Modified solar insolation as an agronomic factor in terraced environments

T. P. Evans, B. Winterhalder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We present a model that calculates incident solar radiation falling on terraced and unterraced fields in steep slope environments. The results are presented as a function of altitude, latitude, slope aspect, slope angle, and season. The net solar benefit or cost from slope leveling (terracing) differs significantly according to these situational factors. For instance, terracing will confer a net direct solar radiation benefit of 15 per cent on south-facing 30-degree slopes at the Equator for a typical growing season; it will reduce net annual direct solar receipt by 21 per cent on south-facing 30-degree slopes at 45° N latitude. Modified solar radiation must be considered as potentially important in the historical origins, functioning and abandonment of terracing. It should be a component in agronomic evaluation of modern terrace construction, restoration, or maintenance. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-287
Number of pages15
JournalLand Degradation and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2000


  • Agriculture
  • Solar radiation
  • Terraces
  • Topography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Development
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Soil Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Modified solar insolation as an agronomic factor in terraced environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this