Reading Water Temperature Data
Temperature is an important parameter to study, because it is a driving factor in the chemical and biological processes that determine how well an aquatic environment can support life. Scientists using System-wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) data to study coastal systems have found that temperature is the most important factor in determining the primary and secondary production of a community within the estuaries.
Below is a graph of water temperature recorded on September 19, 2007 at the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Massachusetts. Use this graph to check your understanding. Then try making your own graphs of real water quality data.