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Prediction of propagation of surface fires in rain forests using porous media model

Grant number: 11/20679-2
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): March 12, 2012
Effective date (End): June 11, 2012
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Thermal Engineering
Principal researcher:Guenther Carlos Krieger Filho
Grantee:Guenther Carlos Krieger Filho
Host: Ernesto Alvarado
Home Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Washington, United States  
Associated research grant:08/04490-4 - Combustion of tropical forest biomass, AP.TEM

Abstract

Wildland fires are a continuous occurring threat to people and properties in many places around the world. Many institutions in the United States, Europe and Australia are carrying out studies to understand and predict the behavior of such events supported by advanced computer models. Forest fire understanding constitutes one of the most complex physical phenomena recently studied. The problem involves strong interaction of different physical and chemical processes like, turbulence, combustion, heat transfer, degradation of the condensed phase (biomass) among others. All these processes take place over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales, thus making modeling efforts even more challenging. To the authors' knowledge, there is no study on physical modeling of surface fire propagation in rain forest type of vegetation. Previous work on surface fire propagation was carried out at the LETE/USP considering the fuel bed (the biomass) as a condensed phase. Predictions have shown that, at this preliminary stage, the proposed model is already able to capture the main effects of a surface forest fire typical of tropical regions. However the Rate of Spread (ROS) is overpredicted by a factor of almost 4. It means that a more rigorous physical approach should be applied. As shown in the Literature Review, the most modern fire models consider the condensed phase as a porous media. Therefore it was decided to implement these features in the numerical code used at the LETE/USP laboratory. This project focuses on the implementation of additional physical models in the Surface Fire Code which has been used on the LETE/USP laboratory. The porous media for the condensed phase should be implemented and validated with the experimental data available at the University of Washington (Seattle). The pyrolysis and porous media parameter should be adjusted, after the calibration with the experimental data, to the Amazonia Forest conditions. This project should be completed within a 3-month study-leave, funded by FAPESP research agency. The project will be carried out at the Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory Fire Group at the School of Forest Resources of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, USA, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ernesto Alvarado. The research group at the University of Washington has large experimental data basis on forest fire which will be used for validation of the porous media model. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BUFACCHI, PAULO; SANTOS, JOSE CARLOS; DE CARVALHO JR, JOAO ANDRADE; KRIEGER FILHO, GUENTHER CARLOS. Estimation of the surface area-to-volume ratios of litter components of the Brazilian rainforest and their impact on litter fire rate of spread and flammability. Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering, v. 42, n. 5 APR 30 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
KRIEGER FILHO, GUENTHER CARLOS; BUFACCHI, PAULO; SANTOS, JOSE CARLOS; GURGEL VERAS, CARLOS ALBERTO; ALVARADO, ERNESTO C.; MELL, WILLIAM; CARVALHO, JR., JOAO ANDRADE. Probability of surface fire spread in Brazilian rainforest fuels from outdoor experimental measurements. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH, v. 136, n. 2, p. 217-232, APR 2017. Web of Science Citations: 3.
BUFACCHI, PAULO; KRIEGER, GUENTHER C.; MELL, WILLIAM; ALVARADO, ERNESTO; SANTOS, JOSE CARLOS; CARVALHO, JR., JOAO ANDRADE. Numerical simulation of surface forest fire in Brazilian Amazon. FIRE SAFETY JOURNAL, v. 79, p. 44-56, JAN 2016. Web of Science Citations: 8.

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: cdi@fapesp.br.