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Understanding, predicting and preventing post-fire hydrologic and erosive risks in fire-affected areas. (co-organized)
Convener: Diana Vieira  | Co-Conveners: Mike Kirkby , Peter Robichaud , Gary Sheridan 
 / Fri, 13 Apr, 08:30–10:00

Wildfires have been considered as an important, if not the major, cause of hydrological and geomorphological change in fire-prone landscapes. The effects from wildfires not only concerns vegetation and litter cover removal and soil physical and chemical alterations, but also, and depending on its severity, reduces infiltration and increases sediment availability for transport, which ultimately will lead to an increase of overland flow generation and soil erosion.
These fire-induced changes combined with favourable climate conditions can contribute negatively to the soil carbon storage and fertility reduction, water quality deterioration and pollution of downstream aquatic habitats, by producing emission above the limit as defined in the Water Framework Directive. Additionally, these impacts can be extended to the population near wildfire-prone areas, so that post-fire enhanced runoff and erosion could result in catastrophic damage by destructive floods and debris flows.
Therefore, post-fire rehabilitation treatments have been a priority, from policy makers, affected municipalities and land owners. However, there continues to be an urgent need for a post-fire tool that allows to identify the areas with the highest erosion risk and to evaluate the effectiveness of possible erosion control measures, optimizing thereby the use of resources in post-fire land management.
This session aims to bring together researchers to share the latest findings that will allow a better understanding of the post-fire hydrological and erosive processes, including the ash transport into water bodies and their contamination. Special attention will also be given to the inclusion of novel processes in hydrological and erosion models and the outcome of the implementation of several post-fire mitigation measures (experimental and actual emergency measures implementation).