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

Radiant flux density, energy density and fuel consumption in mixed-oak forest surface fires

R. L. Kremens A D , M. B. Dickinson B and A. S. Bova A B C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Rochester Institute of Technology, Center for Imaging Science, 54 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623 USA.

B US Forest Service Northern Research Station, 359 Main Road, Delaware, OH 43015, USA.

C Current address: Bova Consulting, 323 Northridge Road, Columbus, OH 43214, USA.

D Corresponding author. Email: kremens@cis.rit.edu

International Journal of Wildland Fire 21(6) 722-730 https://doi.org/10.1071/WF10143
Submitted: 3 February 2011  Accepted: 16 December 2011   Published: 28 June 2012

Abstract

Closing the wildland fire heat budget involves characterising the heat source and energy dissipation across the range of variability in fuels and fire behaviour. 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 behaviour of spreading flame fronts. Experiments were conducted in 8 × 8-m outdoor plots using preconditioned wildland fuels characteristic of mixed-oak forests of the eastern United States. Using dual-band radiometers with a field of view of ~18.5 m2 at a height of 4.2 m, we found a near-linear increase in fire radiative energy density over a range of fuel consumption between 0.15 and 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.


References

Babrauskas V (2006) Effective heat of combustion for flaming combustion of conifers. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36, 659–663.
Effective heat of combustion for flaming combustion of conifers.CrossRef |

Banta RM, Olivier LD, Holloway ET, Kropfli RA, Bartram BW, Cupp RE, Post MJ (1992) Smoke-column observations from two forest fires using Doppler Lidar and Doppler radar. Journal of Applied Meteorology 31, 1328–1349.
Smoke-column observations from two forest fires using Doppler Lidar and Doppler radar.CrossRef |

Boulet P, Parent G, Collin A, Acem Z, Porterie B, Clerc JP, Consalvi JL, Kaiss A (2009) Spectral emission of flames from laboratory-scale vegetation fires. International Journal of Wildland Fire 18, 875–884.
Spectral emission of flames from laboratory-scale vegetation fires.CrossRef |

Bova AS, Dickinson MB (2008) Beyond ‘fire temperatures’: calibrating thermocouple probes and modeling their response to surface fires in hardwood fuels. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 38, 1008–1020.
Beyond ‘fire temperatures’: calibrating thermocouple probes and modeling their response to surface fires in hardwood fuels.CrossRef |

Byram GM (1959) Combustion of forest fuels. In ‘Forest Fire: Control and Use’. (Ed. KP Davis) pp. 61–89. (McGraw-Hill: New York)

Clark TL, Radke L, Coen J, Middleton D (1999) Analysis of small-scale convective dynamics in a crown fire using infrared video camera imagery. Journal of Applied Meteorology 38, 1401–1420.
Analysis of small-scale convective dynamics in a crown fire using infrared video camera imagery.CrossRef |

Clements CB (2007) FIREFLUX – observing wildland grass fire dynamics. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 88, 1369–1382.
FIREFLUX – observing wildland grass fire dynamics.CrossRef |

Clements CB, Potter BE, Zhong S (2006) In situ measurements of water vapor, heat, and CO2 fluxes within a prescribed grass fire. International Journal of Wildland Fire 15, 299–306.
In situ measurements of water vapor, heat, and CO2 fluxes within a prescribed grass fire.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD28XptVClsLY%3D&md5=59af4c3ca4d2b9542346c01eae67e140CAS |

Clements CB, Zhong S, Bian X, Heilman WE, Byun DW (2008) First observations of turbulence generated by grass fires. Journal of Geophysical Research 113, D22102
First observations of turbulence generated by grass fires.CrossRef |

Coen J, Mahalingam S, Daily J (2004) Infrared imagery of crown-fire dynamics during FROSTFIRE. Journal of Applied Meteorology 43, 1241–1259.
Infrared imagery of crown-fire dynamics during FROSTFIRE.CrossRef |

Daniels A (2007) ‘Field Guide to Infrared Systems.’ (SPIE Publishing: Bellingham, WA)

Dickinson MB, Ryan KC (2010) Strengthening the foundation of wildland fire effects prediction for research and management – introduction to the special issue. Fire Ecology 6, 1–12.
Strengthening the foundation of wildland fire effects prediction for research and management – introduction to the special issue.CrossRef |

Dietenberger MA (2002) Update for combustion properties of wood components. Fire and Materials 26, 255–267.
Update for combustion properties of wood components.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXhtFKnurc%3D&md5=1b0fdbabef156d91b44e7f8f8d2fa7fcCAS |

Dozier J (1981) A method for satellite identification of surface temperature fields of sub-pixel resolution. Remote Sensing of Environment 11, 221–229.
A method for satellite identification of surface temperature fields of sub-pixel resolution.CrossRef |

