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Open AccessArticle

Variability of the Initial Abstraction Ratio in an Urban and an Agroforested Catchment

1
Department of Water Engineering and Applied Geology, Warsaw University of Life Sciences–SGGW, Nowoursynowska 159, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
2
Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland
3
Water Center of Warsaw University of Life Sciences–SGGW, Ciszewskiego 6, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020415
Received: 28 November 2019 / Revised: 30 January 2020 / Accepted: 31 January 2020 / Published: 4 February 2020
The Curve Number method is one of the most commonly applied methods to describe the relationship between the direct runoff and storm rainfall depth. Due to its popularity and simplicity, it has been studied extensively. Less attention has been given to the dimensionless initial abstraction ratio, which is crucial for an accurate direct runoff estimation with the Curve Number. This ratio is most often assumed to be equal to 0.20, which was originally proposed by the method’s developers. In this work, storm events recorded in the years 2009–2017 in two small Polish catchments of different land use types (urban and agroforested) were analyzed for variability in the initial abstraction ratio across events, seasons, and land use type. Our results showed that: (i) estimated initial abstraction ratios varied between storm events and seasons, and were most often lower than the original value of 0.20; (ii) for large events, the initial abstraction ratio in the catchment approaches a constant value after the rainfall depth exceeds a certain threshold value. Thus, when using the Soil Conservation Service-Curve Number (SCS-CN) method, the initial abstraction ratio should be locally verified, and the conditions for the application of the suggested value of 0.20 should be established. View Full-Text
Keywords: Curve Number; initial abstraction ratio; direct runoff; SCS-CN method; small catchment Curve Number; initial abstraction ratio; direct runoff; SCS-CN method; small catchment
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Krajewski, A.; Sikorska-Senoner, A.E.; Hejduk, A.; Hejduk, L. Variability of the Initial Abstraction Ratio in an Urban and an Agroforested Catchment. Water 2020, 12, 415.

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