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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

The Transfer of Heat and Hydrophobic Substances During Burning1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 5, p. 779-782
    Received: Dec 8, 1975
    Accepted: May 7, 1976

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  1. L. F. Debano,
  2. S. M. Savage and
  3. D. A. Hamilton2



Wet and dry sand was tested for water repellency, after burning pine litter (Pinus coulteri D. Don). Four conditions were studied: a burn of 25 min over dry or wet sand and a burn at 5 min over dry or wet sand. The thickest and most intense water-repellent layer was produced by a 5-min burn over dry sand. Although organic materials were translocated deeper in the dry sand during the 25-min burn (down to 4 cm), some of the water repellency was destroyed in the upper 1-cm layer. In wet sand, water repellency was concentrated in the upper 0- to 1.5-cm layer. The translocation of hydrophobic substances and resulting water repellency depends on changes in their polarity and oxidation state. Relationships developed for fire over a dry soil may not adequately account for movement of organic substances in a moist soil. These results suggest prescribed burning should be done when the soil is moist on areas where water repellency is a problem.

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