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Coal and Peat Fires: A Global Perspective - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780444595102, 9780444595126

Coal and Peat Fires: A Global Perspective

1st Edition

Volume 4: Peat – Geology, Combustion, and Case Studies

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Editors: Glenn Stracher Anupma Prakash Guillermo Rein
Hardcover ISBN: 9780444595102
eBook ISBN: 9780444595126
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 2nd September 2015
Page Count: 174
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Coal and Peat Fires: A Global Perspective, Volumes 1–4, presents a fascinating collection of research about prehistoric and historic coal and peat fires. Magnificent illustrations of fires and research findings from countries around the world are featured—a totally new contribution to science.

This last of four volumes in the collection, Peat--Geology, Combustion, and Case Studies, examines in detail peat fires chronicled in several countries. In addition, the geology of peat, peat megafires, infrared analysis of fires, and the mathematical modelling of fire hazards are presented. This essential reference includes a companion website with an interactive world map of coal and peat fires, collections of slide presentations, research data, additional chapters, and videos:

Key Features

  • Authored by world-renowned experts in coal and peat fires
  • Global in scope—countries from around the world are represented
  • Includes beautiful color illustrations, lively presentations, important research data, and a companion website of further resources


Mineralogists, petrologists, coal geologists, geophysicists, mining engineers, environmental and remote sensing scientists, and anyone involved in technical aspects of coal mining, coal fires, and combustion metamorphism

Table of Contents

  • Captions for Front Cover Photos
  • Dedication
  • Preface to Volume 1
  • Preface to Volume 2
  • Preface to Volume 3
  • Preface to Volume 4
  • Acknowledgments
  • List of Contributors
  • Volume 4. Peat—Geology, Combustion, and Case Studies
  • Chapter 1. Smoldering-Peat Megafires: The Largest Fires on Earth
    • 1.1. Peat Megafires
    • 1.2. Soil, Spread, and Emissions
    • 1.3. The Link Between Peat and Coal Fires
    • 1.4. Conclusions
  • Chapter 2. Peat: Its Origins, Characteristics, and Geological Transformations
    • 2.1. Peat: Its Origins, Characteristics, and Transformations
  • Chapter 3. Italian Peat and Coal Fires
    • 3.1. Italian Peat and Coal Fires
    • 3.2. Combustion Products and Effects
    • 3.3. Fire Case Studies
    • 3.4. Additional Insights: The Valli del Mezzano Area
    • 3.5. Spontaneous Combustion Mechanisms
    • 3.6. Additional Considerations
    • 3.7. Conclusions
  • Chapter 4. Peat Fires in Northeastern Mexico: Geochemistry, Chronology, and Paleoreconstruction
    • 4.1. Peat Fires in Northeastern Mexico
  • Chapter 5. Modeling Peat-Fire Hazards: From Drying to Smoldering
    • 5.1. Peat Fires
    • 5.2. Thermal Behavior of Peat
    • 5.3. Reaction Kinetics During Thermal Degradation
    • 5.4. Predicting Peat-Fire Hazards
    • 5.5. Mathematical Model for Low-Temperature Drying
    • 5.6. Predicting Peat Fires Using Retrospective Analysis
  • Chapter 6. Infrared Image Analysis as a Tool for Studying the Horizontal Smoldering Propagation of Laboratory Peat Fires
    • 6.1. Peat-Fire Research
    • 6.2. Image Analysis
    • 6.3. Thermal Infrared Application to a Smoldering-Peat Experiment
  • Author Index
  • Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Elsevier Science 2016
2nd September 2015
Elsevier Science
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Editors

Glenn Stracher

Glenn Stracher

Dr. Glenn B. Stracher is Professor Emeritus of Geology and Physics at East Georgia State College, University System of Georgia, Swainsboro, Georgia, USA. After receiving his M.S. in Geology and a Ph.D. in Geology and Engineering Mechanics from the University of Nebraska, he served as a Lady Davis Scholar at the Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He was also nominated by the United Nations as a Fulbright Scholar while in graduate school before completing his postdoctoral work in Israel. Dr. Stracher is the former chair of the Geological Society of America’s Coal Geology Division and served on the society’s External Awards Committee. He is the co-author of three chemical thermodynamics books, published in English and Japanese and taught graduate level courses in this subject at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. In 2010, he was named a University System of Georgia “Shining Star,” by the state’s Board of Regents, for excellence in research and teaching. In 2015, he was named a Geological Society of America Fellow for his contributions to coal-fires science.

