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Atmospheric turbulence and wildland fires: a review

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The behaviour of wildland fires and the dispersion of smoke from those fires can be strongly influenced by atmospheric turbulent flow. The science to support that assertion has developed and evolved over the past 100+ years, with contributions from laboratory and field observations, as well as modelling experiments. This paper provides a synthesis of the key laboratory- and field-based observational studies focused on wildland fire and atmospheric turbulence connections that have been conducted from the early 1900s through 2021. Included in the synthesis are reports of anecdotal turbulence observations, direct measurements of ambient and fire-induced turbulent flow in laboratory and wildland environments, and remote sensing measurements of fire-induced turbulent plume dynamics. Although considerable progress has been made in advancing our understanding of the connections between atmospheric turbulence and wildland fire behaviour and smoke dispersion, gaps in that understanding still exist and are discussed to conclude the synthesis.


Warren E. Heilman

Heilman Warren E. (2023) Atmospheric turbulence and wildland fires: a review. International Journal of Wildland Fire 32, 476-495.

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