Water temperature affects all biological and chemical processes in water; therefore, it is an extremely important water quality parameter. Meteorological factors are among the most important factors that affect water temperatures. The aim of this study is to develop an artificial neural network (ANN) model to investigate the effects of meteorological parameters on water temperatures at Kızılırmak River in Turkey. Water temperature data were collected from gauging stations on Kızılırmak River, and meteorological data were acquired from the nearest meteorological stations. Air temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, and previous water temperatures were formed the input parameters. The model output included water temperatures. All data were available for the 1995–2007 period, with occasional missing records. The activation functions of the ANN model and the number of neurons in the hidden layer were selected by trial-and-error method to find the best results. The root mean square error and the correlation coefficient between observed and simulated water temperatures were used to assess the model success. The best results were obtained by using sigmoid activation function and scaled conjugate gradient algorithm. This study showed that meteorological data can be used to simulate water temperature with ANN model for Kızılırmak River.

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