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Estimating fuel response time and predicting fuel moisture content from field data


Catchpole, EA and Catchpole, WR and Viney, NR and McCaw, WL and Marsden-Smedley, JB, Estimating fuel response time and predicting fuel moisture content from field data, International Journal of Wildland Fire, 10, (2) pp. 215-222. ISSN 1049-8001 (2001) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1071/WF01011


We develop a method for estimating equilibrium moisture content (EMC) and fuel moisture response time, using data collected for Eucalyptus twig litter. The method is based on the governing differential equation for the diffusion of water vapour from the fuel, and on a semi-physical formulation for EMC (Nelson 1984), based on the change in Gibbs free energy, which estimates the EMC as a function of fuel temperature and humidity. We then test the model on data collected in Western Australian mallee shrubland and in Tasmanian buttongrass moorland. This method is more generally applicable than those described by Viney and Catchpole (1991) and Viney (1992). The estimates of EMC and response time are in broad agreement with laboratory-based estimates for similar fuels (Anderson 1990a; Nelson 1984). The model can be used to predict fuel moisture content by a book-keeping method. The predictions agree well with the observations for all three of our data sets.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Rehabilitation or conservation of terrestrial environments
UTAS Author:Marsden-Smedley, JB (Dr Jonathan Marsden-Smedley)
ID Code:22390
Year Published:2001
Web of Science® Times Cited:57
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2001-08-01
Last Modified:2002-07-06

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