Wind and plume thermodynamic structures during low-intensity subcanopy fires
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): D. Seto; T. M. Strand; C. B. Clements; H. Thistle; R. Mickler
Publication Year: 2014

Cataloging Information

  • air quality
  • Aristida stricta
  • backing fires
  • canopy flow
  • experimental fires
  • fire management
  • fire-atmosphere interactions
  • forest management
  • gallberry
  • headfires
  • heat flux
  • Ilex glabra
  • longleaf pine
  • low intensity burns
  • low-intensity fire
  • North Carolina
  • overstory
  • Picoides borealis
  • pine hardwood forests
  • Pinus palustris
  • plume rise
  • Quercus laurifolia
  • red-cockaded woodpecker
  • smoke behavior
  • surface fires
  • temperature
  • turkey oak
  • wind
  • wiregrass
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 53192
Tall Timbers Record Number: 30531
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Available
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.


This paper presents observational results of wind and plume thermodynamic structures measured during low-intensity subcanopy fires. In-situ meteorological data were collected during the two experiments in the Calloway Forest in North Carolina during the early spring 2010 and winter 2011. Plume updraft velocities between 2 and 4 m s-1 were mostly observed during the subcanopy fires with fire intensity of 1200-2500 kW m-1. A maximum updraft velocity of 5.8 m s-1 and maximum temperature of 100 °C were recorded at the canopy top due to a head fire. Negative vertical velocities observed within the canopy were associated with cooler air temperatures relative to warm smoke plume temperatures during fire passage at the towers. Increased convection due to the head fire resulted in increased downward transport from above the canopy to the surface. Observed cumulative sensible heat fluxes were 52 kW m-2 and 169 kW m-2 near the surface, and larger values were found at mid canopy heights at both towers. The peak total heat flux of 50 kW m-2 and peak radiative heat flux of 18 kW m-2 observed in 2010 were associated with a head fire moving toward the sensors, whereas lower values of 19 kW m-2 and 9 kW m-2 were measured at the tower in 2011 as a result of a backing fire moving away from the sensors. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Seto, D., T. M. Strand, C. B. Clements, H. Thistle, and R. Mickler. 2014. Wind and plume thermodynamic structures during low-intensity subcanopy fires. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, v. 198, p. 53-61. 10.1016/j.agrformet.2014.07.006.