Dr Rein during a field trip making measurements
on an ongoing smouldering fire.
The ambition of HAZE is to advance the science and create the technology that will reduce the burden of smouldering fires. Despite their importance, we do not understand how smouldering fires ignite, spread or extinguish, which impedes the development of any successful mitigation strategy. Megafires are routinely fought across the globe with techniques that were developed for flaming fires, and are thus ineffective for smouldering. Moreover, the burning of deep peat affects older soil carbon that has not been part of the active carbon cycle for centuries to millennia, and thus creates a positive feedback to the climate system.
HAZE wants to turn the challenges faced by smouldering research into opportunities and has the following three novel aims:
- Conduct controlled laboratory experiments and discover how peat fires ignite, spread and extinguish.
- Develop multidimensional computational models for the field scale (~1 km) and simulate the real phenomena.
- Create pathways for novel mitigation technologies in accurate prevention, quick detection systems, and simulation-driven suppression strategies.
|Aerosol imaging by NASA of Oct 1997 showing the haze released by peat megafires in Borneo.|
|Visual and overlaid infrared imaging of radial smouldering spread over a sample of peat ignited at the centre. See our original photo here.|