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Theory of Precipitation Effects on Dead Cylindrical Fuels

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Numerical and analytical solutions of the Fickian diffusion equation were used to determine the effects of precipitation on dead cylindrical forest fuels. The analytical solution provided a physical framework. The numerical solutions were then used to refine the analytical solution through a similarity argument. The theoretical solutions predicted realistic rates of water exchange and the internal distribution of the water. The theory also (1) predicted that precipitation duration rather than amount or rate determined the amount of water uptake and (2) provided a function useful in practical applications. Forest Sci. 18:98-108.

Keywords: Fuel moisture; fire hazard; forest fuels; weather effects

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Principal Meteorologist, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Exp. Sta., USDA Forest Serv., with central headquarters at Fort Collins, Colorado, maintained in cooperation with Colorado State University

Publication date: June 1, 1972

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