achieve desirable and the Datasonde measurements.
accurate outcomes. Instruments are deployed
and secured in a manner to ensure the
instrumentation is in flowing water and free Air Temperature
from debris that may compromise the sensors.
• Monitoring probes undergo regular warranty Air temperatures at the real-time stations were
and servicing checks in compliance with obtained from hourly air temperatures recorded at
manufacturer recommendations. nearby Environment Canada meteorological stations.
• Personnel are specially trained and qualified to The distances between the real-time stations and the
deploy and maintain the instrumentation. meteorological stations are as follows: Humber River –
Corner Brook (15 kilometers), Peter’s River – Badger

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

Harvey, Lye, Khan and Paterson 175

Table 1. Statistical Summary of the Datasets Used for Mean Water Temperature and Dissolved
Oxygen Model Development

Tw (°C) Ta (°C) Stage (m) DO (mg/L)

Station Mean Min Max Mean Min Max Mean Min Max Mean Min Max
Monthly Mean Models for Regression Model Development
Humber 7.1 0.4 17.9 4.9 -9.0 18.1 2.1 1.5 3.3 12.1 8.6 19.5
Peter’s 8.1 -0.1 20.6 4.3 -9.0 17.9 1.1 0.9 1.5 11.0 7.7 13.8
Leary’s 6.9 0.7 16.6 5.1 -3.7 17.0 0.8 0.6 1.0 11.6 6.5 13.9
Waterford 8.1 0.2 17.7 5.9 -5.7 17.1 0.6 0.4 0.9 11.1 6.6 14.2

Weekly Mean Models for Regression Model Development

Humber 7.1 0.3 18.5 5.1 -12.9 20.5 2.1 1.4 3.7 12.1 8.6 19.6
Peter’s 8.3 -0.1 22.5 4.4 -13.8 20.8 1.2 0.9 1.8 11.0 7.0 14.3
Leary’s 6.9 0.2 17.5 5.0 -6.4 18.7 0.8 0.6 1.2 11.5 5.2 14.9
Waterford 8.1 -0.2 18.7 5.9 -9.3 18.7 0.6 0.4 1.1 11.1 6.0 14.9

Daily Mean Models for Regression Model Development

Humber 7.3 0.0 20.1 5.4 -16.6 23.0 2.1 1.3 3.8 12.0 8.5 20.0
Peter’s 8.4 -0.3 27.9 4.6 -19.1 25.5 1.1 0.9 2.3 11.2 7.1 15.0
Leary’s 6.8 0.1 19.1 4.9 -10.9 21.2 0.8 0.6 1.4 10.8 8.7 13.1
Waterford 8.1 -0.2 22.5 5.9 -13.5 21.2 0.6 0.4 1.4 11.1 5.2 15.5

(50 kilometers), Leary’s Brook – St. John’s airport 15 minutes). MinitabTM macros were written to group
(5 kilometers), and Waterford River – St. John’s individual measurements (tagged by a timestamp –
airport (10 kilometers). Although it would have been i.e. 12/11/2003 2:50) by day, week, and month. The
preferable to work with air temperature recorded macro was then used to obtain the mean, maximum
directly at the real-time stations, these distances are and minimum values for each day, week and month.
similar to those found in the literature. Crisp and A general statistical summary of the datasets used for
Howson (1982) worked with air temperatures collected mean water temperature and dissolved oxygen model
up to 50 kilometers away from their streams, Stefan and development is given in Table 1. Seasonal comparisons
Preud’homme (1993) worked with data collected from 0 of the water quality parameters are presented in Table
to 144 miles away, and Pilgrim et al. (1998) worked with 2. The size of each river studied in this study varies –
distances an average of 37.5 kilometers away. There is with the Humber River being the largest of the group,
currently no way to quantitatively determine the impact followed by Peter’s River, Leary’s Brook and Waterford
of relying on these meteorological measurements when River. As a result the influence of air temperature on
developing the models as air temperatures recorded water quality parameters recorded at each station will
directly at the RTWQM station are not available. As be different (i.e. an air temperature of 25 °C will not have
such, for this study it was assumed that the available the same impact on water temperatures in the shallower
meteorological data is a close approximation of what Leary’s Brook as it will in the deeper Humber River).
RTWQM station air temperature might be.

Water Temperature Models

Developing Monthly, Weekly and Daily Datasets
Models for the prediction and assessment of water
The historical records of water quality available for temperature are either empirical (regression based)
analysis at each RTWQM each contain over 25,000 or deterministic (physical based). The deterministic
rows of hourly data (with the exception of Leary’s models (Raphael, 1962; Morin et al., 1994; Taylor,
Brook, where measurements are collected every 1998) are based on thermal budget calculations that

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

176 Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques

Table 2. Seasonal Comparison of RTWQM Stations

Mean Water Temperature (°C) Air Temperature (°C)

Humber Peter’s Leary’s Waterford Humber Peter’s Leary’s Waterford
River River Brook River River River Brook River
Winter 2.2 0.9 2.1 1.4 -5.3 -6.3 -2.3 -2.7
Spring 2.0 4.2 4.4 4.0 1.4 1.8 1.8 1.2
Summer 13.1 19.0 14.4 16.3 15.7 15.7 15.0 15.6
Fall 11.1 9.9 9.8 10.4 7.2 6.4 8.3 8.4

Mean Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L) Mean Stage Level (m)

