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Near field pollutant and tracer dispersion during a prescribed pine forest burn

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Monday, 24 January 2011
Near field pollutant and tracer dispersion during a prescribed pine forest burn
Washington State Convention Center
Melissa Johns, Washington State University, Pullman, WA; and G. Allwine, P. O'Keefe, R. Grivicke, K. Yedinak, B. Lamb, T. Strand, C. B. Clements, H. Thistle, and M. Rorig

In recent decades, prescribed burning has become a method to manage forest health, while preventing uncontrolled wild land fire. As land managers consider increased prescribed burning, air quality and smoke behavior become a concern. In this work, a controlled burn was conducted in a North Carolina pine forest during February, 2010 and winds, temperature, turbulence and pollutant concentrations were measured using an array of instrumentation deployed on three tall multi-level towers and at a number of surface stations within and immediately downwind of the burn area. Additionally, a sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) tracer dispersion test was conducted where SF6 tracer was released from a line source within the burn and tracer concentrations were measured along the downwind tower. Meteorological conditions, pollutant concentrations and tracer data are analyzed to investigate turbulence conditions and related pollutant and tracer dispersion patterns during and following the burn.