Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

College/School

College of Science and Mathematics

Department/Program

Earth and Environmental Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Joshua C. Galster

Committee Member

Greg Pope

Committee Member

Beth Styler Barry

Subject(s)

Water temperature--New Jersey--Musconetcong River, Water quality--New Jersey--Musconetcong River, Musconetcong River (N.J.)

Abstract

Water temperature changes in rivers can happen quickly for multiple reasons, and can drastically impact the river in many ways. The potential for temperature shifts to impact rivers is especially important in the summer, for aquatic habitats, as the warm temperatures can stress populations. This is especially true for trout populations, a temperature-sensitive fish. Since temperature is the most important factor in the growth of trout, these temperature changes can be life threatening. Therefore it is important to monitor temperatures in the Musconetcong River, classified as trout maintenance waters (Musconetcong Advisory Committee et al., 2003), because of the potential negative impact on trout. The summer water temperatures in the upper Musconetcong River, New Jersey, were assessed during 2011, 2012, and 2013, to see how suitable the water temperatures are for trout. Sensors in the river recorded the water temperature every 15 minutes at three to four spots. Water temperature and river discharge data was compared from the same time period using the USGS gage immediately upstream of the field sites. An important initial finding is that the air temperature has a positive correlation with the water temperature while discharge has a negative correlation with the water temperature. During low discharge conditions air temperature has a greater influence on water temperature than when discharge is high.

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