Published on January 17, 2008
Geomorphology: A Red Hot Tool for Investigating Catastrophic Response to Wildfire: Geomorphology: A Red Hot Tool for Investigating Catastrophic Response to Wildfire By Mimi Diaz Department of Geological Sciences GELSS 2003 Arizona State University Outline: Outline The chasm between science and society Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire statistics Geologic hazards associated with wildfires Geomorphology defined and applied Expected outcomes of this project The Chasm: The Chasm Society Everyday people Immediate problems Science, stereotype “Different” people Abstract problems Science, reality Everyday people Everyday applications Why a Chasm?: Why a Chasm? Communication! Between scientists Different disciplines Different languages Between scientists and politicians Politicians/broad focus/compromise Scientists/narrow focus/logic over reality Between scientists and general public Theory vs application Different scientific backgrounds Slide5: June—July 2002: the largest wildfire in modern Arizona history Destroyed nearly 470 homes and burned ~500,000 acres of forest Photo courtesy Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest Wildfire-Induced Geologic Hazards: Wildfire-Induced Geologic Hazards Floods Mud Flows Debris Flows Landslides Los Alamos, NM, 2000 Banks, ID, 1997 Storm King Mtn, CO, 1994 Photo courtesy Jim Scheidt, BLM Who is involved with wildfire?: Who is involved with wildfire? Society Perpetrators Victims Firefighters Law enforcement Politicians Science Wildlife ecologists Botanists Pedologists Hydrologists Geomorphologists? What is geomorphology?: What is geomorphology? The study of nature, origin, and development of landscapes through time, especially by: Description Classification Prediction Time scales: Recent geologic time (last 10,000 years) Human time (immediate past, present, future) How do wildfires affect the landscape?: How do wildfires affect the landscape? Wildfire effect Vegetation destruction Soil burning Rock fracturing Landscape response Reduced soil cohesion Reduced water infiltration capacity Reduced strength Slide12: So, what does that mean? Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire Area, August 2002 Slide13: burned watershed + steep slopes + rain = mass movement Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire Area, August 2002 What is Mass Movement?: What is Mass Movement? Occurs when material moves downhill uniformly (as in a landslide) or chaotically (as in a debris flow) Material includes dirt, rocks (small and large), trees, houses, vehicles, etc. Initiates uphill, terminates in lower portions of basins How can mass wasting be predicted?: How can mass wasting be predicted? Observations + Applications = Forecast Topography Rock type Burn severity (soil and vegetation) Precipitation patterns Drainage basin characteristics Known physics and mechanics of mass movement Type of mass movement expected Location of movement Slide16: An area susceptible to debris flows: Steep topography High burn severity Drainages present The Job Doesn’t End There…: The Job Doesn’t End There… Frequently, this is the point at which science stops Results may be written up in a professional journal or as a thesis But who tells the general public?? How to Cross the Chasm: How to Cross the Chasm Translation + Circulation = Proper Communication Slide19: Thank You! Mimi Diaz firstname.lastname@example.org
Geomorphology: A Red Hot Tool for Investigating Catastrophic Response to Wildfire By Mimi Diaz Department of Geological Sciences GELSS 2003 Arizona State ...