University of Cambridge > > Fluid Mechanics (DAMTP) > Understanding wildfire propagation: an experimental study of parameters affecting Firebrand Transport

Understanding wildfire propagation: an experimental study of parameters affecting Firebrand Transport

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Hatice Balci.

Increasing attention within the wildfire community in North America has been on the role of spotfire spread in disastrous fire events through firebrand transport. Spot-fires arise when burning firebrands are lofted into the tree canopy crossflow and transported much further downwind of the source fire to start secondary fires. Despite their significant role in rapidly increasing the rates of spread of wildfires, there is a general lack of understanding of what parameters control the transport of these firebrands.

In the first part of the talk, I will describe some of the related work done on characterizing canopy flows with gaps. This work was motivated by the need to understand the functioning of seagrass communities in the near-coastal ocean. In the second part of the talk, I will make the connection of the seagrass work to understanding flows over terrestrial canopies with gaps, and the challenge of firebrand transport in such flows. Both studies were performed in a flume in the EFML .

In the firebrand study, we model the interaction of four key physical parameters that can affect firebrand transport. These include the shape of the firebrands (modeled using particles), the nature of the buoyant thermal plumes that loft the firebrands, gaps in the tree canopy, and the strength of the crosswind and ambient canopy turbulence. Our experimental study tracks the characteristics of the particle transport (velocity, spatial dispersion of settling position) through the use of PTV (Particle Tracking Velocimetry). We also simultaneously characterize the shape and position of the buoyant plumes that loft the particles. Results suggest in addition to their role in the initial lofting of the particles, the nature of the buoyant plumes at the time of lofting have a strong influence on where the particles settle. We also find that the ambient turbulence, due to the presence of large-scale rollers at the anopy/crossflow interface, also strongly affects the distribution of the particle settling distances.

This talk is part of the Fluid Mechanics (DAMTP) series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.


© 2006-2024, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity