USGS Techniques and Methods 4-C2

National Water-Quality Assessment Program

Automated Routines for Calculating Whole-Stream Metabolism: Theoretical Background and User’s Guide

By Jerad D. Bales and Mark R. Nardi

U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 4-C2, 33 pages (Published online January 2008)

This report is available in PDF format: TM4-C2 (Opens the PDF file in a new window. ) (16.6 MB)

Cover thumbnailIn order to standardize methods and facilitate rapid calculation and archival of stream-metabolism variables, the Stream Metabolism Program was developed to calculate gross primary production, net ecosystem production, respiration, and selected other variables from continuous measurements of dissolved-oxygen concentration, water temperature, and other user-supplied information. Methods for calculating metabolism from continuous measurements of dissolved-oxygen concentration and water temperature are fairly well known, but a standard set of procedures and computation software for all aspects of the calculations were not available previously. The Stream Metabolism Program addresses this deficiency with a stand-alone executable computer program written in Visual Basic.NET®, which runs in the Microsoft Windows® environment.

All equations and assumptions used in the development of the software are documented in this report. Detailed guidance on application of the software is presented, along with a summary of the data required to use the software. Data from either a single station or paired (upstream, downstream) stations can be used with the software to calculate metabolism variables.

CONTENTS

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and Scope

Theoretical Background

Overview

Dissolved-Oxygen Saturation Concentration

Correction of Measured Dissolved-Oxygen Concentration for Sensor Error and Drift

Determination of Analysis Period

Reach-Averaged Water Temperature, Dissolved-Oxygen Concentration, and Dissolved-Oxygen Deficit

Reaeration

Net Metabolism

Respiration

Gross Primary Production and Net Ecosystem Production

User’s Guide

Two-Station Method

Single-Station Method

References

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Suggested citation: Bales, J.D., and Nardi, M.R., 2007, Automated routines for calculating whole-stream metabolism—Theoretical background and user’s guide: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 4–C2, 33 p. (online at http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/tm4c2/)

For more information, please contact Jerad D. Bales.

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