3.4 An Alberta Plume Study and Comparison to Predictive Models

Tuesday, 5 May 2015: 2:15 PM
Great Lakes Ballroom (Crowne Plaza Minneapolis Northstar)
Kerry R. Anderson, Canadian Forest Service, Edmonton, AB, Canada; and A. Pankratz, C. J. Mooney, and K. Fleetham
Manuscript (954.2 kB)

In 2011, Anderson, Pankratz and Mooney provided a thermodynamic solution for predicting the penetration height of smoke plumes. Using the energy of the fire as input, they predicted the height of a column of air mixed from the environmental lapse rate to a dry adiabatic lapse rate, with the top of the column captured by the height of thermal equilibrium.

This paper outlines a smoke plume study being conducted by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development together with Environment Canada, which uses hand-held inclinometers and photographs taken by wildfire lookout observers to measure smoke plume heights. Observations of 85 plumes collected by 13 towers from 2010 to 2013 are presented. These are compared with the predicted heights based on the thermodynamic approach and the Briggs model, currently used in the BlueSky modelling framework.

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