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An in situ investigation of the influence of a controlled burn on the thermophysical properties of a dry soil


Massman, W. J.; Frank, J. M. 2004. An in situ investigation of the influence of a controlled burn on the thermophysical properties of a dry soil. In: 26th Conference on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. Paper 1.8. Boston, MA: American Meteorological Society. Online: https://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/79501.pdf

High soil temperatures associated with fire influence forests and their ability to regenerate after a fire by altering soil properties and soil chemistry and by killing microbes, plant roots, and seeds. Because intense wild fires are an increasingly common component of the landscape (Graham 2003) and because fire is frequently used by land managers to reduce surface fuels, it is important to know if and how soil properties may change as a consequence of the fire-associated soil heat pulse. In particular, it is important to know whether the intrinsic (dry) soil thermophysical properties - volumetric specific heat capacity (Cs) and thermal conductivity ( s) - change as a result of soil heating. Significant changes, particularly in the intrinsic thermal conductivity of fire-affected soils, could indicate changes in the soil's structure, because soil thermal conductivity is strongly influenced by soil structure (Farouki 1986). Furthermore, such changes will lead to changes in the daily energy flow through the soil and the associated patterns and magnitudes of soil temperatures, which in turn may affect soil chemistry, soil aggregate stability, soil biota, and ultimately the nature of the soil's recovery from fire.

Keywords: soil temperatures, fire, soil properties, soil chemistry


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: An in situ investigation of the influence of a controlled burn on the thermophysical properties of a dry soil
Electronic Publish Date: May 23, 2013
Last Update:
May 23, 2013

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