Effects Of Sky Brightness Distribution Upon Penetration Of Diffuse Radiation Through Canopy Gaps In A Deciduous Forest

  • Sites: US-WBW
  • Publication Type: JOUR
  • Authors: Hutchison, B.; Matt, D.; McMillen, R.

  • The penetration of diffuse sky radiation via canopy opening into a fully-leafed tulip poplar forest was estimated from canopy structure data obtained from canopy photographs and from sky brightness distribution approximations, using techniques originally developed by Anderson (1964). Small differences were found among mean daily penetration fractions predicted assuming an isotropic sky (UOC), a standard overcast sky (SOC), or an approximation of the weighted daily average predicted using a clear sky brightness distribution. For shorter time periods, penetration of diffuse radiation estimated using the UOC and SOC approximations differed substantially from estimates made using the clear-sky brightness distribution. Most diffuse radiation passes through openings that are within 10 degrees of the solar disk. Hence the directional distribution of diffuse radiation in the forest is strongly controlled by solar position on clear to partly cloudy days. Amounts of diffuse radiation observed in the forest under clear skies agree fairly well with those predicted by the model developved by Reifsnyder et al. (1971). In both cases, penetration increases with increasing solar elevation on clear days. We conclude that the SOC assumption produces acceptable results for time periods of a day or longer, but for shorter times with clear skies the use of the clear sky brightness distribution is necessary for most simulation or prediction modelling.


  • Journal: Agricultural Meteorology
  • Funding Agency: —
  • Citation Information:
  • Volume: 22
  • No: 2
  • Pages: 137-147
  • Publication Year: 1980
  • DOI: 10.1016/0002-1571(80)90040-0