Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Geometric Solar Radiation Model With Applications in Agriculture and Forestry

            Incoming solar radiation is fundamental to physical and biophysical processes because of its role in the energy and water balance. Insolation is a term that was coined as an expression for incoming solar radiation. Insolation affects processes like air, soil heating, evapotranspiration, photosynthesis, winds and snow melt. Currently there are not accurate maps that express insolation of a given area. These maps are needed for agriculture and forestry. They would be able to explain the soil temperature of a given area that is not a just an average based on an all-encompassing model for a specific area.
            Insolation monitoring stations are located in relatively flat locations where there is an abundance of human interaction. This could warp the data that these systems are trying to receive. These current models also assume the underlying surface is flat, which is not always the case and can warp the data as well. When insolation-monitoring stations are constructed, spatially based solar radiation models will provide a cost-efficient means for characterizing the spatial and temporal variation of insolation. This type of model will help create an accurate insolation map for the GIS analyst to help benefit those trying to see the soil temperature in agriculture and forestry.
            Looking at a case study, the researchers used seven different sampling sites to view insolation. The results show that there was a very different temperature regime between the different locations. The data shows that there is an inversely proportional relationship between temperature and elevation. The data also shows that insolation explains daily temperature variation.

            Using insolation-monitoring stations that are spatially based will help explain the fine-scale patterns across the landscape. This type of model will also help other applications involving the energy and water balance within agriculture and forestry and will be more cost efficient than the former system.

Fu, P., & Rich, P. M. (2002). A geometric solar radiation model with applications in         agriculture and forestry. Computers and electronics in agriculture37(1), 25-35.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to know how exactly these insolation monitoring stations work. Also, is there a benefit to being able to understand the soil insolation? I understand that insolation has a direct affect on various natural processes, but what will people be able to do with this information?