Thermal and Depth Criteria Limits (Habitat Analysis)

This How-To guide is intended to guide users in the application of the Thermal and Depth Criteria Limits analysis features of EFDC_Explorer. A demonstration model may be downloaded to aid the user in following along with this guide (a temperature series is not included in the example model at this stage).

Any model which uses the temperature module can utilize the Thermal and Depth Criteria Limits analysis features. This type of analysis is generally applied for species whose habitat requires a specific range of water depths and temperatures over a defined block of time (for example 2 days).


Determine regions of the model domain which satisfy a specific range of depth and temperature characteristics over a defined time block.

Model Description

The HabitatRiver model is available on EEMS website and can be downloaded to run in the free Demo version of EEMS. The HabitatRiver model will be used to demonstrate the application of the thermal and depth criteria features. The model is configured to simulate temperature effects in addition to hydrodynamics. The focus of this model is to identify suitable habitat for the cod-like burbot fish species (Lola lota).

Adult burbot typically occupy areas which have a minimum depth greater than 1.00 m (3.28 ft) and preferred summer temperature range of 10-12 oC.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Run the Model

Model outputs are required to complete the Thermal and Depth Criteria Limits analysis. Press the Run EFDC button on the main form of EFDC_Explorer.

Step 2: Open the ViewPlan and Habitat Analysis Tools

From the main form of EFDC_Explorer, open the ViewPlan window and use the keyboard shortcut Alt+H to access the Habitat Analysis Tools (Figure 1).

Figure 1. ViewPlan window, with the Habitat Analysis Tools shown (keyboard shortcut Alt+H).

Enter "1" into the text box and press OK to open the Thermal and Depth Criteria Limits dialog (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Thermal and depth criteria (Critical Habitat Analysis) using criteria for adult burbot.

Step 3: Enter Critical Habitat Limits and Display

With the information provided in the Model Description above, populate the Critical Habitat Analysis form that now appears in the ViewPlan window. Once the form is populated, press the Display button to show cells which meet the defined criteria. You can change model snapshots to advance or go back in time by using the Page Up and Page Down buttons on your keyboard, or using the Timing slider on the right side of the ViewPlan form.

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