Freeborn PH, Wooster MJ, Hao WM, Ryan CA, Nordgren BL, Baker SP, Ichoku C (2008) Relationships between energy release, fuel mass loss and trace gas and aerosol emissions during laboratory biomass fires. Journal of Geophysical Research 113,
Relationships between energy release, fuel mass loss and trace gas and aerosol emissions during laboratory biomass fires.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD1cXivVOls7g%3D&md5=51bb4a8b05b3c657900565dc3539c79fCAS |

Kaufman Y, Remer L, Ottmar R, Ward D, Rong RL, Kleidman R, Fraser R, Flynn L, McDougal D, Shelton G (1996) Relationship between remotely sensed fire intensity and rate of emission of smoke: SCAR-C experiment. In ‘Global Biomass Burning.’ (Ed. J Levine) pp. 685–696 (MIT Press: Cambridge, MA)

Kremens RL, Faulring J, Hardy C (2003) Measurement of the time–temperature and emissivity history of the burn scar for remote sensing applications. In ‘Proceedings of the Second International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress and Fifth Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology’, 16–20 November 2003, Orlando, FL. p. J1G.5 (American Meteorological Society: Boston, MA)

Kremens RL, Smith AMS, Dickinson MB (2010) Fire metrology: current and future directions in physics-based measurements. Fire Ecology 6, 13–35.

Massman WJ, Frank JM, Mooney SJ (2010) Advancing investigation and physical modeling of fire effects on soils. Fire Ecology 6, 36–54.
Advancing investigation and physical modeling of fire effects on soils.CrossRef |

McCaffrey BJ, Hekestad G (1976) A robust bidirectional low-velocity probe for flame and fire application. Combustion and Flame 26, 125–127.
A robust bidirectional low-velocity probe for flame and fire application.CrossRef |

Mell W, Jenkins MA, Gould J, Cheney P (2007) A physics-based approach to modelling grassland fires. International Journal of Wildland Fire 16, 1–22.
A physics-based approach to modelling grassland fires.CrossRef |

Parent G, Acem Z, Lechene S, Boulet P (2010) Measurement of infrared radiation emitted by the flame of a vegetation fire. International Journal of Thermal Sciences 49, 555–562.
Measurement of infrared radiation emitted by the flame of a vegetation fire.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD1MXhsFaku7vO&md5=5d48db60705174e09c643c63d34f90d4CAS |

Radke LR, Clark TL, Coen JL, Alther C, Lockwood RN, Riggin PJ, Brass JA, Higgins RG (2000) The Wildfire Experiment (WiFE): observations with airborne remote sensors. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing 26, 406–417.

Riggan PJ, Hoffman JW, Brass JA (2000) Estimating fire properties by remote sensing. In ‘Aerospace Conference Proceedings, 2000 IEEE’, 18–25 March 2000, Big Sky, MT, vol. 3, pp. 173–179 10.1109/AERO.2000.879845

Riggan PJ, Tissell RG, Lockwood RN, Brass JA, Pereira JAR, Miranda HS, Miranda AC, Campos T, Higgins R (2004) Remote measurement of energy and carbon flux from wildfires in Brazil. Ecological Applications 14, 855–872.
Remote measurement of energy and carbon flux from wildfires in Brazil.CrossRef |

Roberts G, Wooster MJ, Perry GLW, Drake N, Rebelo LM, Dipotso F (2005) Retrieval of biomass combustion rates and totals from fire radiative power observations: application to southern Africa using geostationary SEVIRI imagery. Journal of Geophysical Research 110, D21111
Retrieval of biomass combustion rates and totals from fire radiative power observations: application to southern Africa using geostationary SEVIRI imagery.CrossRef |

Roberts GJ, Wooster MJ (2008) Fire detection and fire characterization over Africa using Meteosat SEVIRI. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 46, 1200–1218.
Fire detection and fire characterization over Africa using Meteosat SEVIRI.CrossRef |

Smyth HD (1931) The emission spectrum of carbon dioxide. Physical Review 38, 2000–2015.
The emission spectrum of carbon dioxide.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DyaA38XotFKr&md5=437b0480e9fdebf298e4d5d7c1155fbcCAS |

Susott RA (1982) Characterization of the thermal properties of forest fuels by combustible gas analysis. Forest Science 28, 404–420.

Weise DR, Biging GS (1996) Effects of wind velocity and slope on flame properties. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 26, 1849–1858.
Effects of wind velocity and slope on flame properties.CrossRef |

Wilson RA (1985) Observations of extinction and marginal burning in free-burning porous fuel beds. Combustion Science and Technology 44, 179–193.
Observations of extinction and marginal burning in free-burning porous fuel beds.CrossRef |

Wooster MJ, Roberts G, Perry GLW, Kaufman YJ (2005) Retrieval of biomass combustion rates and totals from fire radiative power observations: 1. FRP derivation and calibration relationships between biomass consumption and fire radiative energy release. Journal of Geophysical Research 110, D24311
Retrieval of biomass combustion rates and totals from fire radiative power observations: 1. FRP derivation and calibration relationships between biomass consumption and fire radiative energy release.CrossRef |



Export Citation Cited By (22)