220 Assimilation of fire perimeter data into the fire spread model SFIRE coupled with the WRF model

Monday, 7 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Volodymyr Y. Kondratenko, University of Colorado, Denver, CO; and J. D. Beezley, J. Mandel, and A. Kochanski

Handout (496.2 kB)

Fire simulation starts from an ignition point, and when fire perimeter data are assimilated, the state of the fire spread model is changed to become closer to the data. This, however, presents a difficulty in coupled fire-atmosphere models. The fire has a very strong effect on the atmosphere and changes in atmospheric state, due to the fire, take time to develop, so the existing atmospheric circulation is no longer compatible with the modified fire. Moreover, linearized changes to the atmospheric state have no hope of establishing the properly changed circulation in a physical balance. We have recently developed a technique for the fire ignition calculation from the perimeter data, which goes back in time and replays an approximate fire history to allow the proper atmospheric circulation patterns to develop. Here, we extend this technique to the assimilation of a fire perimeter into a developed fire state with an established atmospheric state. The SFIRE model uses the level set method to simulate the fire spread. Our data assimilation approach takes advantage of the manipulation of the fire state through level set functions, which is much easier than manipulating the fire areas directly. The new method is applied to a real fire case study.
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