A Vectorial Model to Compute Terrain Parameters, Local and Remote Sheltering, Scattering and Albedo using TIN Domains for Hydrologic Modeling.

Friday, 18 December 2015: 17:00
3020 (Moscone West)
Hernan A Moreno1, Fred L Ogden2, Robert Christian Steinke3 and Laura Veronica Alvarez1, (1)University of Oklahoma Norman Campus, Norman, OK, United States, (2)Univ. of Wyoming - Dept 3295, Laramie, WY, United States, (3)University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, United States
Triangulated Irregular Networks (TINs) are increasingly popular for terrain representation in high performance surface and hydrologic modeling by their skill to capture significant changes in surface forms such as topographical summits, slope breaks, ridges, valley floors, pits and cols. This work presents a methodology for estimating slope, aspect and the components of the incoming solar radiation by using a vectorial approach within a topocentric coordinate system by establishing geometric relations between groups of TIN elements and the sun position. A normal vector to the surface of each TIN element describes slope and aspect while spherical trigonometry allows computing a unit vector defining the position of the sun at each hour and DOY. Thus, a dot product determines the radiation flux at each TIN element. Remote shading is computed by scanning the projection of groups of TIN elements in the direction of the closest perpendicular plane to the sun vector. Sky view fractions are computed by a simplified scanning algorithm in prescribed directions and are useful to determine diffuse radiation. Finally, remote radiation scattering is computed from the sky view factor complementary functions for prescribed albedo values of the surrounding terrain only for significant angles above the horizon. This methodology represents an improvement on the current algorithms to compute terrain and radiation parameters on TINs in an efficient manner. All terrain features (e.g. slope, aspect, sky view factors and remote sheltering) can be pre-computed and stored for easy access for a subsequent ground surface or hydrologic simulation.