Trained as a structural geologist, mineralogist, and metamorphic petrologist, the main focus of his research since 1995; and for which he is internationally known, is coal fires burning around the world. In addition to numerous peer-reviewed publications about coal fires, he has convened coal-fires symposia with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America (GSA), and led four GSA National coal-fires field trips. Dr. Stracher is the editor of the Geological Society of America book, Geology of Coal Fires: Case Studies from Around the World. He also edited the International Journal of Coal Geology special publication, Coal Fires Burning Around the World: A Global Catastrophe.

His latest project is a four-volume book published by Elsevier and entitled Coal and Peat Fires: A Global Perspective

The China University of Mining and Technology in Xuzhou, Jiangsu, has invited him to teach short courses about coal and peat fires using this four-volume book. He has also received an invitation to visit and do research at Tianjin University in China.

Dr. Stracher appears in two National Geographic Channel (NGC) movies about coal-fires: Wild Fires, part of a seven part NGC series entitled Built for Destruction, and the more recent movie, Underground Inferno, that has won several international film-festival awards. Currently, he is working with historian Timo Hauge at the German Mining Museum in Bochum, Germany, on a permanent display about mine fires. The display in the 37,000 square foot museum will open in 2018 and feature much of Dr. Stracher’s work, as well as photos taken by Glenn and Janet Stracher during their numerous field expeditions. The German Mining Museum is the most famous mining museum in the world. The web address of the museum is:

Dr. Glenn B. Stracher and his wife, Janet, were recently the guests of four universities in China, where Dr. Stracher gave six presentations. In addition to the 2,000 page, four-volume book Dr. Stracher published with Elsevier, entitled Coal and Peat Fires: A Global Perspective, he recently signed a contract with the company to publish a fifth volume entitled Coal and Peat Fires: New Global Perspectives. The latest work is scheduled for publication late in 2017 or 2018. The fifth volume will include contributions from engineers and scientists in China. The Strachers have been invited to return to China at a later date, where Dr. Stracher would serve as a visiting professor at the China University of Mining and Technology and the Xi’an University of Science and Technology.

Affiliations and Expertise

East Georgia State College, Swainsboro, GA, USA

Anupma Prakash

Anupma Prakash

Anupma Prakash is Professor of Geophysics (Remote Sensing) at the Department of Geosciences and the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA. After receiving her M.Sc. degree in Geology from Lucknow University, India, and a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from the Indian Institute of Technology – Roorkee, India, she moved to the Netherlands to work for the International Institute of Geo-information Surveys and Earth Sciences (ITC), Enschede, The Netherlands. She is internationally recognized for her research on the use of remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) techniques for investigating surface and underground coal mine fires. Her coal fire research involves fire detection, mapping, monitoring, depth estimation, characterization and quantitative estimation of environmental impacts.

Affiliations and Expertise

Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK, USA

Guillermo Rein

Dr. Guillermo Rein is a Senior Lecturer of Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Fire Technology. He earned an MSc and PhD from University of California at Berkeley and has held academic positions at University of Edinburgh and Imperial College London. His research focuses on fire behavior and combustion of solid fuels, fire dynamics and how engineers design safer buildings and tunnels, and mitigating the accidental burning of ancient carbon deposits.

He has received several international awards, including the Hinshelwood Prize and the FM Global Award. Most recently, he is the recipient of the Early Career Award by the International Association of Wildland Fire (2016). He has contributed to many book chapters and journal papers and maintains a blog, Fortune Favours the Bold, where he writes occasionally in a more informal tone on engineering and fire science.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Lecturer, Imperial College, UK


"This is one of the most comprehensive books ever published on the important topic of coal and peat fires…This major work has the following key features which make it very interesting for the target groups identified above: Integrates pioneering coal-fires research, with topical coverage of remote sensing, policy-making, and more; Contains hundreds of full-color, high-quality images, tables, figures, and diagrams, with many web and literature references, making it a single source for all researchers/managers; Serves as an essential guide to the socioeconomic and geo-environmental impacts of coal fires around the World. This book deserves a place in every university library as well as in the library of research institutes, and on the bookshelf of managers/decision makers concerned with global change and the environment." --International Journal of Digital Earth

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