Stream temperature dynamics in upland agricultural watersheds

M. Younus, M. Hondzo, B. A. Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


A numerical model to compute the free-surface flow hydrodynamics and stream temperature dynamics by solving the depth-averaged, 1D unsteady flow and heat transport equations is presented. The hydrodynamics model considers the effects of arbitrary stream geometry, variable slopes, variable flow regimes, and unsteady boundary conditions. The thermal transport model accounts for the effects of solar radiation, air temperature, relative humidity, cloud cover, wind speed, heat conduction between water and streambed, subsurface flow, and shading by riparian vegetation. The model is verified with measurements in a stream in an upland agricultural watershed located in Indiana. Diurnal variations in the streamflow and stream temperatures are highly transient. The proposed model predicted well the streamflow and stream temperatures that were measured every 15 min over 25 days. The results of this study demonstrate that the solar (shortwave) radiation and subsurface inflow are the most significant contributors to the stream heat budget.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-526
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000


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