Assessment of Thermal Pollution Associated with Riparian Canopy Clearing: Part II

Water temperature is an important component of habitat for many aquatic organisms. The temperature of stream discharge has been shown to increase significantly in some cases when the riparian tree canopy is removed. The magnitude of the temperature increase is a function of many factors including length of reach with no canopy, discharge, stream width/depth ratio, and stream gradient/velocity. This project is a continuation of RP 2011-14 which was designed to monitor stream temperatures at 10 sites (5 intensive monitoring and 5 less intensive). One of the critical sites in RP 2011-14 included monitoring an affected stream before, during, and after road improvement. Because the road improvement project was delayed a year, the monitoring must be extended to provide adequate post-improvement data. The intensive monitoring will include continuous measurement of stream temperature, stage, and air temperature. Discharge measurements, which included stream velocity measurements, will be conducted as needed to develop stage-discharge relationships for intensively monitored stream reaches. Less intensive monitoring at 5 sites will include continuous measurement of temperature along with occasional measurement of velocity and discharge. Other relevant measurements including documenting the stream profile and pattern, tree canopy, and other conditions will be made at selected sites. Analysis of monitoring data will be conducted to determine if significant differences in upstream and downstream temperatures have occurred. A spreadsheet model will be developed based on the information and monitoring data collected that will be designed to assess the potential for thermal pollution.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $48000.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    North Carolina Department of Transportation

    Research and Development
    1549 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC  United States  27699-1549
  • Project Managers:

    Kirby, John

  • Performing Organizations:

    North Carolina State University, Raleigh

    Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
    Box 7625
    Raleigh, NC  United States  27695
  • Principal Investigators:

    Line, Daniel

  • Start Date: 20110816
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20150815
  • Source Data: RiP Project 35251

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01492622
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: FHWA/NC/2014-19
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 11 2013 1:01AM