Humber Peter’s Leary’s Waterford Humber Peter’s Leary’s Waterford

River River Brook River River River Brook River
Winter 13.3 12.5 13.3 13.7 2.0 1.3 0.8 0.6
Spring 13.8 12.3 12.4 11.6 2.3 1.2 0.9 0.6
Summer 10.5 8.3 8.8 8.6 1.9 1.0 0.7 0.5
Fall 10.5 10.7 11.0 10.1 2.2 1.1 0.8 0.5

take into consideration a wide range of heat inputs where Tw is water temperature, Ta is air temperature, a0
and outputs (e.g. solar radiation, convection from air, and a1 are the regression coefficients, and ε is an error
conduction from soil, and net long wave radiation from term. Johnson (1971) used this linear model to describe
the local environment to the river system). Obtaining the monthly mean water temperature recorded in six
all the required parameters for these deterministic New Zealand streams. Song et al. (1973) described
models tends to be a challenging task. monthly mean water temperature in Minnesota
Empirical models take the more direct approach streams using the linear model. Smith (1979) went
by developing statistical regression models that relate beyond mean water temperatures and studied daily
routinely monitored meteorological and hydrological maximum and minimum water temperature. Smith’s
data to water temperature. These models are less daily minimum models were more scattered and less
computationally intensive than their deterministic reliable than those developed for daily mean and
counterparts. This paper has focused on four commonly maximum water temperatures. Smith (1981) revisited
used regression models for water temperature found in the linear model and found monthly mean models to
the literature: (1) linear regression using air temperature be more accurate than daily mean models. Stefan and
as an explanatory variable for water temperature, (2 & Preud’homme (1993) studied 11 streams in the central
3) nonlinear logistic models (viz. Mohseni et al., 1998) United States and also found monthly mean models to
that describe an S-shaped relationship between air and be less scattered then daily means. Pilgrim et al. (1998)
water temperature, and (4) multiple regression using developed linear regression models for predicting
air temperature and stage level as explanatory variables. water temperature using data collected at 39 streams in
the state of Minnesota and found weekly and monthly
models to be more reliable for prediction than the daily
Empirical Regression Models for Water models. This tendency for decreased scatter and better
Temperature fitting models at longer time-scales does not follow all
the way through to annual means. Annual mean water
The simplest regression model for water temperature temperature datasets tend to be shorter and show
considers the relationship between air and water limited variation over time and developed models tend
temperature to be purely linear (Equation 1): to have a poor fit as a result (Webb and Nobilis, 1997;
Pilgrim et al., 1998; Erickson and Stefan, 2000).
Tw  a 0  a 1Ta   (1)

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

Harvey, Lye, Khan and Paterson 177

The assumption that the air and water temperature observations). However the multiple regression models
relationship is purely linear has been questioned in a for daily and weekly mean water temperature were
number of studies. Crisp and Howson (1982) studied found to be no better than a simple linear regression
5 and 7-day mean water temperatures for 8 streams in model. The addition of streamflow will not always
England and identified a departure from linearity when result in more accurate water temperature models and
air temperatures dropped below 0°C. This departure most often linear and logistic models will be better
at lower air temperatures was also noted by Webb suited to modeling purposes (Crisp and Howson, 1982;
and Nobilis (1997). Mohseni et al. (1998) observed Mohseni et al., 1999). As complete historical records
nonlinear behavior in weekly maximum water and air of streamflow at real-time stations were difficult to
temperature recorded for streams in the United States. obtain while carrying out this study, stage level was
They note that as air temperatures increase and rise used instead of streamflow in the following multiple
above 25°C, the capacity of the atmosphere to hold regression model (Equation 4):
moisture and the rate of evaporative cooling increase as
well. As heat is increasingly lost, the water temperature Tw  a 0  a 1Ta  a 2 ST   (4)
no longer increases linearly with the increase in air
temperature and the relationship will eventually taper where ST represents the stage level for the same time
off. As such they proposed an S-shaped logistic model period as water temperature.
to describe the nonlinear relationship between water
and air temperature (Equation 2):
Water Temperature Modeling Results

1  e    −Ta  (2) Datafit Curve Fitting Software Release 8.0.32 was
used to determine model parameters and the overall
where α represents the maximum stream temperature, goodness-of-fit (based on an analysis of adjusted
γ is a measure of the steepest slope of the function, R2, residual sum of squares, standard error and
and β is the air temperature at the inflection point. The residual plots). A summary of the weekly mean water
authors note that some of the rivers never experienced temperature models is given in Table 3. A summary of
freezing temperatures. Their original logistic model was the first logistic water temperature models for all four
then modified to include an additional parameter, µ, to stations is presented in Table 4. A complete record of
account for the estimated minimum water temperature model fitting results can be found in Harvey (2010).
in these warmer rivers (Equation 3):

 − Accounting for Hysteresis

1 e    −Ta  (3)
Initial results for the Humber River water temperature
While the logistic models have been shown to be models were poor (R2adjusted < 0.80). The goodness-of-fit
a considerable improvement over the linear model for of the Humber River model improved after divisions
some rivers (Erickson and Stefan, 2000; Pedersen and were made in the dataset to account for seasonal
Sand-Jensen, 2007), some studies have suggested ther hysteresis (Figures 2, 3 and 4). Water temperatures
is little advantage in using the more complex logistic at this station are lower at the same air temperature
models for their rivers (Webb et al., 2003; Neumann during the warming season (February to July) than
et al., 2003). they are during the cooling season (August to January).
The influence of streamflow on the water-air It is likely that seasonal hysteresis at the Humber River
temperature relationship has also been recognized. In station is the result of snow and ice melt runoff, which
their study of streams in the United Kingdom, Webb et contributes to water temperatures in this large river
al. (2003) note that streamflow is an important variable being lower during the warming season. Although
that should be considered in the development of water the other three stations were investigated for signs
temperature models. Streamflow was only significant of hysteresis, no clear seasonal divisions could be
when shorter time scales were of interest (i.e. hourly identified in their datasets. The absence of hysteresis

