Adam Leavesley

Dr Adam Leavesley

Lead End User
About
Dr Adam Leavesley

Lead end user

This project uses cutting-edge technology and imagery to produce spatial information on fire hazard and impacts needed by planners, land managers and emergency services to manage fire at landscape scales. The team works closely with agencies to better understand their procedures and information needs, comparing these with the spatial data and mapping methods that are readily available, and developing the next generation of mapping technologies to help them prepare and respond to bushfires.
Research team:
This research has developed a prototype, high-resolution soil-moisture analysis system called JASMIN, which is a significant improvement in accuracy compared to currently used models. It is based on research that examines the use of land surface models, remotely sensed satellite measurements and data assimilation techniques to improve the monitoring and prediction of soil dryness. The new information will be calibrated for use within the existing fire prediction systems. This retains the accuracy, temporal and spatial resolution of the new product without changing the overall climatology of Forest Fire Danger Index and other calculations based on soil moisture.
This project is applying physics-based approaches to fire scenarios. It attempts to simulate fire with unprecedented detail and in the process obtain useful application tools for end-users.

The predictive model developed by this project will quantify the optimisation of environmental service outcomes for water and carbon management against the effectiveness of the fuel reductions outputs. This will assist fire and land management agencies by giving them greater confidence in forecasting results for their actions.

Ultimately, this project will move research and management capabilities to its next logical focus – building a predictive model and framework for planning of prescribed burns.

This study is identifying the thresholds beyond which dynamic fire behaviour becomes a dominant factor, the effects that these dynamic effects have on the overall power output of a fire, and the impacts that such dynamic effects have on fire severity. This will necessarily include consideration of other factors such as how fine fuel moisture varies across a landscape. The research team is investigating the conditions and processes under which bushfire behaviour undergoes major transitions, including fire convection and plume dynamics, evaluating the consequences of eruptive fire behaviour (spotting, convection driven wind damage, rapid fire spread) and determining the combination of conditions for such behaviours to occur (unstable atmosphere, fuel properties and weather conditions).
Research team:

This project aims to deliver:

1. A Prescribed Burning Atlas to guide implementation of tailor-made prescribed burning strategies to suit the biophysical, climatic and human context of all bioregions across southern Australia. The Atlas will define the quantitative trajectory of risk reduction (including resultant residual risk) for multiple values (such as property, water, carbon, vegetation structure) in response to differing prescribed burning strategies (including spatial configurations and rates of treatment), across different Australian environments based on their unique climatic, biophysical and human characteristics.

2. Continental-scale, biophysically-based models of ignition and fuel accumulation for Australian ecosystems, for use in dynamic risk management planning and operational decision-making about prescribed burning at seasonal and inter-annual time scales, accessible via the Atlas.

3. Detailed scenarios of future change in risk mitigation effectiveness of prescribed burning strategies in response to integrated scenarios of changes to climate, fuel (including elevated CO2 effects) and ignitions. These will also be accessible through the Atlas.

This project commenced in July 2017. Within the context of reducing natural hazard risk and increasing resilience in southern Australia, it focuses explicitly on the risk and resilience priorities of Indigenous communities in southern Australia, the emergency management sector’s priorities for these communities, and how these interests interact. Its intention is to identify where improvements might be made to reduce natural hazard risk and increase social and ecological resilience. This research complements existing and completed CRC projects.

Resources credited

Type Released Title Download Key Topics
Presentation-Slideshow 18 Sep 2018 Experiences in the in-field utilisation of Fuels3D PDF icon Save (2.49 MB) fire, fire severity, modelling
Presentation-Slideshow 18 Sep 2018 A LiDAR-derived fuel map for the ACT PDF icon Save (1.88 MB) fire, modelling
Presentation-Slideshow 31 Oct 2017 Prescribed burning and predictive services PDF icon Save (4.46 MB) fire, fire impacts, prescribed burning
Presentation-Slideshow 07 Jul 2017 Building bushfire predictive services capability PDF icon Save (9.97 MB) fire, fire weather, modelling

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