The effect of thermal stratification and its relationship with water quality was researched by field observation in this study. Through assessing the degree of thermal stratification by calculating the dimensionless parameter of thermal resistance to mixing (RTRM) indices from 2008 to 2010, it indicated that the water body of Xiangxi River was stratified strongly in the summer months. The analysis of the degree of thermal stratification with both the meteorological and hydrodynamic factors showed thermal stratification intensity was more sensitive to meteorological factors in Xiangxi River. Through the analysis of the relationship between thermal stratification and water quality, the results indicated that the concentration of Chlorophyll a was higher in the epilimnion affected by the thermal stratification, which could cause algal bloom. The results may further help to evaluate the thermal stratification role in eutrophication process and algal bloom formation in Xiangxi River.

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