The severity of smouldering peat fires and damage to the forest soil

Rein, Guillermo, Cleaver, Natalie, Ashton, Clare, Pironi, Paolo and Torero, Jose L. (2008) The severity of smouldering peat fires and damage to the forest soil. Catena, 74 3: 304-309. doi:10.1016/j.catena.2008.05.008


Author Rein, Guillermo
Cleaver, Natalie
Ashton, Clare
Pironi, Paolo
Torero, Jose L.
Title The severity of smouldering peat fires and damage to the forest soil
Journal name Catena   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0341-8162
1872-6887
Publication date 2008-08-15
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.catena.2008.05.008
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 74
Issue 3
Start page 304
End page 309
Total pages 6
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Subject 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics
1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Abstract Smouldering wildfires propagate slowly through surface and subsurface organic layers of the forest ground and severely affect the soil, producing physical, chemical and biological changes. These effects are caused by the prolonged heating and the large loss of soil mass but are poorly documented in the literature. A series of smouldering experiments with boreal peat have been conducted under laboratory conditions to quantify these effects using small-scale samples. Peat samples of 100 mm by 100 mm in cross section and 50 mm in depth of different moisture were exposed to an external ignition source. Thermocouples placed throughout the sample bed measured the temperature evolution and tracked the peat ignition, intensity and spread of the smouldering front. The results show that moisture content controls peat ignition and that moisture below 125 ± 10% (in dry base) are required. The severity of the smouldering peat on the soil has been quantified in terms of temperature vs. residence time curves and mass loss. The measurements show temperatures in excess of 300 °C for residence times of 1 h leading to sterilization of the soil and mass loss in burnt layers above 90%.
Keyword Biomass
Mass loss
Moisture
Thermal damage
Wildfire
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Civil Engineering Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 08 Aug 2014, 19:52:49 EST by Julie Hunter on behalf of School of Civil Engineering