SCS-Curve Number in Tropics: A Review

Faizalhakim AS, Nurhidayu S, Norizah K


Rainfall-runoff information is critical for water resource and river basin management. Runoff can be estimated by using two methods; gauged method (direct measurement) and ungauged method (indirect formula and equation). The in-situ measurement provides real-time and accurate yet required time-consuming operation and inaccessibility topography. Therefore, the runoff estimation modelling and equation was developed to overcome the limitation of in-situ measurement. SCS-CN is a simple model of ungauged method, where runoff volume (Q) resulting from rainfall (P) is formulated using equation of (Q= (P-Ia) 2 / (P-Ia + S). It was known as the best technique to be adopted for large basin study where time and manpower also accessibility are limited. SCS-CN method also is widely use in prediction software as it taken into consideration of the effects of soil, properties, land cover and antecedent moisture. Curve Number is well developed in USA for the agriculture purpose with many investigations to validate and calibrate the values of curve number. It was applied in numerous river basins in temperate and other regions e.g. US, Argentina, India, China, South Korea, Palestine and Malaysia. However, the reliability of the CN in the tropics is doubtable due to different land use characteristics, soil type, climate, geological features and rainfall pattern and variability. Based on the reviewed conceptual and applications of SCS-CN in temperate and tropics, numerous studies found the SCS-CN method is reliable and practical for runoff estimation in tropics region.


Different characteristics, SCS-CN, reliability, runoff estimation, tropics vs temperate, validation

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