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    Author(s): Eric Mueller; William Mell; Albert Simeoni
    Date: 2014
    Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.76 MB)


    Large eddy simulation (LES) based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulators have obtained increasing attention in the wildland fire research community, as these tools allow the inclusion of important driving physics. However, due to the complexity of the models, individual aspects must be isolated and tested rigorously to ensure meaningful results. As wind is a driving force that can significantly dictate the behavior of a wildfire, the simulation of wind is studied in the context of a particular LES CFD model, the Wildland–urban interface Fire Dynamics Simulator (WFDS). As WFDS has yet to be tested extensively with regard to wind flow within and above forest canopies, a study of its ability to do so is carried out. First, three simulations are conducted using periodic boundary conditions. Two of these assume a spatially heterogeneous forest and one models wind downstream of a canopy edge. Second, two simulations are conducted with specified “inflow” conditions using two inflow profiles: one static and one dynamic (driven by a precursor simulation). Using periodic boundary conditions, the model is found to generate profiles of mean velocity and turbulent statistics that are representative of experimental measurements. The dynamic inflow scenario is found to perform better than the static case.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Mueller, Eric; Mell, William; Simeoni, Albert. 2014. Large eddy simulation of forest canopy flow for wildland fire modeling. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 44(12): 1534-1544.


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    computational fluid dynamics, large eddy simulation, wildland fire, canopy, wind

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