Kremens, R.L.; Dickinson, M.B., Radiant power, energy and fuel consumption in mixed-oak forest surface fires., International Journal of Wildland Fire (2011) [BibTeX]
Keywords: fire behavior
. Closing the wildland fire heat budget involves characterizing the heat source and energy dissipation across the range of variability in fuels and fire behavior. Meeting this challenge will lay the foundation for predicting direct ecological effects of fires and fire-atmosphere coupling. In this paper we focus on the relationships between the fire radiation field, as measured from the zenith, fuel consumption, and the behavior of spreading flame fronts. Experiments were conducted in 8 m x 8 m outdoor plots using pre-conditioned wildland fuels characteristic of mixed-oak forests of the eastern United States. Using dual-band radiometers with a field of view of about 18.5 m2 at a height of 4.2 m, we found a near-linear increase in fire radiative energy density (FRED) over a range of fuel consumption between 0.15 kg m-2 to 3.25 kg m-2. Using an integrated heat budget, we estimate that the fraction of total theoretical combustion energy density radiated from the plot averaged 0.17, the fraction of latent energy transported in the plume averaged 0.08, and the fraction accounted for by the combination of fire convective energy transport and soil heating averaged 0.72. Future work will require, at minimum, instantaneous and time-integrated estimates of energy transported by radiation, convection, and soil heating across a range of fuels.
Last Modified: 7:57pm 04 Apr 11