Resource communication: Variability in estimated runoff in a forested area based on different cartographic data sources

Laura Fragoso, Elia Quirós, Pablo Durán-Barroso


Aim of study: The goal of this study is to analyse variations in curve number (CN) values produced by different cartographic data sources in a forested watershed, and determine which of them best fit with measured runoff volumes.

Area of study: A forested watershed located in western Spain.

Material and methods: Four digital cartographic data sources were used to determine the runoff CN in the watershed.

Main results: None of the cartographic sources provided all the information necessary to determine properly the CN values. Our proposed methodology, focused on the tree canopy cover, improves the achieved results.

Research highlights: The estimation of the CN value in forested areas should be attained as a function of tree canopy cover and new calibrated tables should be implemented in a local scale.


runoff estimation; Soil Conservation Service curve number; land use map; Geographic Information System; forested watershed; tree canopy cover factor

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2017262-10921