Effects of fire-atmosphere coupling on fire propagation, and plume dynamics

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    Wildland fires

    Evolution of large fire events and their impacts on local weather conditions

    Large fire events

    Impact of changes in regional climate on hydrology, ecosystem, and fire potential

    Regional climate
    Slide 3

    Interactions between large-scale weather processess and small-scale winds in urban regions. Impact of wildfire smoke on urban air quality

    Urban meterology and air quality
    Slide 3

Welcome to Adam Kochanski's website

Click HERE to see experimental coupled fire-atmosphere-smoke forecasts for the Pole Creek Fire (Utah).

Click HERE to see fire-atmosphere-smoke forecast for the Mirror Lake (Murdock) fire (Utah).

About ME

Adam Kochanski, Ph.D.

Assistant Reseach Professor
Office: 716 WBB
Phone: (8O1) 585-9487
Fax: (8O1) 585-3681

University of Utah
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
135 S 1460 E, Rm 819
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-O11O

Adam Kochanski

I'm an atmospheric modeler and co-developer of WRF-SFIRE (a coupled fire-atmosphere model), interested in improving our understanding of wildland fires and their impacts on local weather and air quality. I'm also interested in flow in complex terrain and urban environments. I'm fascinated by small-scale convective processes, as well as the impact of regional climate change on local hydrological cycles and ecosystems. I perform simulations using a wide range of numerical models executed on large supercomputers. I work with the Weather Research and Forecasting model WRF the coupled fire-atmosphere model WRF-SFIRE, chemical transport model WRF-CHEM, QUIC urban model, Stochastic Lagrangian Particle model STILT, and the University of Utah Larhe Eddy Simulator (UU LES). WRF study wildland fires - especially processes involving feedback between wildland fires and the atmosphere. I analyze observational data and simulate fire-atmosphere interactions using coupled fire-atmosphere model WRF-SFIRE run on powerful supercomputers. My research is supported by the National Science Foundation, Joint Fire Science Program, NOAA, NASA,the and the Center for High Performance Computing.

Research interests:

  • Coupled fire-atmosphere modeling
  • Numerical forecasting of large wildland fire events
  • Air quality impacts of wildland fires
  • Plume dynamics and the impact of fire-atmosphere coupling on fire behavior
  • Assessing impacts of local climate variability on the hydrological cycle, and snowpack using regional climate simulations
  • High-resolution (LES) simulations of clouds, urban canopy flow, and winds in complex terrain


What is WRF-SFIRE?

WRF-SFIRE is a coupled fire-atmosphere model based on WRF (Weather Research Forecasting System and SFIRE. With this system, fire behavior can be driven by a realistic large-scale meteorological forcing, while heat and moisture fluxes at the fireline are fed back into WRF from SFIRE, altering air temperature, humidity, and local winds. These fire-affected winds are then used to compute the fire's rate of spread, resulting in a two-way atmosphere-fire coupling. WRF-SFIRE can be run both in an idealized and in a real mode, at a wide range of horizontal resolutions. WRF-SFIRE is capable of simulating large-scale, high-intensity wildfires under various topographical, meteorological, and vegetation conditions. WRF-SFIRE includes a predictive fuel moisture model providing a detailed temporal evolution of the dead fuel moisture, whihc enables rndering of diurnal changes in fire activity associated with nighttime fuel moisture recovery, as well as changes in fire behavior driven by long-term variations in the fuel moisture. WRF-SFIRE has also recently been coupled with WRF-CHEM. In this configuration, emission fluxes of WRF-CHEM-compatible chemical species and aerosols are computed based on the fuel consumption rate, and ingested into the atmosphere where they undergo chemical and physical transformations rendered by WRF-CHEM's chemical mechanisms (MOZART, RADM2 or GOCART).

