Smouldering natural fires: Comparison of burning dynamics in boreal peat and Mediterranean humus

G. Rein, J. Garcia, A. Simeoni, V. Tihay, L. Ferrat

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Smouldering of the forest subsurface can be responsible for a large fraction of the total fuel consumed during wildfires. Subsurface fires can take place in organic material stored in shallow forest layers such as duff or humus, and in deeper layers such as peat, landfills and coal seams. These fires play a major role in the global emission to the atmosphere, the destruction of carbon storage in the soil and the damage to the natural environment. Burning dynamics in two different ecosystems affected by smouldering wildfires are studied here; boreal peat and Mediterranean humus. A series of small-scale smouldering experiments have been conducted under laboratory conditions to study the ignition and the severity to the soil. The experimental set-up allowed the temperature and velocity of the fire front to be measured for different fuel moisture contents. The two fuels, peat and humus, were tested and the results are compared.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment
Pages183-192
Number of pages10
Volume119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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