Turbulent fluxes of heat and momentum in the vicinity of wildland fires contribute to the redistribution of heat and momentum in the fire environment, which in turn can affect the heating of fuels, fire behavior, and smoke dispersion. As an extension of previous observational studies of turbulence regimes in the vicinity of wildland fires in forested environments, this study examines the effects of spreading surface fires and forest overstory vegetation on turbulent heat and momentum fluxes from near the surface to near the top of the overstory vegetation. Profiles of high-frequency (10 Hz) wind velocity and temperature measurements during two prescribed fire experiments are used to assess the relative contributions of horizontal and vertical turbulent fluxes of heat and momentum to the total heat and momentum flux fields. The frequency-dependent temporal variability of the turbulent heat and momentum fluxes before, during, and after fire-front passage is also examined using cospectral analyses. The study results highlight the effects that surface wildland fires and forest overstory vegetation collectively can have on the temporal and vertical variability of turbulent heat and momentum fluxes in the vicinity of the fires and the substantial departures of heat and momentum cospectra from typical atmospheric surface-layer cospectra that can occur before, during, and after fire-front passage.
Heilman, Warren E.; Bian, Xindi; Clark, Kenneth L.; Zhong, Shiyuan. 2019. Observations of turbulent heat and momentum fluxes during wildland fires in forested environments. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 58(4):813-829. https://doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-18-0199.1