Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

IF value: 5.153
IF5.153
IF 5-year value: 5.460
IF 5-year
5.460
CiteScore value: 7.8
CiteScore
7.8
SNIP value: 1.623
SNIP1.623
IPP value: 4.91
IPP4.91
SJR value: 2.092
SJR2.092
Scimago H <br class='widget-line-break'>index value: 123
Scimago H
index
123
h5-index value: 65
h5-index65
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-193
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-193
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  11 May 2020

11 May 2020

Review status
A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

The challenges of an in situ validation of a non-equilibrium model of soil heat and moisture dynamics during fires

William J. Massman William J. Massman
  • USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 240 West Prospect Road, Fort Collins, CO 80526 USA

Abstract. With the increasing frequency and severity of fire there is an increasing desire to better manage fuels and minimize, as much as possible, the impacts of fire on soils and other natural resources. Piling and/or burning slash is one method of managing fuels and reducing the risk and consequences of wildfire, but the repercussions to the soil, although very localized, can be significant and often irreversible. In an effort to provide a tool to better understand the impact of fire on soils, this study outlines the improvements to and the in-situ validation of a non-equilibrium model for simulating the coupled interactions and transport of heat, moisture and water vapor during fires. Improvements to the model eliminate two important (but heretofore universally overlooked) inconsistencies: one that describes the relationship between evaporation and condensation in the parameterization of the non-equilibrium vapor source term and the other, is the incorrect use of the apparent thermal conductivity in the soil heat flow equation. The first of these enhanced the stability and performance of the model. The second is an important improvement in the model's physical realism, but had less of an impact on the model's performance and stability than the first. The model validation uses (in-situ temperature, soil moisture, and heat flux) data obtained in a 2004 experimental slash pile burn. Important temperature dependent corrections to the instruments used for measuring soil heat flux and moisture are also discussed and assessed. Despite any possible ambiguities in the calibration the sensors or the simplicity of the parameterization of the surface heating function, the difficulties and complexities of formulating the upper boundary condition, and the obvious complexities of the dynamic response of the soil's temperature and heat flux, the model produced at least a very credible, if not surprisingly good, simulation of the observed data. This study then continues with a discussion and sensitivity analysis of some important feedbacks (some of which are well known and others that are more hypothetical) that are not included in the present (or any extant) model, but undoubtedly are dynamically influencing the physical properties of the soil in-situ during the fire and thereby modulating the behavior of the soil temperature and moisture. This manuscript concludes with a list of possible future observational and modeling studies and how they would advance the research and findings discussed here.

William J. Massman

Interactive discussion

Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
[Login for Authors/Editors] [Subscribe to comment alert] Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

William J. Massman

William J. Massman

Viewed

Total article views: 284 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
221 54 9 284 10 10
  • HTML: 221
  • PDF: 54
  • XML: 9
  • Total: 284
  • BibTeX: 10
  • EndNote: 10
Views and downloads (calculated since 11 May 2020)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 11 May 2020)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 244 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 244 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 

Cited

Saved

No saved metrics found.

Discussed

No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 28 Sep 2020
Publications Copernicus
Download
Citation