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

178 Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques

Table 3. Summary of Weekly Mean Water Temperature Models

Station Name Models R2adj SE

Humber River Tw = 0.56Ta + 4.23 0.71 3.00

Original Dataset Tw = 19.21/(1+exp(0.16*(9.82-Ta))) 0.74 2.86
149 Observations Tw = 0.91 + (17.74-0.91)/(1+exp(0.19*(9.44-Ta))) 0.73 2.86
Dec ‘03 - Dec ‘06 Tw = 8.67 + 0.56Ta -2.08ST 0.74 2.84

Tw = 0.61Ta + 6.27 0.91 1.57

Humber River
Tw = 20.31/(1+exp(0.15*(6.56-Ta))) 0.93 1.42
Cooling Season
Tw = 0.99 + (19.34-0.99)/(1+exp(0.17*(6.59-Ta))) 0.93 1.42
76 Observations
Stage is not a significant explanatory variable* -- --

Tw = 0.51Ta + 2.12 0.80 2.10

Humber River
Tw = 15.68/(1+exp(0.24*(11.48-Ta))) 0.91 1.43
Warming Season
Tw = 0.47 + (14.87-0.47)/(1+exp(0.28*(11.29-Ta))) 0.91 1.43
73 Observations
Tw = 6.38 + 0.53Ta -2.02ST 0.87 1.74

Tw = 0.78Ta + 4.91 0.90 2.32

Peter’s River
Tw = 22.89/(1+exp(0.21*(8.73-Ta))) 0.95 1.64
91 Observations
Tw = -0.27 + (23.26-0.27)/(1+exp(0.20*(8.79-Ta))) 0.95 1.65
July ‘05 – May ‘07
Stage is not a significant explanatory variable* -- --

Tw = 0.79Ta + 2.97 0.94 1.34

Leary’s Brook
Tw = 18.41/(1+exp(0.23*(7.75-Ta))) 0.95 1.19
57 Observations
Tw = -1.06 + (19.43-1.06)/(1+exp(0.20*(7.76-Ta))) 0.95 1.19
July ‘05 – May ‘07
Stage is not a significant explanatory variable* -- --

Tw = 0.81Ta + 3.12 0.96 1.27

Waterford River Tw = 18.95/(1+exp(0.25*(7.77-Ta))) 0.98 0.99
90 Observations
Tw = -1.41 + (20.27-1.41)/(1+exp(0.20*(7.73-Ta))) 0.98 0.94
July ‘05 – March ‘07
Tw = 6.38 + 0.77Ta – 5.06ST 0.97 1.11

*At the 5% significance level

in the other rivers could be due to the smaller size of logistic model was equal to or higher than that of the
the river basins compared to the Humber River basin. linear model. The average increase in R2adjusted gained
when using Equation 2 was largest when dealing
with the daily (+0.05) and weekly mean observations
Linearity vs. Non-linearity (+0.04). The logistic model is particularly well suited
to handling the departure from linearity that occurs
The first logistic model (Equation 2) was best suited at both lower and higher air temperatures at these
to describing the S-shaped relationship between air timescales. The average increase in explained variance,
and water temperature at the RTWQM stations. In when dealing with monthly means, was less (+0.03).
all cases the level of explained variance of the first It is likely that the limited difference between

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

Harvey, Lye, Khan and Paterson 179

Table 4. Logistic Model #1 Water Temperature Models

Mean WT Maximum WT Minimum WT

Monthly Weekly Daily Monthly Weekly Daily Monthly Weekly Daily

Tw = α/(1+exp(γ(β – Ta )))
α 21.41 20.31 20.50 27.87 27.54 22.06 37.65 18.26 18.85
γ 0.15 0.15 0.13 0.15 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.16 0.15
Humber River Cooling β 7.20 6.56 6.78 21.25 19.74 11.57 11.11 -0.51 2.17
Season R adj2
0.99 0.93 0.84 0.88 0.84 0.81 0.90 0.89 0.82
SE 0.57 1.42 2.08 2.08 2.22 2.33 1.44 1.60 2.17
n 19 76 500 19 76 500 19 76 500

α 21.56 15.68 15.77 366.91 32.80 18.90 11.11 11.39 13.10

γ 0.19 0.24 0.22 0.13 0.14 0.15 0.30 0.33 0.30
Humber River Warming
β 14.96 11.48 11.81 51.47 28.95 19.06 1.92 2.29 5.35
R adj2
0.97 0.91 0.83 0.97 0.81 0.77 0.95 0.90 0.83
SE 0.80 1.43 1.99 0.92 2.34 2.44 0.82 1.25 1.91
n 18 73 486 18 73 486 18 73 486

α 21.13 22.89 23.16 43.07 34.59 28.19 68.64 18.19 19.52

γ 0.24 0.21 0.20 0.14 0.14 0.15 0.16 0.22 0.21
β 7.63 8.73 9.15 27.12 22.04 15.46 9.08 -1.56 3.06
Peter’s River
R adj2
0.97 0.95 0.88 0.95 0.92 0.87 0.91 0.81 0.75
SE 1.25 1.64 2.59 2.21 2.61 3.02 1.62 2.64 3.31
n 23 91 595 23 91 595 23 91 595

α 18.28 18.41 19.06 1181.08 41.11 24.22 16.28 14.69 16.49

γ 0.24 0.23 0.21 0.08 0.11 0.15 0.28 0.35 0.27
β 7.74 7.75 8.72 76.55 25.47 14.77 1.78 1.30 4.80
Leary’s Brook
R2adj 0.96 0.95 0.92 0.84 0.89 0.88 0.93 0.92 0.89
SE 1.08 1.19 1.59 2.35 2.02 2.10 1.16 1.42 1.73
n 16 57 347 16 57 347 16 57 347

α 18.47 18.95 19.56 70.24 32.34 22.82 11.97 16.33 17.44

γ 0.25 0.25 0.23 0.11 0.14 0.18 1.64 0.25 0.26
β 7.41 7.77 8.36 32.13 19.94 12.24 -0.21 3.66 5.41
Waterford River
R adj2
0.99 0.98 0.94 0.93 0.92 0.91 0.95 0.90 0.92
SE 0.69 0.98 1.65 2.07 2.23 2.15 1.17 1.84 1.71
n 21 90 587 21 90 587 21 90 587

monthly mean linear and logistic models is the result summers. According to Mohseni and Stefan (1999),
of monthly mean water temperatures rarely crossing air temperatures need to cross this 25°C threshold
20°C over the course of Newfoundland’s short and cool in order for the slope of the air-water temperature

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

180 Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques

relationship to eventually level off. Monthly mean significant departure from linearity and both linear
air temperatures at the RTWQM stations rarely and logistic models fit the higher monthly mean
exceeds this 25°C threshold. As a result, there is no water temperatures well. The S-shaped relationship
is more defined when dealing with weekly and daily
20 means as these shorter timescales can capture some
Cooling Season
Warming Season of the higher water temperatures at the stations. For
Cooling 1st Logistic Model example, if weekly mean water temperatures during
Warming 1st Logistic Model
15 four weeks in August are 15, 22, 23, 14 ºC, the average
value for the month will only be 18.5 ºC. By using
Mean Tw (°C)

the weekly water temperatures, higher mean values

10 are included in the dataset and the logistic model has
the opportunity to level off. The first logistic model is
also better than the linear model when dealing with
maximum and minimum water temperatures.
The second logistic model (Equation 3) did not
provide a substantial improvement in residual sum of
squares or the amount of explained variation over the
-15 -5 5 15 25
first logistic model. For the sake of prediction purposes
Mean Ta (°C)
it is not necessary to include the additional parameter
Figure 2. Weekly mean water temperature in the for minimum water temperature as all of the rivers in
Humber River fit with logistic regression models. this study experience freezing temperatures.
Separate warming and cooling season models
account for hysteresis in the dataset. Cooling
season Tw = 20.31/{1+exp(0.15(6.56-Ta))}; R2adj = 0.93. The Influence of Timescale
Warming season Tw = 15.68/{1+exp(0.24(11.48-Ta))};
R2adj = 0.91. The goodness-of-fit of the water temperature models
improved as the time scale was extended from daily to
25 20
Cooling Season Cooling Season
Warming Season Warming Season
Cooling 1st Logistic Model Cooling Logistic
20 Warming 1st Logistic Model
Warming Logistic
Maximum Tw (°C)

Minimum Tw (°C)



0 0
-10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 -25 -15 -5 5 15

M i
Maximum Ta (°C) Mi i
Minimum Ta (°C)

Figure 3. Weekly maximum water temperature in the Figure 4. Weekly minimum water temperatures in
Humber River fit with logistic regression models.. the Humber River fit with logistic regression models.
Separate warming and cooling season models Separate warming and cooling season models
account for hysteresis in the dataset. Cooling season account for hysteresis in the dataset. Cooling season
Tw = 27.54/{1+exp(0.11(19.74-Ta))}; R2adj = 0.84. Warming Tw = 18.26/{1+exp(0.16(-0.51-Ta))}; R2adj = 0.89. Warming
season Tw = 32.80/(1+exp(0.14(28.95-Ta))); R2adj = 0.80. season Tw = 11.39/(1+exp(0.33(2.29-Ta))); R2adj = 0.90.

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

Harvey, Lye, Khan and Paterson 181

monthly observations. Scatter in the daily observations

is higher than in those collected at the weekly and 25
Daily Means
monthly time scale and the goodness-of-fit of the daily Logistic Model #1
models is lower as a result. The large amount of scatter 20
in daily observations at the Waterford River stations is

Mean Tw (°C)
exemplified in Figure 5. A number of studies (i.e. Eaton 15
and Scheller, 1996; Mohseni and Stefan, 1999) suggest
daily models are not overly useful as the weekly and 10

monthly models can achieve higher levels of accuracy

while providing the same kinds of insight.
-15 -5 5 15 25
The Influence of Stage
Mean Ta (°C)

Stage level tends to be an important explanatory Figure 5. Daily mean water temperatures and air
variable for daily water temperature. Although stage is temperatures in the Waterford River fit with a logistic
significant at this short time scale, multiple regression regression model. Tw = 19.56/{1+exp(0.23(8.36-
(Equation 4) did not provide a significant improvement Ta))}; R2adj  = 0.94
over the logistic models in terms of goodness-of-fit
and standard error. The loss of importance of stage at exponential regression using water temperature, and (3)
the extended time scales is similar to the findings of multiple regression using water temperature and stage
Crisp and Howson (1982) and Webb (1987). level as significant explanatory variables.

