Monday, February 13, 2017

Geometric Solar Radiation Model with Applications in Agriculture and Forestry

            Solar radiation is important to physical and biophysical processes because it regulates and controls energy and water balance. They used maps that showed elevation, surface orientation, atmospheric conditions, and influences of surround topography this allowed them place a map of soil temperatures over it. This showed how spatial analysis could explain “variation of insolation for studies of energy and water balance.”

They buried 11 Hobo soil temperature sensors in the earth in different locations to get a good representation of the area. The temperatures were taken hourly. After a couple of months the sensors were taken up and only 7 were functioning and had good data.

The 7 sampling areas had different temperatures. When snow started to fall and when it started to melt are the only times the 7 sites had similar temperatures. But, during winter the temperatures were not similar.

            Therefore, the temperature varies with the topographic landscape. It is fairly easy to determine the soil temperature for an area because only a few measurements are needed.

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. It makes sense to me that the temperatures during the other seasons would be different elevations, but was odd to see that the winter seasons were the ones that showed consistent readings. I would have thought that all readings would have differed with a small margin of error, especially as the elevation increased for all seasons. Furthermore, I wonder what reasons were presented to remove the sensors after the set monthly time period.

  2. I think that with the current effects of climate change causing lots of variation in temperature it would be interesting to have this study carrying on for a more extended period of time to get a larger picture of the temperature variation, and to see if the temperatures really are that similar at any time, even in the winter.