- thermo-sensitive paint
Wildfire is recognized to have shaped the great prairies of the central US. While the vast majority of these grasslands have been lost there remain significant remnants as well as sites under active restoration. Prescribed fire is often used in these systems in order to maximize the success of the native grasses. Beginning in 1999 Cedarville University established a prairie restoration site and have used disturbances, such as fire, to maintain the system. Without this regular burn, the prairie would likely show decreased grass growth and increased growth of forb species. The Cedarville Prairie Restoration site has a variable topography, with several small hills and valleys. Such variations can affect the way that fire travels and burns. Therefore, our objective is to evaluate the relationships between prairie topography and fire temperature.
We will use a 25 x 25 meter grid within the prairie, placing stakes attached to tags painted with thermo-sensitive paint at regular intervals along the grid. Following the prescribed fire in early April we will we analyze the tags to determine the temperature of the fire at each location on the grid. From this we will generate a heat intensity map in order to investigate patterns. In particular, we anticipate that the fire will burn at higher temperatures on slopes upward from its point of origin. We also anticipate that the fire will burn at lower temperatures in valley areas, due to moisture accumulation.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mark_gathany/23/