Model Verification Empirical Regression Models for Dissolved

The prediction capabilities of the models were tested
using observations not used in model development The simplest regression model for DO takes the
(Table 5). Figure 6 presents a scatter plot of predicted relationship between water temperature and dissolved
mean, maximum and minimum water temperatures at oxygen to be purely linear (Equation 5):
the Waterford River station. Overall the first logistic
model was determined to be the best available option DO  a 0  a 1Tw   (5)
for accurately predicting water temperature at the real-
time stations. Saffran and Anderson (1996) examined the linear
relationship between minimum DO and maximum
water temperatures for two monitoring sites along the
Dissolved Oxygen Models Red Deer River in Alberta using this model. Minimum
DO levels in the river were negatively correlated with
The most commonly developed models for predicting air temperature and water temperature. The strongest
the concentration of DO in a river are computationally correlation for the concentration of DO in the river was
demanding – i.e. dynamic mass balance models with maximum water temperature. The authors note that
(Gelda et al., 2001), artificial neural network models the relationship between minimum DO and maximum
(Rounds, 2002), and extended harmonic analysis air temperature was linear but the lack of sufficient
algorithm models (Abdul-Aziz et al., 2007). These data at the time the paper was written precluded an
more computationally intensive models were avoided opportunity to fully develop accurate regression models.
in this study in favor of three simpler regression models An exponential regression model was considered
that use readily available measurements recorded at the after initial explorations with the datasets suggested a
RTWQM stations as explanatory variables: (1) simple nonlinear model might better describe the relationship
linear regression using water temperature, (2) nonlinear

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

182 Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques

Table 5. Water Temperature Logistic Model #1 Verification

Mean WT Models Max WT Models Min WT Models

|Pred. – Obs.| |Pred. – Obs.| |Pred. – Obs.|
Station Dataset n Mean Max Mean Max Mean Max
Monthly 5 0.85 1.61 1.22 2.10 3.20 11.67
Humber River Cooling Weekly 25 1.14 3.25 1.55 5.45 1.40 11.81
Daily 130 1.79 5.53 2.05 8.50 1.98 12.93

Monthly 9 0.25 0.54 1.24 5.20 0.46 1.60

Humber RiverWarming Weekly 38 0.63 4.66 1.29 7.11 0.58 2.31
Daily 268 1.04 7.77 1.31 8.03 0.97 6.32

Monthly 8 0.87 3.20 2.02 3.79 0.84 1.91

Peter’sRiver Weekly 32 1.21 6.61 1.92 8.72 1.74 5.49
Daily 196 1.92 10.80 2.19 7.99 2.37 12.03

Monthly 8 1.17 2.68 3.10 8.38 1.37 3.19

Leary’s Brook Weekly 23 0.84 2.34 1.56 6.15 1.27 2.92
Daily 136 1.64 5.01 2.06 7.22 1.55 5.00

Monthly 12 0.50 1.24 2.09 5.78 1.17 4.30

Waterford River Weekly 48 0.80 2.49 1.71 5.70 0.80 2.01
Daily 306 1.36 6.87 1.80 9.61 1.29 6.15

30 between water temperature and DO at some of the

Minimum Values
Mean Values stations (Equation 6):
25 Maximum Values
Predicted Weekly Minimum
Predicted Weekly Mean
DO  expa 0  b1Tw  (6)
Mean Tw (°C)

20 Predicted Weekly Maximum

15 A multiple linear regression model using stage level

was also considered for DO modeling to determine
if a better fit could be obtained by incorporating
5 more explanatory variables into the regression model
(Equation 7):
-15 -5 5 15 25 35 DO  a 0  a 1Tw  ST   (7)
Mean Ta (°C)
Initial investigations revealed the relationship
Figure 6. Observed and predicted (logistic model) between DO and water temperature to be strongly
mean, maximum and minimum weekly water negative - as water temperatures increased the
temperatures for the Waterford River.  Mean Tw = 18.95/ concentration of DO decreased. The relationship
{1+exp(0.25(7.77-Mean Ta))}; R2adj  = 0.98.  Maximum between dissolved oxygen and stage was found to
Tw = 32.34/{1+exp(0.14(19.94-Maximum Ta))}; R2adj  = be positive - DO was high when the stage level was
0.92.  Minimum Tw = 16.33/{1+exp(0.25(3.66-Minimum high. Due to the negative correlation between water
Ta))}; R2adj  = 0.90 temperature and DO and the positive correlation

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

Harvey, Lye, Khan and Paterson 183

Table 6. Weekly Mean DO Models

Station Name Models R2adj SE

Humber River DO = -0.34Tw + 14.46 0.75 1.09

149 Observations DO = exp(2.69 – 0.03Tw) 0.77 1.05
Dec 2003 – Dec 2006 Stage is not significant explanatory variable* -- --

Humber River DO = -0.29Tw + 13.87 0.89 0.58

140 Observations DO = exp(2.64 – 0.03Tw) 0.89 0.56
Removed 9 high DO Stage is not a significant explanatory variable* -- --
Dec 2003 - Dec 2006

Peter’s River DO = -0.27Tw + 13.21 0.93 0.56

91 Observations DO = exp(2.59 – 0.03Tw) 0.92 0.57
July 2005 – May 2007 Stage is not a significant explanatory variable* -- --

