Date of Award

Fall 2010

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Jennifer Jacobs


Water temperature in small, headwater streams may reveal much about stream health. Yet, our understanding of stream temperature and its driving factors is limited compared to other water quality parameters. In addition to natural factors, research suggests that watershed urbanization may impact a stream's thermal regime. This research quantified culverts and impervious area's stream temperature impacts across coastal NH streams using experimental data and a deterministic temperature model. Impervious areas were found to increase streams' daily average temperatures, possibly accentuate storm temperature surges, but not diurnal temperature ranges. Road crossings were found to increase the variability of diurnal temperature ranges, daily average temperatures, and increase storm temperature surges. Culverts and parking lots' thermal stormwater runoff impacts were observed during summer rainfall through high resolution temperature sensors. Modeling results showed that while solar radiation is the largest energy influx for most streams, it was not in reaches with dense canopy.