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Measurements of convective and radiative heating in wildland fires

Frankman, David; Webb, Brent W.; Butler, Bret W.; Jimenez, Daniel; Forthofer, Jason M.; Sopko, Paul; Shannon, Kyle S.; Hiers, J. Kevin; Ottmar, Roger D. 2012. Measurements of convective and radiative heating in wildland fires. International Journal of Wildland Fire. doi:

Time-resolved irradiance and convective heating and cooling of fast-response thermopile sensors were measured in 13 natural and prescribed wildland fires under a variety of fuel and ambient conditions. It was shown that a sensor exposed to the fire environment was subject to rapid fluctuations of convective transfer whereas irradiance measured by a windowed sensor was much less variable in time, increasing nearly monotonically with the approach of the flame front and largely declining with its passage. Irradiance beneath two crown fires peaked at 200 and 300kWm 2, peak irradiance associated with fires in surface fuels reached 100kWm 2 and the peak for three instances of burning in shrub fuels was 132kWm 2. The fire radiative energy accounted for 79% of the variance in fuel consumption. Convective heating at the sensor surface varied from 15% to values exceeding the radiative flux. Detailed measurements of convective and radiative heating rates in wildland fires are presented. Results indicate that the relative contribution of each to total energy release is dependent on fuel and environment.

Keywords: wildland fires, heating, fuel

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Measurements of convective and radiative heating in wildland fires
Electronic Publish Date: October 29, 2012
Last Update:
October 29, 2012

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