Response of the Thermal Conductivity as a Function of Water Content of a Burnt Mediterranean Loam Soil


The purpose of this research is to explore the variability on the soil thermal conductivity -?- after a prescribe fire, and to assess the effects of the ashes on the heat transfer once it’s were incorporated into the soil matrix. Sampling plot was located in the Montgrí Massif (NE of Spain). A set of 42 soil samples between surface and 5 cm depth was collected before and after the fire. To characterize the soil chemical and physical variables were analyzed. To determine the variability on the soil λ a dry-out curve per scenario (before and after fire) was determined. SoilRho ? method based on ASTM D-5334-08 which was validated by LabFerrer was used. Soil thermal conductivity has shown changes in their values. Indeed, in all moisture scenarios the values of soil λ decreased after soil was burnt. The critical point in the relationshipθ(λ) for the soil after fire which always was stronger than soil before to be burnt. Soil with “white” ashes showed a high thermal conductivity. An X-Ray diffractometry analysis allowed to clarify and to verify these results. To sum up, we could say that thermal conductivity presents changes when the scenario changes, i.e. before and after to be burnt. On the other hand, the volume of ashes incorporated on the soil increased the differences between no burnt and burnt soil, showing even some improvements on the heat transfer when water content started to govern the process.

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C. Rubio, X. Ubeda and F. Ferrer, "Response of the Thermal Conductivity as a Function of Water Content of a Burnt Mediterranean Loam Soil," Open Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 2 No. 1, 2012, pp. 1-6. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2012.21001.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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