You are here

A rapid response database in support of post-fire hydrological modeling

Posted date: January 06, 2017
Publication Year: 
2016
Authors: Miller, Mary Ellen; Elliot, William J.
Publication Series: 
Science Bulletins and Newsletters
Source: StreamNotes, February 2016. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Stream and Aquatic Ecology Center. p. 1-7.

Abstract

Being prepared for an emergency is important. Every year wildfires threaten homes and lives, but danger persists even after the flames are extinguished. Post-fire flooding and erosion (Figure 1) can threaten lives, property, and natural resources. To respond to this threat, interdisciplinary Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams assess potential erosion and flood risks, and if deemed necessary, develop remediation plans to protect lives and natural resources. BAER teams operate under tight deadlines - typically burn scars must be assessed and treatments recommended within two weeks of fire containment. Process-based and spatially explicit empirical models are currently under-utilized compared to simpler, lumped models because they are both difficult to set up and require properly formatted spatial inputs. Engineers at the Forest Service and Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) teamed up with NASA to improve access to predictive tools and datasets for modeling post-fire erosion and runoff. To facilitate operational use of models in conjunction with earth observations of burn severity, we have developed an online database (Figure 2) that rapidly serves out properly formatted spatial model inputs that have been modified with burn severity maps to support the GeoWEPP watershed erosion prediction software.

Citation

Miller, Mary Ellen; Elliot, William J. 2016. A rapid response database in support of post-fire hydrological modeling. StreamNotes, February 2016. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Stream and Aquatic Ecology Center. p. 1-7.