The evaluation of forest fire severity and effect on soil organic matter based on the L*, a*, b* color reading system
The evaluation of forest fire severity and effect on soil is very important when discussing the damage to the environment. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect forest fires have on the soil color using the CIE Lab system. The color changes in four kinds of soil samples caused by heating at different temperatures were investigated. It was found that the Δa* and Δb* values drastically decrease when samples were heated over the temperature range from 200 to 250 °C, that is above the ignition temperature of volatile matter. The Δa* and Δb* values show a good linear negative correlation with the atomic ratios of H/C and O/C. The results obtained from this study indicate that the proposed method is able to evaluate the dehydration and decarboxylation of soil caused by forest fires. We demonstrated this method using soil samples collected from unburned and burned areas in Kalimantan, Indonesia.