State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007GA143B
Title: Evaluation and improvement of the curve number method of hydrological analysis on selected forested watersheds of Georgia
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/29/2008
Congressional District: GA 10
Focus Categories: Hydrology, Models, Surface Water
Keywords: Curve number, National Resources Conservation Services, watershed models, forested watershed, runoff
Principal Investigators: Tollner, Ernest W (University of Georgia); McCutcheon, Steven C.; Rasmussen, Todd (University of Georgia)
Federal Funds: $ 18,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 36,000
Abstract: The Curve number procedure, which predicts runoff volume from a rainfall volume, is a widely used hydrologic model because of its simplicity and convenience. However, the method has a number of problems and misinterpretations that undermine its utility in providing a realistic and accurate representation of water flow amount, paths, and source area upon which erosion and water quality prediction depends. Specially, applicability in forecasting runoff from rainfall events on forested watersheds is controversial. As a result, investigation of the curve number method will be conducted under various hydrologic conditions and settings. In addition, previous modifications of the method will be discussed and compared against the original method and a new improved method will be proposed. This study is a continuation of a study that has been conducted at selected watersheds of North Carolina, West Virginia, and New Hampshire.

Watersheds selected for this study are: Chattahoochee River, near Leaf; Chattooga River, near Summervilee; Chestatee River, near Dahlonega; Middle Oconee River, near Athens; and Toccoa River, near Dial. All the runoff and rainfall depth and other watershed characteristic data are available from publication of Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 1813. Annual maximum rainfall-runoff data will be used for the study. This approach will test if the curve number procedure of hydrologic analysis correctly simulates runoff volumes for each watershed and will provide a valuable assessment on the applicability of curve number method for mountain forest watersheds.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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