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 agriculture, 37(1), 25-35.