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Data from Wieting et al. (2017), Quantifying soil hydraulic property changes with fire severity by laboratory burning


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Resource type: Composite Resource
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Created: Oct 07, 2019 at 6:44 p.m.
Last updated: Oct 15, 2019 at 10:30 p.m.
DOI: 10.4211/hs.5b968dd6115a40ff9740ea88215d7719
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Sharing Status: Published
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Abstract

Data from Wieting, C., Ebel, B., and Singha, K. (2017). Quantifying the effects of wildfire on changes in soil properties by surface burning of soils from the Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory. Journal of Hydrology-Regional Studies, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2017.07.006, 43-57.

Infiltration processes are not well understood in fire-affected soils because soil hydraulic properties and soil-water content are altered by the heat. This study uses intact soil cores, which should maintain preferential flow paths, that were collected in the field to explore the impacts of fire on soil properties and infiltration processes during rainfall. Three soil scenarios are presented here: unburned control soils, and low- and high-severity burned soils. Fire severity was simulated in the laboratory using a heating gun, and established based on temperature and duration of heating. Soil properties pre- and post-burn were measured using laboratory techniques including: Mini Disk Infiltrometer tests, Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) Tests, and measurements of dry bulk density and total organic carbon (TOC). Soil moisture and temperature were recorded at approximately 2.5 cm and 7.5 cm in soil cores as was the cumulative volume of water exiting the core during rainfall simulations. Mini Disk infiltration experiments suggest a decrease in both cumulative infiltration and infiltration rates from unburned to low-severity burned soils. High-severity burned soils saw an increase in cumulative infiltration. We interpret these changes as a result of the burning off of organic materials, enabling water to infiltrate more instead of being stored in the organics. The field saturated hydraulic conductivity did not vary from unburned to low-severity burned soils, but increased in high-severity burned soils due to the lack of organics that help inhibit water movement. During rainfall simulations, soil-water storage decreased from when soils were burned, likely because of the inability to store water within organic materials since they were burned. Vulnerability to raindrop impact also increased with fire severity. Together, these results indicate that fire-induced changes from low-severity wildfires were not as drastic as high-severity wildfires, and that high-severity burned soils can infiltrate more water, but not necessarily store it. Quantifying soil properties affected by wildfire, which can be gained through controlled laboratory simulations like this study, will aid in predicting post-wildfire behavior on the watershed scale.

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Resource Level Coverage

Spatial

Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name:
The Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory
Longitude
-105.4630°
Latitude
40.0119°

Temporal

Start Date:
End Date:

Content

References

Related Resources

This resource is described by: Wieting, C., Ebel, B., and Singha, K. (2017). Quantifying the effects of wildfire on changes in soil properties by surface burning of soils from the Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory. Journal of Hydrology-Regional Studies, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2017.07.006, 43-57.

Credits

Contributors

People that contributed technically, materially, financially, or provided general support for the creation of the resource's content but are not considered authors.

Name Organization Address Phone Author Identifiers
Brian Ebel U.S. Geological Survey GoogleScholarID

How to Cite

Wieting, C., K. Singha, J. Randell (2019). Data from Wieting et al. (2017), Quantifying soil hydraulic property changes with fire severity by laboratory burning, HydroShare, https://doi.org/10.4211/hs.5b968dd6115a40ff9740ea88215d7719

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoCommercial CC BY-NC.

 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
CC-BY-NC

Comments

Jackie Randell 1 year ago

Thesis
Masters of Science (M.S.)
Geology and Geologicial Engineering
Colorado School of Mines

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