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Effects of Different Retention Parameter Estimation Methods on the Prediction of Surface Runoff Using the SCS Curve Number Method
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2014 (English)In: Water resources management, ISSN 0920-4741, E-ISSN 1573-1650, Vol. 28, no 10, 3241-3254 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Quantifying different hydrological components is an initial step for sustainable water resources planning and management. One rising concern is the conflict between the environment, hydropower and agriculture mainly in lowland areas where a large share of the base flows need to be abstracted. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was used to understand the hydrological processes of the Upper Awash River Basin with the emphasis on analyzing the different options for surface runoff generation using the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) Curve Number (CN) method. In this study, SWAT was applied incorporating two methods for estimating the retention parameter (S) for the SCS-CN method. The first allowed S to vary with soil profile moisture content (SM method) and the second allowed S to vary with accumulated plant evapotranspiration (PT method). Hydrograph comparison indicated that the PT method was better in simulating peak flows while the SM method was better in simulating the low flows. While the predicted stream flow hydrographs showed an agreement between the two methods, the simulated annual water balance indicated a disagreement in quantifying the different hydrological components. After evapotranspiration, base flow was the dominant component simulated in the SM method whereas surface runoff was the foremost in the PT method simulation. The analysis indicated that care must be taken when selecting an appropriate tool for quantifying hydrologic system to be used for decision making especially for un-gauged catchments where validation of model results is not possible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 28, no 10, 3241-3254 p.
Keyword [en]
Sustainable water use, Water balance components, SWAT, Retention parameter, Awash river basin
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106568DOI: 10.1007/s11269-014-0674-3ISI: 000338651100032OAI: diva2:738163


Available from: 2014-08-15 Created: 2014-08-12 Last updated: 2014-08-15Bibliographically approved

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Lyon, Steve W.
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Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology
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