Asymptotic Determination of Curve Numbers from Rainfall—Runoff Data

by Richard H. Hawkins, Univ of Arizona, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Watershed Planning and Analysis in Action


Background, general instructions, and examples are given for determining Runoff Curve Numbers (CN) from small watershed event rainfall and direct runoff data sets. In order to preserve the return period matching between rainfall and runoff, the method matches rank-ordered (i.e., sorted) rainfall and runoffs. Usually a secondary trend of CN with the storm rainfall itself emerges, and three different patterns are observed; Complacent, Standard, and Violent. The Standard and Violent cases lead to a constant CN with increasing storm size, but the Complacent case does not lead to a stable determination of Curve Number.

Subject Headings: Rainfall-runoff relationships | Runoff curve number | Rain water | Runoff | Hydrologic data | Watersheds | Storms | Rainfall

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