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Unit 3: Topography & Fire Behavior

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General Winds

The irregular surface of the terrain modifies general winds

  1. Channeling and changing wind directions. The figure below illustrates how general winds coming in contact with the irregular surface of the terrain are modified and help to produce local surface winds.
  2. General Winds   General Winds Modified by Topography

  3. Increasing wind velocities through constricted areas
  4. Airflow Influenced by Terrain

  5. Producing eddies on lee sides of mountains. (a) Round vs. sharp ridges and wind disturbance. (b) Eddy movement of wind on lee side. (c) Eddies at bluffs or canyon rims.
  6. Round vs. Sharp Ridges and Wind Disturbance   Eddy Movement of Wind on Lee Side   Eddies at Bluffs or Canyon Rims

  7. Mixing with locally induced winds.
  8. General Winds Modified by Local Winds

Although these processes are not thought to occur in flat, level terrain, we find that even certain patterns of vegetative cover and structures can produce the same effects on a smaller scale.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, October 25). Unit 3: Topography & Fire Behavior. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License