Validating the overwintering effect on the drought code in Elk Island National Park
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): K. Anderson; S. Otway
Publication Year: 2003

Cataloging Information

  • Alberta
  • Canada
  • computer programs
  • droughts
  • fire management
  • GIS
  • humus
  • JFSP - Joint Fire Science Program
  • moisture
  • national parks
  • sampling
  • statistical analysis
  • weather observations
  • wilderness areas
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: August 3, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 41592
Tall Timbers Record Number: 16522
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


The Drought Code (DC), a component of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI), is an index of the amount of moisture in the deep forest floor. Its slow response time requires that allowances must be made for fall conditions and the overwinter snow fall in determining spring startup conditions. Currently, a simple method to calculate the overwintering effect on the DC exists but this scheme is subjective. This study sets out to validate this scheme through destructive sampling conducted in the fall and spring at Elk Island National Park as well as propose alternative methods to calculate the overwintering effect. So far, measurements have been made for three winters with results ranging from no effect to as much as 500% increases in the moisture content of the deep humus layer. The study is ongoing and this paper is a summary of these interim results.

Online Link(s):
Anderson, K., and S. Otway. 2003. Validating the overwintering effect on the drought code in Elk Island National Park, Second International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress and Fifth Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology, 16-20 November 2003, Orlando, FL [program volume and electronic resource]. American Meteorological Society,Boston, MA. p. 170,