This report describes the results of a study to determine the impact of various instream
flow criteria upon the number of days that water temperature in the central Platte
exceeds 1) the State standard of 32°C, and 2) 35°C. The 35°C level is presumed to be a
temperature at which the aquatic biota is more severely stressed than at 32°C. The 35°C
level was also justified by Dinan (1992) as a temperature that is close to the "Critical
Thermal Maximum" for many fish species found in the river basin. The study involves
the application of a computational water temperature prediction model, MNSTREM, to
the central Platte River. MNSTREM has been shown to accurately predict stream water
temperature on an hourly time scale under highly unsteady conditions (Gulliver, 1977;
Stefan et aI., 1980), and has been adapted to incorporate all of the important aspects of
natural rivers (Sinokrot and Stefan, 1992, 1993, and 1994). Calibration and verification
takes place through the comparison with four years of water temperature record at four
stations on the Platte River. The model is then used with the four-year weather record
to predict the water temperatures that would have occurred with various minimum instream
flow criteria applied to the reach. The impact of these in-stream flow criteria on
water temperature is then predicted for the four-year period through comparison, of
Sinokrot, Bashar; Gu, Ruochan; Gulliver, John S..
Impacts of In-Stream Flow Requirements Upon Water Temperature in the Central Platte River.
St. Anthony Falls Hydraulic Laboratory.
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