Leary’s Brook DO = -0.41Tw + 14.33 0.82 1.07

57 Observations DO = exp(2.67 – 0.04Tw) 0.77 1.18
July 2005 – May 2007 Stage is not a significant explanatory variable* -- --

Waterford River DO = -0.37Tw + 14.10 0.81 1.17

90 Observations DO = exp(2.66 – 0.03Tw) 0.82 1.15
July 2005 – March 2007 Stage is not a significant explanatory variable* -- --

*At the 5% significance level

between stage and DO, the following datasets Addressing Unusual DO Concentrations
were investigated: (1) mean DO, stage and water Present in the Datasets
temperature, (2) minimum DO, minimum stage and
maximum water temperature and (3) maximum DO, DO regression models first presented in Harvey et al.(2009)
maximum stage and minimum water temperature. for the Humber River station were improved in this study
by addressing some unusually high DO concentrations
recorded when water temperature dropped below 2.5°C
Dissolved Oxygen Modeling Results (Figure 7). Investigations into the concentration of DO
over this temperature range showed the majority of the
A summary of the models developed for the higher observations to be recorded during a stretch of
concentration of mean DO at the weekly time scale is Datasonde readings dating from February 16, 2006 to
given in Table 6. Table 7 presents the set of exponential April 11, 2006. The hourly DO concentrations up until
dissolved oxygen models that were developed for the January 6 had been in the 13-13.5 mg/L range. The
stations. A more thorough discussion of the model sensor was taken offline for maintenance for one month
fitting results can be found in Harvey (2010). and the first measurements collected after reinstallation
of the sensor on February 16 were in the range of
18-21 mg/L. Deployment records for the station showed
that the high levels were not due to changes in the
physical conditions in the river but were due to sensor
malfunction - where the default time delay for the

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

184 Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques

Table 7. Summary of the Exponential DO Models

Mean DO Minimum DO Maximum DO

Monthly Weekly Daily Monthly Weekly Daily Monthly Weekly Daily

Exponential Model: DO = exp(a + b*Tw)

a 2.643 2.644 2.642 2.620 2.636 2.642 2.668 2.649 2.641
b -0.026 -0.026 -0.026 -0.024 -0.025 -0.026 -0.029 -0.026 -0.026
Humber River Adj R2 0.909 0.891 0.881 0.908 0.887 0.882 0.895 0.878 0.878
SE 0.508 0.562 0.585 0.509 0.580 0.589 0.543 0.573 0.584
n 37 149 986 37 149 986 37 149 986

a 2.588 2.591 2.591 2.545 2.566 2.581 2.634 2.618 2.599

b -0.025 -0.026 -0.026 -0.023 -0.023 -0.024 -0.028 -0.027 -0.026
Peter’s River Adj R 2
0.937 0.922 0.912 0.872 0.876 0.870 0.920 0.923 0.915
SE 0.508 0.566 0.615 0.817 0.774 0.794 0.524 0.533 0.578
n 23 91 595 23 91 595 23 91 595

a 2.666 2.673 2.662 2.567 2.557 2.607 2.772 2.734 2.691

b -0.030 -0.036 -0.035 -0.037 -0.035 -0.033 -0.034 -0.033 -0.033
Adj R2 0.802 0.773 0.679 0.374 0.457 0.554 0.821 0.826 0.402
Leary’s Brook
SE 0.886 1.180 1.494 2.400 2.198 1.850 0.917 0.977 2.535
n 16 57 347 16 57 347 16 57 347

a 2.667 2.663 2.663 2.617 2.631 2.651 2.697 2.680 2.668

b -0.035 -0.035 -0.035 -0.043 -0.035 -0.035 -0.033 -0.030 -0.035
Waterford River Adj R 2
0.887 0.818 0.806 0.579 0.717 0.778 0.847 0.819 0.799
SE 0.880 1.153 1.213 2.252 1.603 1.365 0.923 1.081 1.189
n 21 90 587 21 90 587 21 90 587

Datasonde was not allowing the sensor to warm- pH, specific conductance) during the problematic DO
up enough to accurately read the dissolved oxygen periods.
concentrations. WRMD personnel traveled to the station Investigations were made into dividing the Humber
on April 11 to reset the time delay and after that period River DO data into a warming and cooling season to
dissolved oxygen values return to the 13-13.5 mg/L range. match the seasonal water temperature models. This
Modeling results for the Humber River station were much seasonal division was found to be unnecessary as only
better once these artificially high measurements were minimal differences could be identified between DO
removed from the dataset (Figure 8). While no similar models developed for separate seasons at the station.
sets of unusually high DO concentrations were recorded
at the other RTWQM stations, a number of individual
measurements outside of the Datasonde’s recordable Linearity versus Nonlinearity
0 to 50 mg/L range were removed from the datasets used
for model development. It is likely that these outlying The goodness-of-fit of the linear (Equation 5) and
measurements were the result of equipment malfunction exponential (Equation 6) models were found to be similar
or calibration error. The same problem was not observed when dealing with mean, maximum and minimum DO
for the other measured parameters (water temperature, concentrations. Both linear and exponential models

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

Harvey, Lye, Khan and Paterson 185

20 Mean DO
19.5 Maximum DO
Minimum DO
Mean DO Exponential
17.5 15 Max DO Exponential
Min DO Exponential
DO (mg/L)

DO (mg/L)


