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Ratios of Surface Area to Volume For Common Fine Fuels

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The ratio of surface area to volume (), an indicator of fuel flammability, was determined for needles of eight conifer species, five grasses, leaves of two hardwood species, and a beard lichen. Surface area and volume of needles, grasses, and lichens were estimated, using measurements of perimeter, cross-sectional area, and length; similar estimates for hardwood leaves were made, using blueprint outlines and thickness. Calculations of  from these estimates gave values ranging from 45 cm²/cm³ to 632 cm²/cm³. Shape factors, relating measured cross-sectional perimeters to circumferences calculated from measured cross-sectional areas as circles, ranged from 1.1 to 4.3. Minor errors in  are traceable to several sources in the method, but accuracy is hard to assess because true surface is difficult to define. Forest Sci. 16:101-105.

Keywords: Fuel flammability; fuel size

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Forester, U.S. Dep. of Agr., Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Exp. Sta., Ogden, Utah 84401

Publication date: March 1, 1970

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