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Open AccessArticle

Improved Curve Number Estimation in SWAT by Reflecting the Effect of Rainfall Intensity on Runoff Generation

by Dejian Zhang 1,2,3, Qiaoyin Lin 4, Xingwei Chen 5,6,* and Tian Chai 1,2
1
College of Computer and Information Engineering, Xiamen University of Technology, Ligong Road 600, Xiamen 361024, China
2
Fujian Engineering and Research Center of Rural Sewage Treatment and Water Safety, Ligong Road 600, Xiamen 361024, China
3
Digital Fujian Institute of Big Data for Natural Hazards Monitor, Ligong Road 600, Xiamen 361024, China
4
Department of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Quanzhou Normal University, Donghai Street 398, Quanzhou 362000, China
5
College of Geographic Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
6
Cultivation Base of State Key Laboratory of Humid Subtropical Mountain Ecology, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(1), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010163
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
Determining the amount of rainfall that will eventually become runoff and its pathway is a crucial process in hydrological modelling. We proposed a method to better estimate curve number by adding an additional component (AC) to better account for the effects of daily rainfall intensity on rainfall-runoff generation. This AC is determined by a regression equation developed from the relationship between the AC series derived from fine-tuned calibration processes and observed rainfall series. When incorporated into the Soil and Water Assessment Tool and tested in the Anxi Watershed, it is found, overall, the modified SWAT (SWAT-ICN) outperformed the original SWAT (SWAT-CN) in terms of stream flow, base flow, and annual extreme flow simulation. These models were further evaluated with the data sets of two adjacent watersheds. Similar results were achieved, indicating the ability of the proposed method to better estimate curve number. View Full-Text
Keywords: curve number; rainfall intensity; rainfall-runoff generation; SWAT curve number; rainfall intensity; rainfall-runoff generation; SWAT
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Zhang, D.; Lin, Q.; Chen, X.; Chai, T. Improved Curve Number Estimation in SWAT by Reflecting the Effect of Rainfall Intensity on Runoff Generation. Water 2019, 11, 163.

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