Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 1084–1094 | Cite as

Comparison of SCS-CN determination methodologies in a heterogeneous catchment

  • Andrzej WalegaEmail author
  • Bogusław Michalec
  • Agnieszka Cupak
  • Magdalena Grzebinoga


The aim of this study was to assess the runoff amount from a catchment characterized by diverse land uses by using the Soil Conservation Service Curve Number (SCS-CN) method based on Curve Number (CN) defined for dominant homogeneous elementary sub-regions. The calculations employed the SCS-CN method, involving the division of the catchment in two homogeneous parts and determining the runoff amount. The obtained results were compared with the results provided by three other CN determination methods, i.e. the Hawkins function, the kinetics equation, and a complementary error function peak. The catchment is located in a mountain dominated by forest land cover. Empirical CN-Precipitation (CNemp-P) data pairs were analyzed using the mentioned methods, and the highest quality score was achieved from model 1. The results suggest that dividing a catchment into two homogeneous areas and determining their separate CN parameters, used later on to calculate the runoff by means of the presented approach, could be an alternative to the standard methods. The described method is relatively easy, and as it does not require an adoption of numerous parameters, and it can be employed for designing hydraulic facilities.


Asymptotic functions Curve Number parameter Homogenous sub catchment Land cover Lumped model 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrzej Walega
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bogusław Michalec
    • 2
  • Agnieszka Cupak
    • 1
  • Magdalena Grzebinoga
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Sanitary Engineering and Water Management, Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Land SurveyingUniversity of Agriculture in KrakowKrakowPoland
  2. 2.Department of Water Engineering and Geotechnics, Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Land SurveyingUniversity of Agriculture in KrakowKrakowPoland
  3. 3.MGGP Stock CompanyKrakowPoland

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