Is aridity a high-order control on the hydro-geomorphic response of burned landscapes?
Gary J Sheridan, Petter Nyman, Christoph Langhans, Jane Cawson, Philip J Noske, Akiko Oono, Rene Van der Sant, Patrick NJ Lane
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WILDLAND FIRE | CSIRO PUBLISHING | Published : 2016
Fire can result in hydro-geomorphic changes that are spatially variable and difficult to predict. In this research note we compile 294 infiltration measurements and 10 other soil, catchment runoff and erosion datasets from the eastern Victorian uplands in south-eastern Australia and argue that higher aridity (a function of the long-term mean precipitation and net radiation) is associated with lower post-fire infiltration capacities, increasing the chance of surface runoff and strongly increasing the chance of debris flows. Post-fire debris flows were only observed in the more arid locations within the Victorian uplands, and resulted in erosion rates more than two orders of magnitude greater ..View full abstract
Many thanks to the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre and Melbourne Water for financial assistance with this research.