Can pore-clogging by ash explain post-fire runoff?

Cahtelijne R. Stoof, Anouk I. Gevaert, Christine Baver, Bahareh Hassanpour, Veronica L. Morales, Wei Zhang, Deborah Martin, Shree K. Giri, Tammo S. Steenhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ash plays an important role in controlling runoff and erosion processes after wildfire and has frequently been hypothesised to clog soil pores and reduce infiltration. Yet evidence for clogging is incomplete, as research has focussed on identifying the presence of ash in soil; the actual flow processes remain unknown. We conducted laboratory infiltration experiments coupled with microscope observations in pure sands, saturated hydraulic conductivity analysis, and interaction energy calculations, to test whether ash can clog pores (i.e. block pores such that infiltration is hampered and ponding occurs). Although results confirmed previous observations of ash washing into pores, clogging was not observed in the pure sands tested, nor were conditions found for which this does occur. Clogging by means of strong attachment of ash to sand was deemed unlikely given the negative surface charge of the two materials. Ponding due to washing in of ash was also considered improbable given the high saturated conductivity of pure ash and ash–sand mixtures. This first mechanistic step towards analysing ash transport and attachment processes in field soils therefore suggests that pore clogging by ash is unlikely to occur in sands. Discussion is provided on other mechanisms by which ash can affect post-fire hydrology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-305
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2016

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runoff
ash
sand
infiltration (hydrology)
washing
soil pore system
saturated hydraulic conductivity
wildfires
infiltration
microscopes
hydrology
soil
energy
wildfire
testing
hydraulic conductivity
conductivity
erosion

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Stoof, C. R., Gevaert, A. I., Baver, C., Hassanpour, B., Morales, V. L., Zhang, W., ... Steenhuis, T. S. (2016). Can pore-clogging by ash explain post-fire runoff? International Journal of Wildland Fire, 25(3), 294-305. https://doi.org/10.1071/WF15037
Stoof, Cahtelijne R. ; Gevaert, Anouk I. ; Baver, Christine ; Hassanpour, Bahareh ; Morales, Veronica L. ; Zhang, Wei ; Martin, Deborah ; Giri, Shree K. ; Steenhuis, Tammo S. / Can pore-clogging by ash explain post-fire runoff?. In: International Journal of Wildland Fire. 2016 ; Vol. 25, No. 3. pp. 294-305.
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abstract = "Ash plays an important role in controlling runoff and erosion processes after wildfire and has frequently been hypothesised to clog soil pores and reduce infiltration. Yet evidence for clogging is incomplete, as research has focussed on identifying the presence of ash in soil; the actual flow processes remain unknown. We conducted laboratory infiltration experiments coupled with microscope observations in pure sands, saturated hydraulic conductivity analysis, and interaction energy calculations, to test whether ash can clog pores (i.e. block pores such that infiltration is hampered and ponding occurs). Although results confirmed previous observations of ash washing into pores, clogging was not observed in the pure sands tested, nor were conditions found for which this does occur. Clogging by means of strong attachment of ash to sand was deemed unlikely given the negative surface charge of the two materials. Ponding due to washing in of ash was also considered improbable given the high saturated conductivity of pure ash and ash–sand mixtures. This first mechanistic step towards analysing ash transport and attachment processes in field soils therefore suggests that pore clogging by ash is unlikely to occur in sands. Discussion is provided on other mechanisms by which ash can affect post-fire hydrology.",
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Stoof, CR, Gevaert, AI, Baver, C, Hassanpour, B, Morales, VL, Zhang, W, Martin, D, Giri, SK & Steenhuis, TS 2016, 'Can pore-clogging by ash explain post-fire runoff?', International Journal of Wildland Fire, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 294-305. https://doi.org/10.1071/WF15037

Can pore-clogging by ash explain post-fire runoff? / Stoof, Cahtelijne R.; Gevaert, Anouk I.; Baver, Christine; Hassanpour, Bahareh; Morales, Veronica L.; Zhang, Wei; Martin, Deborah; Giri, Shree K.; Steenhuis, Tammo S.

In: International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 25, No. 3, 20.01.2016, p. 294-305.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Can pore-clogging by ash explain post-fire runoff?

AU - Stoof, Cahtelijne R.

AU - Gevaert, Anouk I.

AU - Baver, Christine

AU - Hassanpour, Bahareh

AU - Morales, Veronica L.

AU - Zhang, Wei

AU - Martin, Deborah

AU - Giri, Shree K.

AU - Steenhuis, Tammo S.

PY - 2016/1/20

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N2 - Ash plays an important role in controlling runoff and erosion processes after wildfire and has frequently been hypothesised to clog soil pores and reduce infiltration. Yet evidence for clogging is incomplete, as research has focussed on identifying the presence of ash in soil; the actual flow processes remain unknown. We conducted laboratory infiltration experiments coupled with microscope observations in pure sands, saturated hydraulic conductivity analysis, and interaction energy calculations, to test whether ash can clog pores (i.e. block pores such that infiltration is hampered and ponding occurs). Although results confirmed previous observations of ash washing into pores, clogging was not observed in the pure sands tested, nor were conditions found for which this does occur. Clogging by means of strong attachment of ash to sand was deemed unlikely given the negative surface charge of the two materials. Ponding due to washing in of ash was also considered improbable given the high saturated conductivity of pure ash and ash–sand mixtures. This first mechanistic step towards analysing ash transport and attachment processes in field soils therefore suggests that pore clogging by ash is unlikely to occur in sands. Discussion is provided on other mechanisms by which ash can affect post-fire hydrology.

AB - Ash plays an important role in controlling runoff and erosion processes after wildfire and has frequently been hypothesised to clog soil pores and reduce infiltration. Yet evidence for clogging is incomplete, as research has focussed on identifying the presence of ash in soil; the actual flow processes remain unknown. We conducted laboratory infiltration experiments coupled with microscope observations in pure sands, saturated hydraulic conductivity analysis, and interaction energy calculations, to test whether ash can clog pores (i.e. block pores such that infiltration is hampered and ponding occurs). Although results confirmed previous observations of ash washing into pores, clogging was not observed in the pure sands tested, nor were conditions found for which this does occur. Clogging by means of strong attachment of ash to sand was deemed unlikely given the negative surface charge of the two materials. Ponding due to washing in of ash was also considered improbable given the high saturated conductivity of pure ash and ash–sand mixtures. This first mechanistic step towards analysing ash transport and attachment processes in field soils therefore suggests that pore clogging by ash is unlikely to occur in sands. Discussion is provided on other mechanisms by which ash can affect post-fire hydrology.

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Stoof CR, Gevaert AI, Baver C, Hassanpour B, Morales VL, Zhang W et al. Can pore-clogging by ash explain post-fire runoff? International Journal of Wildland Fire. 2016 Jan 20;25(3):294-305. https://doi.org/10.1071/WF15037