International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire

A New Method to Estimate Fuel Surface Area-to-Volume Ratio Using Water Immersion

PM Fernandes and FC Rego

International Journal of Wildland Fire 8(2) 59 - 66
Published: 1998


A fast, simple, low cost and general technique for estimating fuel surface area-to-volume ratio was developed. It requires the knowledge of particle density, the determination of fuel weight before and after immersion in water, and theoretical thickness of the adsorbed water pellicle that is assumed constant. Estimates by the technique were consistent and in good agreement with published surface area-to-volume ratios for the same fuels obtained through commonly used methods, and its performance is judged appropriate for the current fire behaviour modeling needs. The water immersion technique was applied to five common shrub species in Portugal. Limitations and possibilities for improvement of the newly developed technique are discussed.

Keywords: Fuel; Surface area-to-volume ratio; Shrubs; Fire behavior; Portugal

© IAWF 1998

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