WRF-SFIRE resources

The best source of information about WRF-SFIRE is the Open Wildland Fire Modeling Community (OWFM) website. In particular the WRF-SFIRE users guide is a good starting point describing how to get the software from git and run simple cases. Plese also check our wiki page for links to numerous How-To articles. Additionally, on the right side you will find presentations from my WRF-SFIRE Hands-On toutorial organized during the Workshop on Modelling of Wildfires and their Environmental Impacts by the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste. You can also check our conference presentations posted on OpenWFM.org.
If you are new to WRF, there is a great on-line tutorial prepared by NCAR, avaialbe at their WRF ARW website. It is strongly suggested to take this tutorial prior to getting into WRF-SFIRE, as WRF-SFIRE tutorials focus more on SFRIE specifics, than general WRF subjects.


Clements, C. B., A. K. Kochanski, D. Seto, B. Davis, C. Camacho, N. P. Lareau, J. Contezac, W. E. Heilman, S. K. Krueger, B. Butler, J. Restaino, R. D. Ottmar, R. Vihnanek, J. Flynn, Jean-Baptiste Filippi, T. Barboni, D. E. Hall, J. Mandel, M. A. Jenkins, and J. O’Brien, B. Hornsby, and C. Teske, (2019) The FireFlux II Experiment: A model-guided field experiment to understand fire-atmosphere interactions and fire spread International Journal of Wildland Fire. https://www.publish.csiro.au/WF/WF18089

Prichard S., N. Larkin, Roger Ottmar, Nancy French, Kirk Baker, Tim Brown, Craig Clements, Matt Dickinson, Andrew Hudak, Adam Kochanski, Rod Linn, Yongqiang Liu, Brian Potter, William Mell, Danielle Tanzer, Shawn Urbanski, Adam Watts, (2019) The Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment—A Plan for Integrated, Large Fire–Atmosphere Field Campaigns. Atmosphere 2019, 10(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10020066

Arunchandra S. Chandra, Paquita Zuidema, Steven Krueger, Adam Kochanski, Simon P. de Szoeke and Jianhao Zhang (2018) Moisture distributions in tropical cold pools from equatorial Indian Ocean observations and cloud-resolving simulations. Journal of Geophysical Research doi: 10.1029/2018jd028634

Kochanski A.K, A. Fournier and J. Mandel (2018). Experimental Design of a Prescribed Burn Instrumentation. Atmosphere 2018, 9(8), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9080296

Mallia, D.V.; Kochanski, A.K.; Urbanski, S.P.; Lin, J.C. Optimizing Smoke and Plume Rise Modeling Approaches at Local Scales. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 166.

Krishna B. Khatri, Courtenay Strong, Adam K. Kochanski., Steven Burian, Craig Miller, Candice Hasenyager (2018), Water Resources Criticality Due to Future Climate Change and Population Growth: Case of River Basins in Utah, USA Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management DOI 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.00009

Souri, A. H., Choi, Y., Jeon, W., Kochanski, A. K., Diao, L., Mandel, J., Bhave, P. V., & Pan, S. (2017). Quantifying the impact of biomass burning emissions on major inorganic aerosols and their precursors in the U.S. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JD026788

Mallia, D. V., A. Kochanski, C. Pennell, W. Oswald, and J. C. Lin, (2017) Wind-blown dust modeling using a backward Lagrangian particle dispersion model. J. Appl. Meteor. Climate., 56, 2845-2867.

Strong C, Khatri K, Kochanski A., Lewis C, Allen N. (2017). Reference evapotranspiration from coarse-scale and dynamically downscaled data in complex terrain: sensitivity to interpolation and resolution, Journal of Hydrology, odi: 10.1016/j.hydrol.2017.02.045.

