Encyclopedia of Wildfires and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires

Living Edition
| Editors: Samuel L. Manzello

Atmospheric Turbulence

  • Warren E. HeilmanEmail author
  • Craig B. Clements
  • Shiyuan Zhong
  • Kenneth L. Clark
  • Xindi Bian
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51727-8_137-1



Atmospheric turbulence is irregular fluctuations occurring in atmospheric air flow. These fluctuations are random and continuously changing and are superimposed on the mean motion of the air (American Meteorological Society 2018).


It has long been established that the behavior of wildland fires and the dispersion of smoke during wildland fire events are influenced by ambient and fire-induced winds (Crosby 1949; Byram and Nelson 1951; Byram 1954; Gifford 1957; Rothermel 1972; Raupach 1990; Beer 1991). Fundamentally, ambient and fire-induced winds affect the horizontal and vertical convective flux of heat in the fire environment and the ability of spreading fires to transfer heat convectively to potential fuels (Rothermel 1972). The transport of firebrands away from active burning locations and the opportunity for spotting ignitions are also governed by the ambient and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warren E. Heilman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Craig B. Clements
    • 2
  • Shiyuan Zhong
    • 3
  • Kenneth L. Clark
    • 4
  • Xindi Bian
    • 1
  1. 1.USDA Forest ServiceNorthern Research StationLansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Meteorology and Climate ScienceSan José State UniversitySan JoséUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial SciencesMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  4. 4.USDA Forest ServiceNorthern Research StationNew LisbonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kuibin Zhou
    • 1
  1. 1.Nanjing Tech UniversityNanjingChina