Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. James M. McDonough


Wildfires are becoming increasingly erratic nowadays at least in part because of climate change. CFD (computational fluid dynamics)-based models with the potential of simulating extreme behaviors are gaining increasing attention as a means to predict such behavior in order to aid firefighting efforts. This dissertation describes a wildfire model based on the current understanding of wildfire physics. The model includes physics of turbulence, inhomogeneous porous fuel beds, heat release, ignition, and firebrands. A discrete dynamical system for flow in porous media is derived and incorporated into the subgrid-scale model for synthetic-velocity large-eddy simulation (LES), and a general porosity-permeability model is derived and implemented to investigate transport properties of flow through porous fuel beds. Note that these two developed models can also be applied to other situations for flow through porous media. Simulations of both grassland and forest fire spread are performed via an implicit LES code parallelized with OpenMP; the parallel performance of the algorithms are presented and discussed. The current model and numerical scheme produce reasonably correct wildfire results compared with previous wildfire experiments and simulations, but using coarser grids, and presenting complicated subgrid-scale behaviors. It is concluded that this physics-based wildfire model can be a good learning tool to examine some of the more complex wildfire behaviors, and may be predictive in the near future.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)