skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Ebrahimian, Hamed"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. In this study, we focus on the effects of fuel bed representation and fire heat and smoke distribution in a coupled fire-atmosphere simulation platform for two landscape-scale fires: the 2018 Camp Fire and the 2021 Caldor Fire. The fuel bed representation in the coupled fire-atmosphere simulation platform WRF-Fire currently includes only surface fuels. Thus, we enhance the model by adding canopy fuel characteristics and heat release, for which a method to calculate the heat generated from canopy fuel consumption is developed and implemented in WRF-Fire. Furthermore, the current WRF-Fire heat and smoke distribution in the atmosphere is replaced with a heat-conserving Truncated Gaussian (TG) function and its effects are evaluated. The simulated fire perimeters of case studies are validated against semi-continuous, high-resolution fire perimeters derived from NEXRAD radar observations. Furthermore, simulated plumes of the two fire cases are compared to NEXRAD radar reflectivity observations, followed by buoyancy analysis using simulated temperature and vertical velocity fields. The results show that while the improved fuel bed and the TG heat release scheme have small effects on the simulated fire perimeters of the wind-driven Camp Fire, they affect the propagation direction of the plume-driven Caldor Fire, leading to better-matching fire perimeters with the observations. However, the improved fuel bed representation, together with the TG heat smoke release scheme, leads to a more realistic plume structure in comparison to the observations in both fires. The buoyancy analysis also depicts more realistic fire-induced temperature anomalies and atmospheric circulation when the fuel bed is improved. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. Dynamic models of structural and mechanical systems can be updated to match the measured data through a Bayesian inference process. However, the performance of classical (non-adaptive) Bayesian model updating approaches decreases significantly when the pre-assumed statistical characteristics of the model prediction error are violated. To overcome this issue, this paper presents an adaptive recursive variational Bayesian approach to estimate the statistical characteristics of the prediction error jointly with the unknown model parameters. This approach improves the accuracy and robustness of model updating by including the estimation of model prediction error. The performance of this approach is demonstrated using numerically simulated data obtained from a structural frame with material non-linearity under earthquake excitation. Results show that in the presence of non-stationary noise/error, the non-adaptive approach fails to estimate unknown model parameters, whereas the proposed approach can accurately estimate them. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 24, 2024
  3. Background Accurate simulation of wildfires can benefit pre-ignition mitigation and preparedness, and post-ignition emergency response management. Aims We evaluated the performance of Weather Research and Forecast-Fire (WRF-Fire), a coupled fire-atmosphere wildland fire simulation platform, in simulating a large historic fire (2018 Camp Fire). Methods A baseline model based on a setup typically used for WRF-Fire operational applications is utilised to simulate Camp Fire. Simulation results are compared to high-temporal-resolution fire perimeters derived from NEXRAD observations. The sensitivity of the model to a series of modelling parameters and assumptions governing the simulated wind field are then investigated. Results of WRF-Fire for Camp Fire are compared to FARSITE. Key results Baseline case shows non-negligible discrepancies between the simulated fire and the observations on rate of spread (ROS) and spread direction. Sensitivity analysis results show that refining the atmospheric grid of Camp Fire’s complex terrain improves fire prediction capabilities. Conclusions Sensitivity studies show the importance of refined atmosphere modelling for wildland fire simulation using WRF-Fire in complex terrains. Compared to FARSITE, WRF-Fire agrees better with the observations in terms of fire propagation rate and direction. Implications The findings suggest the need for further investigation of other possible sources of wildfire modelling uncertainties and errors. 
    more » « less
  4. Disturbance events can happen at a temporal scale much faster than wildland fire fuel data updates. When used as input for wildland fire behavior models, outdated fuel datasets can contribute to misleading forecasts, which have implications for operational firefighting, mitigation, and wildland fire research. Remote sensing and machine learning methods can provide a solution for on-demand fuel estimation. Here, we show a proof of concept using C-band synthetic aperture radar and multispectral imagery, land cover classes, and tree mortality surveys to train a random forest classifier to estimate wildland fire fuel data in the East Troublesome Fire (Colorado) domain. The algorithm classified over 80% of the test dataset correctly, and the resulting wildland fire fuel data was used to simulate the East Troublesome Fire using the coupled atmosphere—wildland fire behavior model, WRF-Fire. The simulation using the modified fuel inputs, where 43% of original fuels are replaced with fuels representing dead trees, improved the burn area forecast by 38%. This study demonstrates the need for up-to-date fuel maps available in real time to provide accurate prediction of wildland fire spread, and outlines the methodology based on high-resolution satellite observations and machine learning that can accomplish this task. 
    more » « less
  5. Wildfires are an essential part of a healthy ecosystem, yet the expansion of the wildland-urban interface, combined with climatic changes and other anthropogenic activities, have led to the rise of wildfire hazards in the past few decades. Managing future wildfires and their multi-dimensional impacts requires moving from traditional reactive response to deploying proactive policies, strategies, and interventional programs to reduce wildfire risk to wildland-urban interface communities. Existing risk assessment frameworks lack a unified analytical method that properly captures uncertainties and the impact of decisions across social, ecological, and technical systems, hindering effective decision-making related to risk reduction investments. In this paper, a conceptual probabilistic wildfire risk assessment framework that propagates modeling uncertainties is presented. The framework characterizes the dynamic risk through spatial probability density functions of loss, where loss can include different decision variables, such as physical, social, economic, environmental, and health impacts, depending on the stakeholder needs and jurisdiction. The proposed approach consists of a computational framework to propagate and integrate uncertainties in the fire scenarios, propagation of fire in the wildland and urban areas, damage, and loss analyses. Elements of this framework that require further research are identified, and the complexity in characterizing wildfire losses and the need for an analytical-deliberative process to include the perspectives of the spectrum of stakeholders are discussed. 
    more » « less
  6. Abstract

