Modelling quasi-three-dimensional distribution of solar irradiance on complex terrain

Wenjie Liu, Huade Guan, Hugo A. Gutiérrez-Jurado, Eddie W. Banks, Xinguang He, Xinping Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Solar radiation, driving land-atmosphere interactions and terrestrial carbon assimilation, varies both temporally and spatially due to surface gradient, slope aspect and vegetation shading. Here we present a double-shading transposition model (DST) for simulating temporal and spatial distribution of downwelling shortwave solar radiation. The DST model considers influences of both topographic and canopy structure on radiation transmission. It simulates sub-hourly radiation distribution on and beneath vegetation canopy for any weather conditions. The model is tested against observations at two opposite-facing slopes. The simulated above- and under-canopy radiation compares well with the observed data. The model provides a convenient and effective tool for simulating spatial and temporal variation of solar radiation on mountainous areas with vegetation cover and has great potential in ecohydrological modelling and catchment management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105293
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Canopy transmission
  • Land surface energy balance
  • Shortwave solar radiation
  • Topographic shading


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