A four-parameter, logistic stream temperature model was fitted to nine records
ranging in length from approximately 12 to 29 years, Samples ranging in length from 3
to 15 years were extracted from each of the nine records and also fitted with the model.
Statistical comparisons of the model parameters derived from the long-term records were
made with those obtained from the samples by means of an F-test. No significant change
in the percentage of sample models determined to be statistically nonsimilar occurred
until IS-year sample models were introduced. Of the sample models derived with 15 years
of data, 19% were not statistically similar to corresponding population models,
assuming that the full record represented the population. Stream temperature/air
temperature relationships obtained from short record lengths, e.g. three years, are
characterized by fluctuations due to extraordinary meteorological and/or anthropogenic
influences. Population stream temperature/air temperature relationships are, in essence,
composed of an aggregate of characteristic stream temperature/air temperature
relationships. Because fluctuations in weather parameters have many different time
scales, i.e. diurnal, seasonal, multiyear (EI Nino) and longer (cooling and warming
cycles), the most consistent representation of long-term stream temperatures will
therefore result from stream temperature/air temperature relationships developed from
records of more than 15 years length.
Grazing Lands Research Laboratory, US Department of Agriculture; Mid-Continent Ecology Division, US Environmental Protection Agency
Erickson, Troy R.; Mhoseni, Omid; Stefan, Heinz G..
Required Record Length for a Nonlinear Weekly Air-Stream Temperature Regression Model.
St.Anthony Falls Laboratory.
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