Characteristic surface-area-to-volume ratio

n. The surface-area-to-volume ratio that characterizes a heterogeneous fuelbed.


  • Discussion


In Rothermel's (1972) surface fire spread model, characteristic surface-area-to-volume (SAV) ratio constitutes the fuelbed-average SAV weighted by particle surface area. Surface-area weighting emphasizes fine fuel because finer fuel particles have larger SAV ratios.


  • Units


    Preferred units for characteristic surface-area-to-volume ratio are m2/m3 in technical reports and papers. Fire Management in the United States still uses the English units ft2/ft3. See the following surface-area-to-volume ratio units conversion table for conversion factors.


  • See Also

  • References

    • Rothermel, R.C. 1972. A mathematical model for predicting fire spread in wildland fuels. Res. Pap. INT-115. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 42 p.


  • Notes

    • Author 

      Joe Scott, Research Forester

      Systems for Environmental Management