Effects of Soil Surface Irregularities on the Diurnal Variation of Soil Broadband Blue-Sky Albedo Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper quantitatively explores, in terms of roughness indices, the effect of soil surface irregularities on the diurnal variation of the broadband blue-sky albedo of a large range of soil properties. Field studies were carried out on cultivated and uncultivated soil surfaces in Poland and Israel that vary in roughness and brightness. It was found that these irregularities, formed by different agricultural equipment and modified by rain or sprinkler irrigation, can be quantified by two roughness indices. Soil roughness not only affects the overall level of the diurnal variation of the albedo, but also affects the intensity of the diurnal increase from the solar zenith angle ( ${\thetab_{\mbi s}}$ ) at the local noon to about $75^\circ - 80^\circ$ . The roughness indices are variables that precisely determine only the albedo at the local solar noon of soils with the same color value. If the contents of soil organic carbon (SOC) and calcium carbonate are treated as the dominant variables, combined with one of the indices, these three variables together would significantly describe the albedo at the local solar noon of all soil surfaces. The soils, with their high irregularities, showed almost no rising values of albedo at a ${\thetab_{\mbi s}}$ lower than 75 $^\circ$ , while the smooth soil surfaces exhibited a gradual increase of the albedo at these angles. It is concluded that the roughness indices provide sufficient means to accurately describe the diurnal variation of the albedo of a wide range of surfaces, disregarding other soil properties.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015