Dr Stuart Matthews

About
Dr Stuart Matthews

Project leadership

This project was commissioned and funded entirely by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria.
The research is being completed through the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC's Tactical Research Fund.
Research team:

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 project seeks to optimise the use of earth observing systems for active fire monitoring by exploring issues of scale, accuracy and reliability, and to improve the mapping and estimation of post-fire severity and fuel change through empirical remote sensing observations. Outcomes will enable satellite measures of fire activity to be made, which in turn have the potential to inform or support efforts in bushfire response planning and fire rehabilitation efforts. A particular focus is on the analysis of data obtained from Himawari-8, which is able to provide updated imagery on a 10 minute basis.
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.
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:
27 Aug 2019
The Australian Fire Danger Rating System Program is building a new fire danger rating system.

Resources credited

Type Released Titlesort descending Download Key Topics
Presentation-Slideshow 07 Jul 2017 Building bushfire predictive services capability PDF icon Save (9.97 MB) fire, fire weather, modelling
Presentation-Slideshow 27 Aug 2019 Detecting Active Fires using Himawari-8: a report from the NSW trial PDF icon Save (2.9 MB) fire, fire impacts
Presentation-Slideshow 27 Aug 2019 Fire weather and prototype fire danger ratings for the Gell River fire, Tasmania PDF icon Save (4.64 MB) fire, fire weather
Presentation-Slideshow 07 May 2019 Spot-fire project: prescribed burning insights? PDF icon Save (859.42 KB)

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