Monday, February 9, 2015

A Geometric Solar Radiation Model with Applications in Agriculture and Forestry

Understanding incoming solar radiation is crucial for the agriculture and forestry industry. This is true with all almost all physical and biological processes because it plays a role in energy production and water absorption. This GIS analysis created insolation models calculating for atmospheric conditions, elevation, surface orientation, and influences of surrounding topography. They also generated daily minimum and maximum soil temperature based on regression analyses. They then compared these numbers with the insolation models they created. This allowed the authors to get a complete look at the impact of insolation on natural and biological processes. Water balance was another important variable they took care to measure.

Through analysis of collected data the authors found that soil temperature variation is connected with topographic position. They developed an insolation modified soil temperature model, which uses a geometric insolation sub model. This improves the accuracy of soil temperature measurement. Solar Analyst was used to create the insolation models. They found that insolation proved to be a critical factor for understanding fine-scale patterns across the landscape. The analysis also suggests that applications that involve energy or water balance could benefit an insolation sub model. However, they tempered this finding by saying that more analysis was needed to fine tune the process.

Fu, P., & Rich, P. M. (2002). A geometric solar radiation model with applications in agriculture and forestry. Computers and electronics in agriculture, 37(1), 25-35.

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