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Article

Improvement of SCS-CN Initial Abstraction Coefficient in the Czech Republic: A Study of Five Catchments

1
T. G. Masaryk Water Research Institute, Podbabská 30, 160 00 Praha, Czech Republic
2
Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 611 37 Brno, Czech Republic
3
Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation, Žabovřeská 250, 156 27 Praha, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(7), 1964; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071964
Received: 19 May 2020 / Revised: 2 July 2020 / Accepted: 3 July 2020 / Published: 10 July 2020
The SCS-CN method is a globally known procedure used primarily for direct-runoff estimates. It also is integrated in many modelling applications. However, the method was developed in specific geographical conditions, often making its universal applicability problematic. This study aims to determine appropriate values of initial abstraction coefficients λ and curve numbers (CNs), based on measured data in five experimental catchments in the Czech Republic, well representing the physiographic conditions in Central Europe, to improve direct-runoff estimates. Captured rainfall-runoff events were split into calibration and validation datasets. The calibration dataset was analysed by applying three approaches: (1) Modifying λ, both discrete and interpolated, using the tabulated CN values; (2) event analysis based on accumulated rainfall depth at the moment runoff starts to form; and (3) model fitting, an iterative procedure, to search for a pair of λ, S (CN, respectively). To assess individual rainfall characteristics’ possible influence, a principal component analysis and cluster analysis were conducted. The results indicate that the CN method in its traditional arrangement is not very applicable in the five experimental catchments and demands corresponding modifications to determine λ and CN (or S, respectively). Both λ and CN should be viewed as flexible, catchment-dependent (regional) parameters, rather than fixed values. The acquired findings show the need for a systematic yet site-specific revision of the traditional CN method, which may help to improve the accuracy of CN-based rainfall-runoff modelling. View Full-Text
Keywords: curve number; direct runoff; HEC-HMS; initial abstraction coefficient; rainfall-runoff modelling; SCS-CN curve number; direct runoff; HEC-HMS; initial abstraction coefficient; rainfall-runoff modelling; SCS-CN
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MDPI and ACS Style

Caletka, M.; Šulc Michalková, M.; Karásek, P.; Fučík, P. Improvement of SCS-CN Initial Abstraction Coefficient in the Czech Republic: A Study of Five Catchments. Water 2020, 12, 1964. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071964

AMA Style

Caletka M, Šulc Michalková M, Karásek P, Fučík P. Improvement of SCS-CN Initial Abstraction Coefficient in the Czech Republic: A Study of Five Catchments. Water. 2020; 12(7):1964. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071964

Chicago/Turabian Style

Caletka, Martin, Monika Šulc Michalková, Petr Karásek, and Petr Fučík. 2020. "Improvement of SCS-CN Initial Abstraction Coefficient in the Czech Republic: A Study of Five Catchments" Water 12, no. 7: 1964. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071964

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