7.5 0
0 5 10 15 20 0 5 10 15 20
Mean Tw (°C) Tw (°C)
Figure 7. Daily dissolved oxygen and mean water
temperatures in the Humber River. Note the wide Figure 9. Weekly dissolved oxygen in Leary’s Brook
range of dissolved oxygen concentrations observed fit with exponential regression models.  Mean DO =
when water temperatures in the Humber River are exp(2.67-0.04(Mean Tw)); R2adj  =  0.77.  Maximum DO
below 2.5 °C. = exp(2.56-0.04(Minimum Tw)); R2adj  = 0.46.  Minimum
DO = exp(2.73-0.03(Maximum Tw); R2adj  = 0.83.
Weekly Mean
15 Values
Linear Model Maximum and Minimum Datasets
14 Exponential Model
Mean DO (mg/L)

Regression models for Leary’s Brook minimum DO
proved to be a poor fit as these observations were highly
12 scattered (Figure 9). Scatter in the Waterford River
11 minimum DO datasets also posed a problem during
model development – particularly at the monthly time
scale where both the linear and exponential model
9 had an R2adjusted less than 0.60. The fit of the linear and
exponential models to minimum DO were better for
0 5 10 15 20 the Humber River and Peter’s River stations. Both the
linear and exponential model fit quite well to maximum
Mean Tw (°C)
DO with adjusted R2adjusted values above 0.80 - with
Figure 8. Weekly mean dissolved oxygen in the the exception of Leary’s Brook exponential model
Humber River fit with regression models. Linear model: where R2adjusted dropped below 0.50 for both models
DO = -0.29(Tw)+13.90; R2adj = 0.89. Exponential model: due to high scatter in daily observations at that station.
DO = exp(2.64-0.03(Tw)); R2adj = 0.89. The WRMD has been investigating why DO
values at the Leary’s Brook and Waterford River are not
were found to have high R2adjusted values and similar as consistent as those values collected at the non-urban
values of SE at all time scales for the Humber River, stations. The DO data used for model development in
Peter’s River and Waterford River stations. Determining this study was collected using Clark cell DO membrane
a well fitting DO model for the Leary’s Brook station technology – the only technology available at the time.
proved to be more difficult. Mean DO models for the It appears that the membranes in the urban rivers
station were reasonable (R2adjusted: 0.68-0.80) but high must have been affected by some characteristic of the
scatter in the minimum and maximum datasets resulted river that did not allow them to operate properly for
in low R2adjusted (0.37-0.55 for minimum DO and 0.40- the full length of their deployment (i.e. the membrane
0.82 for maximum DO). was covered in a film of oil or grease at some point
during the deployment that resulted in inaccurate DO

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

186 Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques

measurements). The WRMD now uses a luminescent for the Humber River and Peter’s River – with the
DO technology in their urban streams and are no only noticeable difference occurring at colder water
longer having issues with poor DO measurements. temperatures where the maximum DO models suitably
It is expected that DO models developed in the near account for the higher DO concentrations. The
future based on luminescent DO readings will be more difference between maximum, mean and minimum
reliable for prediction. DO models is more noticeable for the Leary’s Brook
There was very little difference between the mean, and Waterford River stations. DO levels at these
maximum and minimum DO models developed stations can show a considerable amount of variation
and this is likely due to their shallow stage levels.
Daily Means
Exponential Model
14 The Effect of Time Scale
DO (mg/L)

As the time scale was shortened the goodness-of-fit of

the mean and maximum models decreased – R2adjusted
in the range of 0.03-0.12. This decline is the result
10 of increased scatter in the daily observations (Figure
10 shows the increase in scatter at the Humber River
station when transitioning from the monthly to daily
0 5 10 15 20
time scale). The exception to this trend occurred when
Tw (°C)
dealing with Waterford River and Leary’s Brook
minimum DO – where R2adjusted improved as the
Figure 10. Daily mean dissolved oxygen in the timescale is shortened from monthly to daily (Leary’s
Humber River fit with an exponential regression Brook exponential 0.37-0.55; Waterford River
model.  DO = exp(2.64-0.03(Tw)); R2adj  = 0.88 exponential 0.58-0.78).

Table 8. Exponential DO Model Verification Results

Mean DO Models Min DO Models Max DO Models

|Pred. – Obs.| |Pred. – Obs.| |Pred. – Obs.|
Station Dataset n Mean Max Mean Max Mean Max
Monthly 14 0.76 1.77 0.86 2.25 0.80 2.66
Humber River Weekly 63 0.74 2.90 0.79 2.83 0.78 2.91
Daily 398 0.76 2.97 0.76 2.98 0.76 3.00

Monthly 8 0.72 1.42 0.70 1.77 0.79 1.90

Peter’s River Weekly 32 0.68 1.94 0.71 2.04 0.76 2.10
Daily 196 0.72 2.32 0.73 2.25 0.76 2.32

Monthly 8 0.37 0.86 1.44 1.95 0.83 1.87

Leary’s Brook Weekly 23 0.84 1.71 2.52 2.52 0.42 1.32
Daily 136 0.88 1.83 2.12 2.12 0.87 2.02

Monthly 12 1.49 3.09 1.24 2.93 2.66 11.35

Waterford River Weekly 48 1.71 4.09 1.57 3.95 2.21 12.08
Daily 306 1.70 8.14 1.69 10.72 1.80 13.50

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

Harvey, Lye, Khan and Paterson 187

Figure 11. Nomogram linking air temperature to water temperature and then dissolved oxygen. The
dotted/dashed line provides an example of its use during the cooling season for the Humber River; an
air temperature (16 °C) links to a water temperature (17 °C) and then to an expected dissolved oxygen
concentration in the river (9 mg/L).

