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Modeling support for FASMEE experimental design using WRF-SFIRECHEM - Final Report to the Joint Fire Science Program

Author(s): Adam K. Kochanski, Jan Mandel, Aimé Fournier, Mary Ann Jenkins
Year Published: 2017

Recent advancements in fire-atmosphere numerical modeling have increased the number of physical processes integrated into these coupled models. This greater complexity allows for more comprehensive representation of the coupled interactions and feedbacks between the fire and the atmosphere. However, as a consequence of these advancements, data requirements for model initialization and validation have increased as well. As coupled fire-atmosphere models utilize local flow properties to parameterize fire progression, emissions and plume rise, integrated insitu measurements are needed for model validation and future development.

The proposed observational data to be collected during the Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE) are identified as critical for progressing and transitioning coupled fireatmosphere models like WRF-SFIRE and WRF-SFIRE-CHEM into operational use. Historical meteorological data, representing typical weather conditions for the anticipated burn locations and times, have been processed to initialize and run WRF-SFIRE to create a set of simulations representing FASMEE's planned experimental burns. Based on analysis of these numerical simulations, this report provides recommendations on the experimental setup that include the ignition procedures, size and duration of the burns, and optimal sensor placement. Newly developed techniques to initialize WRF-SFIRE with weather conditions typical of FASMEE's burn locations, to ignite FASMEE's prescribed burns, and to ensure accurate travel times of subgrid scale fire spread independent of the numerical grid mesh and time step are described. The WRFx system, designed to provide a web-based platform to conveniently create wildfire simulations, is presented as a forecasting tool for use during the experimental phase of FASMEE.

Citation: Kochanski A, Mandel J, Fournier A, Jenkins MA. 2017. Modeling support for FASMEE experimental design using WRF-SFIRECHEM. Joint Fire Science Project 16-4-05-3. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah. 63 p.
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Simulation Modeling
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 17015
Record updated: Jul 2, 2018