Articles | Volume 22, issue 9
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-4725-2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-4725-2018
Research article
 | 
10 Sep 2018
Research article |  | 10 Sep 2018

Including effects of watershed heterogeneity in the curve number method using variable initial abstraction

Vijay P. Santikari and Lawrence C. Murdoch

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Short summary
The curve number (CN) method is the most widely used approach for estimating runoff from rainfall. Despite its popularity, there is a conceptual flaw where CN varies with rainfall although it is assumed to be constant. In this paper, we describe theoretical analyses that show how this behavior is due to watershed heterogeneity, and we then provide simple modifications to the method to improve its runoff predictions. The findings will benefit hydrologists and watershed models that use CN method.