Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Solar Radiation Models and Temperature Data

Pinde Fu and Paul Rich’s article concerns solar radiation. They made isolation maps from digital elevation models in order to apply the model for spatial interpolation of different topography aspects in the world. The maps are best utilized in forest and agriculture. Often, geographical information is not accurate that is readily available. These solar radiation models are cost-effective as they do not cost much to build and do not require an insolation monitor station. The models made by Rich and Fu are developed for ARC/INFO GIS platforms. Temperature is part of the information used by the solar radiation models. Weather stations are not very accurate as there are not enough per square mile to get accurate temperature all of the time. In using a solar radiation model, a more accurate temperature can be measured. Many other systems have been used to interpolate temperature, however, they often have miscalculations due to not factoring geography features into their systems. Rich and Fu intend to prove that high spatial resolution maps can provide a better temperature prediction. Together they determine temperature maps for a study based on an isolation model. The then outline how this process is completed.
    In order to begin the research process Fu and Rich decided to study at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gunnison County, Colorado.  Eleven Hobo soil temperature senors were buried in many different locations around Gunnison County, Colorado. They then logged temperature by each hour. After the data was collected, Fu and Rich began creating insolation and temperature maps to display their findings. The insolation data was inserted into the TopoView model. Most weather stations do not record soil temperature, so this study is valuable. The results determined that soil temperature varies with position in the topographic landscape. It was concluded that during the summer high spatial resolution for temperature was represented. When snow is present the spatial resolution lowers. This study is valuable because using solar radiation models for soil temperature calculation is just one of the abilities. The study mentions that water balance is also available to study with insolation data and solar radiation models.

This model displays soil temperature (in degrees Celsius) with a legend that has the different temperatures in relation to color. The lighter the color on the legend the higher the temperature at 20cm depth. These soil temperatures were collected daily with a minimum and maximums.

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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