A review of smoke dispersion models for smoke pollution hazard mitigation associated with controlled, forest fuel reduction burns

Batstone, Seamus (2021) A review of smoke dispersion models for smoke pollution hazard mitigation associated with controlled, forest fuel reduction burns. [USQ Project]

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BATSTONE Seamus dissertation_redacted.pdf

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Fuel load reduction burns are an established method for reducing wild-fire hazard in Australia but smoke from controlled fires can be hazardous. There are demonstrated linkages between air pollution from controlled fires and hospitalizations and death in people with existing pulmonary and cardio-vascular conditions. Land managers will need to demonstrate that they have considered smoke hazards by modelling plumes from proposed fires.

Accurately modelling smoke emission from hazard reduction fires in forested areas is complex. Model inputs include fuel load and type, topography, weather and atmospheric conditions. Modern modelling includes chemical transformations and deposition.

This research explores the various types of models that have been created for modelling smoke from open fires, their history and development. The reader will gain an understanding of the breadth of this field and the principals of plume modelling from open fires.

A project model was created as part of this research for the purposes of:

1. Explaining model development and use. The model uses a Gaussian plume model with receptors in a dynamic georeferenced grid; and

2. The model will also be used as a template for further development of simple web-based tool for the researcher and departmental colleagues who have an interest in modelling small fire plumes with simple inputs.

The research explores AQFx and the modular template for AQFx, BlueSky. AQFx is a set of models developed by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO to assist land managers predict air pollution dispersal from controlled fires. While some components of the model are well tested, others require refinement. This research looks at how the model might be improved using data from controlled fires in Queensland. A methodology for gathering data required by the CSIRO research team has been developed as part of this project.

The research reviews newer satellite imagery technology and its potential use in calibration and validation of smoke plume modelling. The results of this component of the research are of interest to other researchers. This project concludes that Planet Labs daily high-resolution imagery provides clear images of plumes across Australia. These images can be used for reviewing advection and dissipation formula.

Finally, this research proposes some achievable steps that can be taken to

1. Assist the researcher’s employer help staff and landholders model plumes from small, hazard reduction burns; and

2. Gather data required by CSIRO to improve the function of AQFx.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Craig, Ian
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours, Environmental)
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2023 03:19
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2023 03:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: fires, fuel load, reduction burns, natural hazards, mitigation, bushfire, smoke, plume, modelling
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/52064

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