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Article

An Improved SCS-CN Method Incorporating Slope, Soil Moisture, and Storm Duration Factors for Runoff Prediction

by 1,2,* and 1,2
1
Key Laboratory of Subsurface Hydrology and Ecological Effects in Arid Region, Chang’an University, Ministry of Education, Xi’an 710054, China
2
School of Water and Environment, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710054, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(5), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051335
Received: 9 April 2020 / Revised: 4 May 2020 / Accepted: 7 May 2020 / Published: 8 May 2020
Soil Conservation Service Curve Number (SCS-CN) is a popular surface runoff prediction method because it is simple in principle, convenient in application, and easy to accept. However, the method still has several limitations, such as lack of a land slope factor, discounting the storm duration, and the absence of guidance on antecedent moisture conditions. In this study, an equation was developed to improve the SCS-CN method by combining the CN value with the tabulated CN2 value and three introduced factors (slope gradient, soil moisture, and storm duration). The proposed method was tested for calibration and validation with a dataset from three runoff plots in a watershed of the Loess Plateau. The results showed the model efficiencies of the proposed method were improved to 80.58% and 80.44% during the calibration and validation period, respectively, which was better than the standard SCS-CN and the other two modified SCS-CN methods where only a single factor of soil moisture or slope gradient was considered, respectively. Using the parameters calibrated and validated by dataset of the initial three runoff plots, the proposed method was then applied to runoff estimation of the remaining three runoff plots in another watershed. The proposed method reduced the root-mean-square error between the observed and estimated runoff values from 5.53 to 2.01 mm. Furthermore, the parameters of soil moisture (b1 and b2) is the most sensitive, followed by parameters in storm duration (c) and slope equations (a1 and a2), and the least sensitive parameter is the initial abstraction ratio λ on the basis of the proposed method sensitivity analysis. Conclusions can be drawn from the above results that the proposed method incorporating the three factors in the SCS method may estimate runoff more accurately in the Loess Plateau of China. View Full-Text
Keywords: storm duration; soil moisture; slope; Soil Conservation Service Curve Number method; runoff prediction storm duration; soil moisture; slope; Soil Conservation Service Curve Number method; runoff prediction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shi, W.; Wang, N. An Improved SCS-CN Method Incorporating Slope, Soil Moisture, and Storm Duration Factors for Runoff Prediction. Water 2020, 12, 1335. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051335

AMA Style

Shi W, Wang N. An Improved SCS-CN Method Incorporating Slope, Soil Moisture, and Storm Duration Factors for Runoff Prediction. Water. 2020; 12(5):1335. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051335

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shi, Wenhai, and Ni Wang. 2020. "An Improved SCS-CN Method Incorporating Slope, Soil Moisture, and Storm Duration Factors for Runoff Prediction" Water 12, no. 5: 1335. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051335

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