Climate-change driven increases in water temperature pose challenges for aquatic organisms. Predictions of impacts typically do not account for fine-grained spatiotemporal thermal patterns in rivers. Patches of cooler water could serve as refuges for anadromous species like salmon that migrate during summer. We used high-resolution remotely sensed water temperature data to characterize summer thermal heterogeneity patterns for 11,308 km of second–seventh-order rivers throughout the Pacific Northwest and northern California (USA). We evaluated (1) water temperature patterns at different spatial resolutions, (2) the frequency, size, and spacing of cool thermal patches suitable for Pacific salmon (i.e., contiguous...
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