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Water Resources Research

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Hydrology, Solar radiation -- Measurement -- Mathematical models, Water quality -- Measurement


Many agencies in the USA are developing management approaches to address water quality concerns and threatened and endangered species habitat requirements in water bodies. Many of these water bodies are water quality limited for temperature. Factors influencing stream temperature include: streamside vegetation, topographic shading, inflows and outflows, stream width, stream depth, light extinction and solar radiation. One of the key driving factors in estimating a water body heat budget is calculating the amount of solar radiation incident on the water surface. Even though it is preferable to measure clear-sky solar radiation, many temperature models rely on theoretical estimates of clear-sky solar radiation. The literature on estimating short-wave solar radiation by calculating the position of the sun and attenuating the radiation through the atmosphere was reviewed. As a first step in relating water temperature to solar radiation, several empirical solar radiation models were calibrated to data at seventeen sites around the United States for clear-sky days. Sensitivity analyses were conducted and differences between the models were examined. Results indicated that the more complex models for calculating solar radiation resulted in better estimates of clear-sky solar radiation once they were calibrated to data. When no data were available, models with one or no calibration parameters did reasonably well at estimating clear-sky solar radiation.


Copyright 2007 American Geophysical Union



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