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Scs-cn Parameter Determination Using Rainfall-runoff Data in Heterogeneous Watersheds. the Two-cn System Approach : Volume 8, Issue 5 (05/10/2011)

By Soulis, K. X.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004013047
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 42
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Scs-cn Parameter Determination Using Rainfall-runoff Data in Heterogeneous Watersheds. the Two-cn System Approach : Volume 8, Issue 5 (05/10/2011)  
Author: Soulis, K. X.
Volume: Vol. 8, Issue 5
Language: English
Subject: Science, Hydrology, Earth
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Soulis, K. X., & Valiantzas, J. D. (2011). Scs-cn Parameter Determination Using Rainfall-runoff Data in Heterogeneous Watersheds. the Two-cn System Approach : Volume 8, Issue 5 (05/10/2011). Retrieved from

Description: Agricultural University of Athens, Department of Natural Resources Management and Agricultural Engineering, Division of Water Resources Management, Athens, Greece. The Soil Conservation Service Curve Number (SCS-CN) approach is widely used as a simple method for predicting direct runoff volume for a given rainfall event. The CN values can be estimated by being selected from tables. However, it is more accurate to estimate the CN value from measured rainfall-runoff data (assumed available) in a watershed. Previous researchers indicated that the CN values calculated from measured rainfall-runoff data vary systematically with the rainfall depth. They suggested the determination of a single asymptotic CN value observed for very high rainfall depths to characterize the watersheds' runoff response. In this paper, the novel hypothesis that the observed correlation between the calculated CN value and the rainfall depth in a watershed reflects the effect of the inevitable presence of soil-cover complex spatial variability along watersheds is being tested. Based on this hypothesis, the simplified concept of a two-CN heterogeneous system is introduced to model the observed CN-rainfall variation by reducing the CN spatial variability into two classes. The behavior of the CN-rainfall function produced by the proposed two-CN system concept is approached theoretically, it is analyzed systematically, and it is found to be similar to the variation observed in natural watersheds. Synthetic data tests, natural watersheds examples, and detailed study of two natural experimental watersheds with known spatial heterogeneity characteristics were used to evaluate the method. The results indicate that the determination of CN values from rainfall runoff data using the proposed two-CN system approach provides reasonable accuracy and it over performs the previous original method based on the determination of a single asymptotic CN value. Although the suggested method increases the number of unknown parameters to three (instead of one), a clear physical reasoning for them is presented.

SCS-CN parameter determination using rainfall-runoff data in heterogeneous watersheds. The two-CN system approach

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