The Influence of Stage of a novel graphical procedure (Figure 11). The 3-way
plot visually links user defined air-water temperature
Stage was only a significant explanatory variable for and water temperature-DO models in one single
DO at the daily time scale and loses its significance image. The x and y-axis of the DO models have been
as the time scale is extended to weekly and monthly switched in this plot so the user can quickly determine
observations. Although the multiple regression model the influence of air temperature and DO at the real-
had high R2adjusted at the daily time scale, the goodness- time stations. A MinitabTM macro is available from the
of-fit of the model did not significantly exceed that of authors for producing this plot.
the linear and exponential models

Model Verification
Regression models were developed for predicting daily,
The DO models were tested for verification weekly and monthly mean, maximum and minimum
purposes using datasets not used in model development. water temperatures at four RTWQM monitoring
The exponential decay model was deemed to be the best stations in Newfoundland. A three-parameter logistic
overall choice for modeling DO at the stations as it regression model was best suited to describing the
outperforms the linear model when dealing with low DO S-shaped relationship between air and water temperature
concentrations at higher water temperatures. A summary at the stations. The goodness-of-fit of the logistic model
of the model testing results are given in Table 8. improved as the time scale was extended from daily to
monthly observations. The capabilities of the water
temperature models for prediction purposes were tested
Visually Linking Air Temperature to Water using data not used in model development. While the
Temperature and Dissolved Oxygen three-parameter logistic model was found to accurately
predict water temperature at the monthly and weekly
Both the water temperature and DO models developed time scale, daily observations of water temperature were
in this paper can be linked together through the use highly scattered and the daily models were less suited

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

188 Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques

for prediction purposes as a result. Each of the stations Acknowledgements

were investigated for signs of hysteresis in the data but
only the Humber River station (the largest river in Funding for this research was provided by the Natural
the network) needed to be subdivided to account for Sciences and Engineering Research Council of
warming and cooling seasons. Stage level at the stations Canada (NSERC), the Newfoundland and Labrador
is usually only significant at the daily time scale and Department of Environment and Conservation, the
stage loses significance as the time scale is extended. Institute for Biodiversity, Ecosystem Science and
Even when stage is significant the goodness-of-fit of Sustainability (IBES) and the School of Graduate
the multiple regression model does not outperform the Studies at Memorial University.
logistic model. By developing regression models that
do not depend on stage level it is possible to estimate
water temperature at the stations even when hydrometric References
monitoring equipment is not in operation at the stations.
Both linear and exponential decay regression Abdul-Aziz, O., B. Wilson, and J. Gulliver. 2007. An
models were found to be well suited to modeling the extended stochastic harmonic analysis algorithm:
relationship between water temperature and DO. The application for dissolved oxygen. Water Resources
goodness-of-fit of the DO regression models were Research 43: 1-19.
better for mean concentrations of DO than they were
for maximum and minimum DO. The mean datasets Benyahya, L., A. St-Hiliare, T.M.J. Ouarda, B. Bobee,
avoid major outliers and show less variation than the and J. Dumas. 2008. Comparison of non-
maximum and minimum datasets (i.e. mean weekly parametric and parametric water temperature
measurement might be 12 mg/L while the minimum models on the Nivelle River, France. Hydrological
value recorded that week might be an unusually low Sciences 53(3): 640-655.
2 mg/L). There can be a great deal of variation in
hourly DO measurements - where for either physical Beschta, R.L., R.E. Bilby, G.W. Brown, L.B. Holtby,
or sensor-related reasons the DO concentration will and T.D. Hofstra. 1987. Stream Temperature
randomly shift for one particular measurement. These and Aquatic Habitat: Fisheries and Forestries
jumps will be captured in the maximum and minimum Interactions. In Streamside Management:
datasets but will be smoothed out by the mean datasets. Forestry and Fishery Interactions, Salo E.O. and
There tends to be a significant amount of scatter in T.W. Cundy (Eds.). University of Washington,
the daily observations and the goodness-of-fit of the Institute of Forest Resources. Contribution No.
liner and exponential models improved as the time 57. 191-232.
scale was extended from daily to monthly observations.
Although the prediction capabilities of the linear and Bjorn, T.C. and D.W. Reiser. 1991. Habitat
exponential models were found to be similar for high Requirements of Salmonids in Streams. In
and mid-range concentrations of DO, the exponential Influences of Forest and Rangeland Management
model was found to be better suited to modeling low on Salmonid Fishes and their Habitats. Special
DO concentrations at higher water temperatures. Publication 19. American Fisheries Society,
The air-water temperature and water temperature- Bethesda, MD. 83-158.
DO models can be linked together using a novel
three-way plot. Resource mangers can use this plot to Burton, D.T. and L.B. Richardson. 1980. Effect of
determine water temperature and DO for a given air Oxygen Reduction Rate and Constant Low
temperature in one quick step. The regression models Dissolved Oxygen Concentrations on Two
developed in this study and this simple tool will be Estuarine Fish. Transactions of the American
useful in the on-going assessment of water quality Fisheries Society 109: 552-557.
in the rivers monitored by the Newfoundland and
Labrador RTWQM network.

© 2011 Canadian Water Resources Association

Harvey, Lye, Khan and Paterson 189

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