Impact of Terrain and Cloud Cover on the Distribution of Incoming Direct Solar Radiation over Pakistan


This study investigates the spatial distribution of direct solar irradiation on rugged terrain over Pakistan. Digital elevation model (DEM), observational data of solar radiation from 6 meteorological observatories located in Pakistan and 5 meteorological observatories located in China were used in the present study. This conjunction is based on the same climatic conditions. MODIS Level-2 (L2) cloud fraction products and observational data of cloud cover from 21 meteorological observatories in Pakistan were incorporated to quantify the cloud cover influences on solar radiation amount and spatial distribution. The emerging field of remote sensing and GIS makes it possible to calculate solar radiation with finer spatial resolution and better understanding of terrain and cloud effects. ArcGIS with RS platform were used to simulate the model for direct solar radiation for the first time over Pakistan region. The results show clear quantitative influences of local topography and cloud cover on the DSR. Similarly, the area (east of Indus river) affected by monsoon receives less solar radiation during summer compared to the west of the Indus River.

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S. Sultan, R. Wu and I. Ahmed, "Impact of Terrain and Cloud Cover on the Distribution of Incoming Direct Solar Radiation over Pakistan," Journal of Geographic Information System, Vol. 6 No. 1, 2014, pp. 70-77. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2014.61008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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