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The heat is on: Predicting Urban Stream Temperature Responses to Summer Storms
  • Julia Knapp,
  • Christa Kelleher
Julia Knapp
Durham University Department of Earth Sciences

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Christa Kelleher
Lafayette College
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Short-term surges in stream temperature in response to storm events have frequently been observed in urban areas , highlighting the need for improved understanding of the factors influencing urban stream temperature. Urban land cover complexity and infrastructure designed for rapid water routing to the sewer system create a direct link between storm events and water release processes, influencing urban stream temperature responses. This study aims to identify predictors of diverse stream temperature response patterns to summer storms. We analyzed 403 storm events from six urban and semi-urban catchments along the US East Coast using dynamic time warping to identify archetype patterns of stream temperature responses. We further disentangled observed stream temperature increase patterns to reveal the drivers associated with “heat pulses”, which are characterized by a rapid but high-magnitude temperature increase followed by a sharp temperature drop at the start of the hydrograph. Our results show that stream temperature patterns were event-specific and linked to pre-event conditions and rainfall-runoff characteristics, with the shape of the hydrograph and rainfall-runoff response identified as the most important determinators of the observed temperature response patterns. Ponded surface waters and storm drains, as well as cooler water from the shallow subsurface, were identified as likely sources contributing to temperature patterns. These findings have important implications for understanding urban hydrology and the contributions of different source zones in urban catchments. Specifically, our results suggest that streamwater temperature can serve as a cost-effective tracer of information about urban water sources and pathways, aiding in the understanding of complex urban hydrology.
17 May 2023Submitted to Hydrological Processes
17 May 2023Submission Checks Completed
17 May 2023Assigned to Editor
17 May 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
23 May 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
10 Jul 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
11 Aug 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Major
12 Sep 20231st Revision Received
12 Sep 2023Assigned to Editor
12 Sep 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
12 Sep 2023Submission Checks Completed
15 Sep 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
15 Oct 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
16 Oct 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
25 Oct 20232nd Revision Received
25 Oct 2023Submission Checks Completed
25 Oct 2023Assigned to Editor
25 Oct 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
25 Oct 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
06 Nov 2023Editorial Decision: Accept