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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-487
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-487
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 18 Feb 2019

Research article | 18 Feb 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Lidar-based modelling approaches for estimating solar insolation in heavily forested streams

Jeffrey J. Richardson1, Christian E. Torgersen2, and L. Monika Moskal3 Jeffrey J. Richardson et al.
  • 1Sterling College, Craftsbury Common, VT, USA
  • 2U.S. Geological Survey, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Cascadia Field Station, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
  • 3Precision Forestry Cooperative, School of Environmental and Forest Science, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Abstract. Methods to quantify solar insolation in riparian landscapes are needed due to the importance of stream temperature to aquatic biota. We have tested two approaches developed for other applications of estimating solar insolation from airborne lidar using field data collected in a heavily forested narrow stream in western Oregon, USA. We show that a raster methodology based on the light penetration index (LPI) and a synthetic hemispherical photograph approach both accurately predict solar insolation, explaining more than 73 % or the variability observed in pyranometers placed in the stream channel. We apply the LPI based model to predict solar insolation for an entire riparian system, and demonstrate that no field-based calibration is necessary to produce unbiased prediction of solar insolation using airborne lidar alone.

Jeffrey J. Richardson et al.
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Short summary
High stream temperatures can be detrimental to the survival of aquatic species such as endangered salmon. Stream temperatures can be reduced by shade provided by trees near streams, but those trees can be at risk of removal by forest management activities. LiDAR remote sensing was evaluated as a tool to assess stream temperatures in heavily forested streams. Two LiDAR based methods were effective at assessing stream temperature. These methods can be used in place of expensive field measurements.
High stream temperatures can be detrimental to the survival of aquatic species such as...
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