Sensitivity of river temperature to climate and other drivers of change

6 May 2015, 3.00 PM - 6 May 2015, 4.00 PM

David Hannah

Seminar Room 1, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SS

This physical geography seminar will be given by David Hannah (University of Birmingham).

Water temperature is often referred to as the 'master water quality parameter' due to its critical importance for physical, chemical, and biological processes in rivers and streams. To better manage water resources and land-use for ecosystem and societal benefit, it is essential to improve knowledge of drivers of change and processes across multiple scales. To address this critical gap, the seminar presents research undertaken at two very different scales that aims to understand the sensitivity of river water temperature to climate, land management and other controls:

 (1) High resolution (15 minute) Hydometeorogical investigation of river temperature, riparian microclimate and energy exchanges at sites under different riparian land-use (open moorland, semi-natural woodland and commercial forest) in the Scottish Highlands. This work yields new information (from a unique multi-year dataset) on the heat transfer processes that drive river temperature and the extent of influence of riparian land cover on stream thermal response (including adaptation potential against ecologically-damaging high temperature extremes)

 (2) Annual river thermal regime dynamics across England and Wales, which provides the first assessment of spatial patterns, inter-annual variability and climatic sensitivity of thermograph form and magnitude at this scale. Most river temperature studies are conducted at the sub-basin scale; and there is a paucity of wider perspectives on factors determining space-time variation to inform setting of thermal standards and development of assessment tools.

Together, this research provides robust scientific insights on the drivers of change and fundamental process to underpin management decisions and strategies related to temperature of flowing waters.

Note: Contact Jeff Neal who will be hosting if you would like to meet with David during his visit.

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