Ignition probability of organic soils [abstract]
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): W. H. Frandsen
Editor(s): T. L. Pruden; L. A. Brennan
Publication Year: 1998

Cataloging Information

  • combustion
  • heat
  • ignition
  • moisture
  • organic matter
  • organic soils
  • soil moisture
  • soils
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 36504
Tall Timbers Record Number: 10887
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Tall Timbers shelf
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Prescribed fire requires a greater understanding of the fire behavior of organic soils; will they ignite and if they do how much heat will be transferred into the ground? The former of these concerns is the subject of this study: ignition results in flameless smoldering combustion that travels through the organic soil at very slow rates of spread near 3 centimeters per hour.Ignition depends primarily on moisture content, but is also dependent on inorganic content and organic bulk density (also expressed as concentration of organic material per unit volume). Ignition was determined from about 30 samples brought from the field and subjected to an ignition test. Samples were 10 centimeters by 10 centimeters by 5 centimeters collected from Alaska and northern and southeastern U.S. Inorganic content was determined from a subsample of each sample. The moisture content was altered by adding or removing (drying) moisture from each sample with the intent of establishing a moisture range that passes through the ignition limit. The organic bulk density was determined from the volume of the sample and its mass corrected for moisture and inorganic content.Samples were contained in an insulated box open at the top. Ignition was attempted on the 5 centimeters deep side below the surface from a glowing red coil held near the side for 3 minutes. Ignition was successful if the sample completely burned. The dichotomous results (burn and no burn) were analyzed through logistic regression to give a probability of ignition based on the sample variables. © 1998, Tall Timbers Research, Inc. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Frandsen, W. H. 1998. Ignition probability of organic soils [abstract], in Pruden, T. L. and Brennan, L. A., Prodeedings 20th Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference: Fire in ecosystem management: shifting the paradigm from suppression to prescription. Boise, ID. Tall Timbers Research, Inc.,Tallahassee, FL. p. 69,