USGS Data Series 330

National Water-Quality Assessment Program

Methods for Processing and Summarizing Time-Series Temperature Data Collected as Part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program Studies on the Effects of Urbanization on Stream Ecosystems

By Thomas F. Cuffney and Robin A. Brightbill

U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 330, 23 pages (Published online only, April 2008)

This report is available in PDF format: DS 330 (Opens the PDF file in a new window. ) (830 KB)

Associated data files are in tab-delimited text, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Access formats. The files can be accessed directly from the PDF file on the internet, but it is recommended that they be downloaded because of their size. All data files are in the directory named data. All data files are also in the compressed volume named [40 MB], within the data directory. Please note that if you download the PDF file to disk, the data files must be downloaded into a directory named "data" at the same level as a separate directory containing the PDF file in order for the PDF's links to the data files to work.


Cover thumbnailTemperature data and summary statistics are presented for 256 sites in 9 metropolitan areas as part of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program studies of the effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems. The computer program (GRAN) that was developed to derive uniform data granularity and calculate temperature statistics (means, standard deviations, rates of change, degree days) is described, as are the methods used to estimate missing daily mean temperatures, degree days (annual and summer periods), and 7-day running averages of daily mean temperatures.





Purpose and Scope

Processing Water Temperature Data

Acquiring Water Temperature Data

Selecting Annual and Summer Periods

Selecting a Common Data Granularity

Summarizing Water Temperature Data

Summary Statistics for Annual and Summer Periods of Record

Estimating Annual Degree Days

Extracting 7-Day Running Average Daily Mean Temperatures


References Cited

Appendix 1. Granularity Program (GRAN)


Sources of Data Used by GRAN



Help and Documentation

Using GRAN

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Suggested citation: Cuffney, T.F., and Brightbill, R.A., 2008, Methods for processing and summarizing time-series temperature data collected as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program studies on the effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 330, 23 p. (available only online at

For more information, please contact Thomas F. Cuffney.

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