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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  28 Oct 2020

28 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Two decades of distributed global radiation time series across a mountainous semiarid area (Sierra Nevada, Spain)

Cristina Aguilar, Rafael Pimentel, and María J. Polo Cristina Aguilar et al.
  • Fluvial Dynamics and Hydrology Research Group, Andalusian Institute of Earth System Research, University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain

Abstract. The main drawback of the reconstruction of high resolution distributed global radiation (Rg) time series in mountainous semiarid environments is the common lack of station-based solar radiation registers. This work presents nineteen years (2000–2018) of high spatial resolution (30 m × 30 m) monthly and annual global radiation maps derived using the model proposed by Aguilar et al. (2010), driven by in situ daily global radiation measurements, from sixteen weather stations with historical records in the area, and a high resolution digital elevation model in a mountainous area in southern Europe: Sierra Nevada (SN) Mountain Range (Spain). The applicability of the modeling scheme was validated against daily global radiation registers at the weather stations with mean RMSE values of 2.63 MJ m−2 day−1 and best estimations on clear-sky days. Filled daily Rg at weather stations revealed quite stable minimum daily Rg values and greater variations in the maximum daily Rg, but no clear trends with altitude in any of the statistics unlike the analysis at the monthly and annual scale when there is an increase in the high extreme statistics with the altitude of the weather station, especially above 1500 m a.s.l. Monthly distributed Rg time series showed significant spatial differences of up to 200 MJ m−2 month−1 that clearly followed the terrain configuration. July and December were clearly the months with the highest and lowest values of Rg received and the highest dispersion in the monthly Rg values was found in the spring and fall months. The great heterogeneity found in the monthly distribution of Rg along the study period (2000–2018), especially at the wet season, finally determined the inter annual differences of up to 800 MJ m−2 year−1 in the incoming global radiation in SN. The time series of the surface global radiation datasets here provided can be used to analyze trends, inter-annual and seasonal variation characteristics of the global radiation received in SN with high spatial detail (30 m). Datasets are available at (Aguilar et al., 2020).

Cristina Aguilar et al.

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Cristina Aguilar et al.

Data sets

Time series of distributed global radiation data in Sierra Nevada (Spain) at different scales from historical weather stations Aguilar, Cristina, Pimentel, Rafael, Polo, and María José

Cristina Aguilar et al.


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Short summary
This work presents the reconstruction of nineteen years of monthly and annual global radiation maps in Sierra Nevada Mountain Range (Spain) derived using available historical records from weather stations in the area, and a modeling scheme that captures the topographic effects that constitute the main sources of the spatial and temporal variability of solar radiation. The generated data sets are valuable in different fields, such as: hydrology, ecology or production systems downstream.
This work presents the reconstruction of nineteen years of monthly and annual global radiation...