Scalzitti J, Strong C, Kochanski A, (2016). Climate change impact on the roles of temperature and precipitation in western U.S. snowpack variability, Geophysical Research Letters doi:10.1002/2016GL068798

Scalzitti J, Strong C, Kochanski A, (2016). A 26 year high-resolution dynamical downscaling over the Wasatch Mountains: Synoptic effects on winter precipitation performance, Journal of Geophysical Research, doi: 10.1002/2015JD024497

Kochanski A. K., E. R. Pardyjak, R. Stoll, A. Gowardhan, M.J Brown, W.J. Steenburgh (2015) One-Way Coupling of the WRF–QUIC Urban Dispersion Modeling System Journal of Applied Meteorology And Climatology DOI: 10.1175/JAMC-D-15-0020.1

Kochanski A. K., Jenkins M.A., Yedinak K., Mandel J., Beezley J, and Lamb B. (2015) Toward an integrated system for fire, smoke and air quality simulations, International Journal of Wildland Fire - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF14074

Vejmelka M, Kochanski A, Mandel J, (2015) Data assimilation of dead fuel moisture observations from remote automated weather stations, International Journal of Wildland Fire 25, 558-568. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF14085

Strong C., A. K. Kochanski, E.T. Crosman (2014) A slab model of the Great Salt Lake for regional climate simulation J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 6, 602-615, doi:10.1002/2014MS000305.

Mandel, J., Amram, S., Beezley J. D., Kelman G., Kochanski A. K., Kondratenko V. Y., Lynn, B. H., Regev, B., and Vejmelka, M. (2014): Recent advances and applications of WRF-SFIRE, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 2829-2845, doi:10.5194/nhess-14-2829-2014, 2014.

Kochanski, A. K., Jenkins M. A., Mandel J, Beezley J. D. and Krueger S. K., (2013): Evaluation of WRF-Sfire Performance with Field Observations from the FireFlux experiment. Geoscientific Model Development 6, 1109-1126, 2013 doi:10.5194/gmd-6-1109-2013

Kochanski A. K., Jenkins M.A., Krueger S. K., Mandel J., and Beezley J. D., (2013): Real time simulation of 2007 Santa Ana fires, Forest Ecology and Management 15, 136-149, 2013 doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2012.12.014

Kochanski, A. K., Jenkins M. A., Sun R., Krueger S. K., and Charney J. J., (2013): The importance of low-level environmental vertical wind shear to wildfire propagation: Proof of concept, Journal of Geophysical Research 118(15) 8238-8252 DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50436.

Mandel J.,J. D. Beezley, Kochanski A. K., Kondratenko V. Y., Kim M. (2012): Assimilation of Perimeter Data and Coupling with Fuel Moisture in a Wildland Fire–Atmosphere DDDAS. Procedia Computer Science, Volume 9, 2012, Pages 1100-1109, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2012.04.119

Mandel J., J. D. Beezley, and A. K. Kochanski (2011): Coupled atmosphere-wildland fire modeling with WRF-Fire version 3.3, Geoscientific Model Development, 4, 591-610, doi:10.5194/gmd-4-591-2011

Jordanov, G., J. D. Beezley, N. Dobrinkova, A. K. Kochanski, and J. Mandel, (2011) Simulation by WRF-Fire of the 2009 Harmanli fire (Bulgaria) Large-Scale Scientific Computing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume 7116, 2012, pp 291-298.

Kahn B. H., J. Teixeira1, E. J. Fetzer, A. Gettelman, S. M. Hristova-Veleva, X. Huang, A. K. Kochanski, M. Kohler, S. K. Krueger, R. Wood, and M. Zhao: (2011) Temperature and water vapor variance scaling in global models: Comparisons to satellite and aircraft data. J. Atmos. Sci., 68(9), 2156-2168.

Kochanski, A. K., Koracin D., Dorman C. (2006) Comparison of the wind stress algorithms and their influence on the wind stress using buoy measurement over the shelf of Bodega Bay, California. Deep Deep-Sea Research II 53, 2865-2886

Wind Stress Curl and Upwelling along the California Coast, Koracin, D., Kochanski A., Dorman, C.E., Dever, E.P Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 86, number 5, May 2005, pages 629-630.

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