Journal article

Relations between soil hydraulic properties and burn severity

John A Moody, Brian A Ebel, Petter Nyman, Deborah A Martin, Cathelijne R Stoof, Randy McKinley



Wildfire can affect soil hydraulic properties, often resulting in reduced infiltration. The magnitude of change in infiltration varies depending on the burn severity. Quantitative approaches to link burn severity with changes in infiltration are lacking. This study uses controlled laboratory measurements to determine relations between a remotely sensed burn severity metric (dNBR, change in normalised burn ratio) and soil hydraulic properties (SHPs). SHPs were measured on soil cores collected from an area burned by the 2013 Black Forest fire in Colorado, USA. Six sites with the same soil type were selected across a range of burn severities, and 10 random soil cores were collected from each si..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

We especially wish to acknowledge the National Audubon Society, whose onsite manager, Justin Pepper, gave us access to a large burned area with a gradient in burn severity that allowed us to sample on one property without having to obtain permission from multiple property owners. The measurements were definitely a team effort by the authors and by other participants in the 2013 AGU Chapman Conference, 'Synthesising Empirical Results to Improve Predictions of Post-Wildfire Runoff and Erosion Response': (1) Rick Shakesby, Victoria Stempniewicz, Amanda Martens and Chris Williams; (2) Pete Robichaud, Artemi Cerda, Stefan Doerr, Lea Wittenberg and Dan Malkinson; (3) Vicky Balfour, Christina Santin and Peter Jordan; (4) Christoph Langhans, Rene Van der Sant, Diana Vieira and Mary Ellen Miller; (5) Merche Bodi, Ryan Bart, Jing Tao and Li Chen; (6) Sandra Ryan-Burkett, Pete Wohlgemuth and Jason Williams; (7) Karletta Chief, Charles Ichoku, David Scott and Rose Shillito; (8) Francis Rengers, Brian Sheppard and Ann Youberg; (9) Gary Sheridan, Charlie Luce, Joe Wagenbrenner and Greg Bevenger. David Kinner made numerous and careful mini disk measurements while perched on dry, steep raveling slopes in the Verdugo Mountains burned by the 2005 Harvard fire. Travel for some Chapman conference participants was funded in part by the National Science Foundation and The Nature Conservancy. We also greatly appreciate the repeated efforts of the Associate Editor who helped us to produce a concise and focussed scientific publication. Any use of trade, product or firm names in this publication is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government.