Heat transfer into the duff and organic soil
Document Type: Report
Author(s): Roger D. Hungerford; William H. Frandsen; Kevin C. Ryan
Publication Year: 1996

Cataloging Information

  • acidity
  • combustion zone
  • duff
  • fire
  • fire management
  • FOFEM - First Order Fire Effects Model
  • Green Swamp Preserve
  • ground fire
  • heat flux coupling
  • heat output
  • histic epipedons
  • organic soils
  • peat
  • pocosin
  • smoldering
  • soil heating
  • soils
  • stirred water calorimeter heat flux sensor
  • wetlands
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: January 19, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 5875


Summarized from introduction and executive summary (do not cite): 'According to the authors, there is a need for managers to be able to predict potential abiotic and biotic fire effects for planned fire prescriptions in order to better fit desired resource objectives. This requires focusing on the environmental constraints on the ignition and burn-out of organic soils and the penetration of heat below the combustion zone. Heat transfer into duff and organic soil was investigated through a series of field research sample collections and prescribed burning in North Carolina, Alaska, and the Lake States. Studies included laboratory sustained smoldering, heat transfer, heat loads, and nutrient changes experiments. These studies combined with literature research and personal observations conclude that moisture and inorganic content are key factors that influence whether ignition occurs and forest floor materials (duff) and organic soils are consumed in large amounts during fire events that produce long burning ground fires which result in significant ecological and landscape changes including leading to significant changes in the plant community. The report also points out that fuel loads are usually greater in hummocks formed by shrubs which are up to 19 inches higher than depressions and are more favorable to ignition and North Carolina pocosin soils ignite at higher moisture contents than other tested soils of this experiment. In addition a heat transfer research model has been developed, evaluated independently, and tested in a laboratory to simulate heat transfer in soils and predict soil profiles over time at different depths. Once empiricized (to operate with data available to managers), this model will be included in the First Order Fire Effects Model. This report is a part of ongoing continuing research including a prescribed burning program at Dare County Air Force Bombing Range and other prescribed burning projects awaiting the right burning conditions.'

Hungerford, Roger D.; Frandsen, William H.; Ryan, Kevin C. 1996. Heat transfer into the duff and organic soil. Final Project Report. FWS Agreement No. 14-48-0009-92-962. USDA Forest Service Intermountain Research Station, Intermountain Fire Sciences Lab. Missoula, Montana. 46 pp.