    There is a need for nowcasting tools to provide timely and accurate updates on the location and rate of spread (ROS) of large wildfires, especially those impacting communities in the wildland urban interface. In this study, we demonstrate how fixed‐site weather radars can be used to fill this gap. Specifically, we develop and test a radar‐based fire‐perimeter tracking tool that leverages the tendency for local maxima in the radar reflectivity to be collocated with active fire perimeters. Reflectivity maxima are located using search radials from points inside a fire polygon, and perimeters are updated at intervals of ∼10 min. The algorithm is tested using publicly available Next Generation Weather Radar radar data for two large and destructive wildfires, the Camp and Bear Fires, both occurring in northern California, USA. The radar‐based fire perimeters are compared with available, albeit limited, satellite and airborne infrared observations, showing good agreement with conventional fire‐tracking tools. The radar data also provide insights into fire ROS, revealing the importance of long‐range spotting in generating ROS that exceeds conventional estimates. One limitation of this study is that high‐resolution fire perimeter validation data are sparsely available, precluding detailed error quantification for the radar estimates drawn from samples spanning a range of environmental conditions and radar configurations. Nevertheless, the radar tracking approach provides the basis for improved situational awareness during high‐impact fires.

    more » « less
  7. Abstract

    On 30 December 2021, the Marshall Fire devastated the Boulder, Colorado region. The fire initiated in fine fuels in open space just southeast of Boulder and spread rapidly due to the strong, downslope winds that penetrated into the Boulder Foothills. Despite the increasing occurrence of wildland‐urban interface (WUI) disasters, many questions remain about how fires progress through vegetation and the built environment. To help answer these questions for the Marshall Fire, we use a coupled fire‐atmosphere model and Doppler on Wheels (DOW) observations to study the fire's progression as well as examine the physical drivers of its spread. Evaluation of the model using the DOW suggests that the model is able to capture general characteristics of the flow field; however, it does not produce as robust of a hydraulic jump as the one observed. Our results highlight limitations of the model that should be addressed for successful WUI simulations.

    more » « less
  8. Summary

    A full‐scale five‐story reinforced concrete building was built and tested on the NEES‐UCSD shake table during the period from May 2011 to May 2012. The purpose of this test program was to study the response of the structure and nonstructural components and systems (NCSs) and their dynamic interaction during seismic base excitation of different intensities. The building specimen was tested first under a base‐isolated condition and then under a fixed‐based condition. As the building was being erected, an accelerometer array was deployed on the specimen to study the evolution of its modal parameters during the construction process and placement of major NCSs. A sequence of dynamic tests, including daily ambient vibration, shock (free vibration) and forced vibration tests (low‐amplitude white noise and seismic base excitations), were performed on the building at different stages of construction. Different state‐of‐the‐art system identification methods, including three output‐only and two input‐output methods, were used to estimate the modal properties of the building. The obtained results allow to investigate in detail the effects of the construction process and NCSs on the dynamic parameters of this building system and to compare the modal properties obtained from different methods, as well as the performance of these methods. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    more » « less